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If you or your family experienced special or unusual circumstances after your FAFSA was filed, you may be eligible to submit an adjustment review request for your financial aid award package.

The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships will use professional judgment to review and consider changes to a student’s available aid based on the information provided.

Special circumstances

Changes in your Cost of Attendance or Estimated Family Contribution calculation due to income reduction/loss, including:

  • job loss
  • divorce
  • death
  • or medical.

Expenses related to credit cards, pets, vacations and vehicle purchases aren't eligible for special circumstance review.

You won't receive an increase in aid through a special circumstance review if your Estimated Family Contribution already is zero.

Unusual circumstances

Changes in your dependency status that are based on a unique situation, commonly referred to as a dependency override. These situations may include:

  • being an unaccompanied homeless youth
  • being a foster care youth
  • or not having parental support. 

Dependent students who are self-sufficient but have an established relationship with their parents aren't considered independent under unusual circumstances. Dependent students who are not claimed on parent tax returns aren't automatically considered independent; additional documentation required.

Submitting a request for adjustment review

Step 1: Gather supporting documentation

Typical supporting documents required include:

Income reduction/loss
  • Documentation showing loss of income due to job loss, such as an official letter indicating the last day of employment, and final paystub
  • Divorce decree
  • Death certificate
  • Medical statements
Unaccompanied homeless youth
  • McKinney-Vento paperwork from the student's high school homeless liaison
  • Documentation from a homeless shelter director
Foster care youth
  • Court order or official State documentation
No parental support
  • Official documentation showing that the students’ parents or legal guardian(s) are incarcerated
  • Utility bills, health insurance, or other documents demonstrating a separation from parents or legal guardian(s)

Contact financial aid if you have questions regarding acceptable documentation.

Step 2: Request an adjustment review

Contact the financial aid office at or 936.468.2403 to make your request. You'll receive a form through your student email account within two weeks of the initial request.

Step 3: Submit all documentation

Submit the request form and all supporting documentation by uploading the paperwork through mySFA.

Once all paperwork is received, the review process will begin. This process takes approximately three weeks to complete. You'll be notified if there are any questions or additional documentation is needed.

Final decision

You'll receive an email through your student email account when a final decision is made.

My request was approved. Now what?

If your adjustment review is approved and an update is made to your FAFSA, it may take approximately two weeks for the corrected FAFSA to be imported into SFA's financial aid system. Once imported, your Pell Grant (if applicable) will disburse to your eBill.

  • You must already have a FAFSA on file.
  • Requests with incomplete documentation will not be considered.
  • Adjustments are granted based on professional judgment.
Professional judgment

Professional judgment refers to the discretion that federal regulations give to financial aid administrators to make adjustment, on a case-by-case basis, to certain elements of a student's FAFSA information to account for special or unique circumstances.

These adjustments are intended to provide a more accurate assessment of the amount of federal aid for which a student is eligible.



Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships

Office Hours:
8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Monday - Friday

Physical address:
Austin Building, Room 104

Mailing address:
P.O. Box 13052, SFA Station
Nacogdoches, Texas 75962

Stephen F. Austin State University is committed to using the principles and standards of the College Cost Transparency Initiative in its student financial aid offer.