Special Circumstance Review

When students and/or their families experience a change in financial circumstances, the information on the FAFSA may no longer accurately reflect their financial situation.  In some cases, Minot State Financial Aid Office may be able to adjust income information or budget information based on these special circumstances and unusual costs.  If your family has one or more of the following special circumstances or has experienced an expense listed under the budget adjustment list below, we encourage you to submit the Special Circumstance Form to have your financial aid eligibility re-evaluated.

Students and families affected by COVID-19
If you or your family’s finances have been affected by the COVID-19 national emergency, you may consider requesting a special circumstance review.  A review does not guarantee additional financial support but does allow the Financial Aid Office to consider any loss of wages or out-of-pocket expenses you or your family incurred as a result of the incident.

FAFSA adjustments may be considered for loss of income for the following reasons:

  • Loss of employment or reduction of income (due to change of job, reduction in hours worked, or retirement)
  • Death of a parent after the FAFSA was completed
  • Divorce or separation of student and spouse or parents after the FAFSA was completed
  • Loss or reduction of benefits, untaxed income, or child support
  • Roth IRA Rollover
  • Medical or dental expenses in excess of $3000 paid out of pocket by the student, spouse, or parents
  • Elementary or secondary school tuition paid by student, spouse, or parents

All Minot State students have an estimated cost of attendance or budget which sets a limit for the total financial aid that may be offered to a student.  In some cases, Minot State Financial Aid staff can adjust the budget based on documented proof of certain educational expenses incurred by the student that exceed or are not included in the standard budget. 

If you have one of the following types of expenses, an adjustment of your budget may be possible.  An increased budget may allow you to qualify for Federal Work Study, borrow Subsidized Federal Loans rather than Unsubsidized Federal Loans, borrow private loans and Federal Direct Parent PLUS loans but typically doesn't result in increased grant eligibility. In some cases, students eligible for external scholarships and the ND State Grant may benefit from a budget increase. 

  • Childcare expenses
  • Student housing costs in excess of $325 per month
  • Computer purchase during the academic year
  • Unusual commuting expenses
  • Submitting the Special Circumstance Form does not guarantee that you will be offered additional financial aid.
  • All documentation specified on the Special Circumstance Form must be submitted before a review can be completed.
  • If your review results in a change to your financial aid offer, it may include the addition of or an increase to a Federal Pell Grant or Direct Loan, or changing part of your Direct Loan from unsubsidized to subsidized. In some cases, no additional aid can be offered.
  • If you would like to visit with a member of our staff before submitting your appeal form, call us at 701-858-3375.
  1. Print and complete the Special Circumstance Form. 
    2021-2022 Special Circumstance Form
    (fall 2021, spring 2022, summer 2022)
    2022-2023 Special Circumstance Form (fall 2022, spring 2023, summer 2023) 
  2. Collect all required documentation listed on page 2 of the form.
  3. Contact Minot State Financial Aid office with any questions at 701-858-3375.
  4. Submit your completed form and supporting documentation to Minot State Financial Aid Office at our secure file drop, by mail, or drop off at our office on the 2nd floor of the Administration Building.

MSU Financial Aid Office
500 University Ave W
Minot, ND  58707

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