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Special Circumstances

Financial Aid Adjustment Due to Special Circumstances

As part of the American Rescue Plan (ARP), which was enacted by Congress in January 2021, SUNY Schenectady is conducting proactive outreach to assist students who may have had a recent change in their financial circumstances. 

For students who completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the income on the application is from two years ago. If a student, or parent of a dependent student, has had a recent change in their financial circumstances, the financial aid office may be able to assist in obtaining additional financial aid.

Common financial changes include:

  • Recent change in employment
  • Reduction in working wages
  • Retirement
  • Disability related expenses
  • One-time income reported on a recent tax return
  • Recent divorce or separation
  • Unusual medical bills
  • Expenses associated with the care of an elderly parent or grandparent
  • Increased cost of living*
  • Study-abroad expenses
  • Dependent childcare expenses
  • Professional licensure or certification costs
  • Other special circumstances

If any of these circumstances apply to you, we encourage you to contact the Financial Aid Office to have a discussion. Depending on the circumstance, when the change occurred, supporting documentation available, and current aid eligibility we may be able to assist you in obtaining additional financial aid.

The SUNY Schenectady Financial Aid Office can be reached at 518-381-1468 or


*  The Financial Aid Office utilizes an estimated cost of living in calculating a student’s financial aid eligibility. This “estimated cost of living” is commonly referred to as the “cost of attendance”. The cost of attendance includes actual charges, such as tuition and fees, as well as estimated costs such as transportation, room and board, and personal expenses. If a student, or parent of a dependent student, has increased costs for any of these items, with proper documentation, we may be able to increase the cost of attendance for a student on a case-by-case basis. The benefit of this adjustment is a student may qualify for additional need-based federal aid such as subsidized loans.