The Office of Student Financial Services determines financial aid eligibility based on the information students and families enter on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). For the 2022-2023 academic year, the FAFSA uses tax information from 2020. For the 2023-2024 academic year, the FAFSA uses tax information from 2021. However, we recognize that the FAFSA information may not always reflect your current circumstances.
If you or your parent(s) are experiencing extenuating financial circumstances, the Office of Student Financial Services may be able to help. You can start the process by completing the Special Circumstance Form below. Be sure to select the correct Special Circumstances Form based on the academic year.
Dependency Status: Students can request an unusual circumstance to adjust dependency status. This requires a detailed letter from the student explaining their circumstances and why they should be considered an independent student. Two supporting letters are also required from “responsible adults.” (This includes, but is not limited to, clergy, therapists, counselors, teachers, doctors, and outside agencies.) All letters must be submitted to the Student Financial Services Office for review.
If you are submitting a Special Circumstance Appeal, you (the student) must complete the Special Circumstance Form. You must be signed into the myMCLA portal to access the form. Once you have logged into the interactive form, you will:
At the end of the form, you will be able to sign and submit it. If you are a dependent student, your parent must also sign the form before it can be reviewed. (Your parent will be emailed after you submit the form and will have to create/log in with their own Dynamic Forms credentials in order to sign.) A form with a missing signature is not considered complete.
We strongly urge you to gather all relevant documentation pertaining to your circumstance prior to starting the form. If you need to come back to the form later, you can click "Save Progress" at any time and access the draft later through Dynamic Forms.
Additionally, in order for a Special Circumstance Appeal to be considered, you must have completed your FAFSA with any required verification documents.
Once a Special Circumstance Appeal has been submitted and all relevant documents/signatures have been received, it is reviewed by the Director of Student Financial Services. Once a decision has been made, you will be notified in writing of the outcome.
The Office of Student Financial Services reserves the right to request additional information to support your appeal. We will contact you if your appeal has missing/incomplete documentation or if there are any questions regarding your situation.
Please note the following:
Appeals are reviewed on a case-by-case basis and the documentation required varies by appeal. A list of acceptable documentation for various appeals is available.
Some acceptable appeal conditions include, but are not limited to:
If you have questions about the Special Circumstance Form, we are here to help. You may contact the Office of Student Financial Services at 413.662.5219 or FinAid@mcla.edu. Additionally, we offer virtual, one-on-one Microsoft Teams meetings, which can be scheduled below.