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Special Circumstances

File your FAFSA

File your FAFSA, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. 

Financial Aid Special Circumstances

Students whose families experience a change in financial circumstances are eligible for a review of those changed circumstances. Special circumstances include, but are not limited to:

  • Loss of job or reduction in income
  • Loss or reduction of some type of untaxed income or benefit
  • Low parent income and student support of household expenses
  • Separation, divorce or death of one of the student's parents or student's spouse
  • Reduction in student income due to lack of a summer job
  • Student leaving a full-time job to attend UMD
  • Other unusual expenses or one-time sources of income
  • Addition of parent to the number in college (granted only if related to job / employment, retraining, career advancement / promotion)



Actively enrolled students who wish to have their special circumstances reviewed should submit a detailed letter describing the circumstance. Students may be asked to submit additional documentation including copies of the most recent IRS tax transcript, W-2, and pay stubs to the Financial Aid Office. Please note: we are unable to process special circumstance appeals after the end of the academic year.


Appeal Deadline

While there is no set deadline to submit a special circumstance appeal, please be aware many sources of aid run out as the year progresses. To help ensure we can award all possible aid, please submit requested appeal documents as early as possible. Appeals will only be reviewed once all requested documentation has been submitted.


A financial aid counselor will review the information contained in the letter and accompanying documentation and determine if an adjustment is warranted.

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