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Special Circumstances

At Trinity, we understand that there may be times when a student and/or parent(s) tax information may not accurately reflect a household’s true financial situation.  If your family has an unusual circumstance that should be taken into account, you may request a review to determine if adjustments can be made.  Appeals must be made in writing and must include a detailed description of the circumstance as well as appropriate documentation.  We must first confirm the accuracy of the information provided on your aid application(s), therefore you must also provide verification documents

Consideration of special circumstance does not guarantee an adjustment or increase to financial aid eligibility.  Adjustments for special circumstances are based on availability of funding.  We have developed guidelines to help you understand what we can and cannot consider as special circumstances.

While the very nature of special circumstance consideration is a case-by-case review, we find that families often want some guidelines regarding what we can and cannot consider to assist them in deciding whether or not to submit a special circumstances request.

What Qualifies as a Special Circumstance?

  • Involuntary Loss of Employment resulting in an anticipated reduction of at least 15% in total income from calendar year 2018 to calendar year 2019. Unemployment must be at least eight weeks in duration at the time of your special circumstances appeal.  
  • Loss of Untaxed Income or Benefits such as alimony or child support
  • Reduction of Income due to separation, divorce or death of a spouse or parent.
  • Unreimbursed Medical Expenses in excess of 15% of total income

If any of these circumstances apply to you, please contact our office to speak with your assigned financial aid counselor.

What Doesn’t Qualify as a Special Circumstance?

  • Private school tuition for siblings unless enrollment is necessary due to disability
  • Yearly fluctuations in income due to loss of overtime or bonuses
  • Personal consumer debt such as credit-card or car payments
  • Parental unwillingness to support educational expenses associated with Trinity
  • Exclusion of business income reported on personal tax return
  • Requests to match offers from other college or universities; Trinity University does not change or negotiate awards based on comparisons with financial aid awards received from other colleges.

Materials must be received via US Postal mail; or fax.  Due to security concerns, it is not recommended for students to email sensitive financial information.

The review of your Special Circumstances Appeal will be completed by a committee. Written notification regarding the outcome of the review is typically sent within 10 to 14 days of receipt although additional processing time may be needed if more information is required.