Financial Aid Special Circumstances

Dependency Status Appeal

Students who have special circumstances regarding their relationship with both parents and wish to apply for financial aid as an independent student without parental information may complete the Dependency Status Appeal form. Based on the information provided on the form, the Financial Aid Office will look more closely at the situation and determine if the circumstances warrant a change of dependency status.  Requests for dependency override (DO) must be submitted by April 1 of the school year and prior to the last date of attendance for the academic year at Wake Tech. Requests will not be considered after this deadline. 

The following are examples of scenarios in which a DO might be appropriate:

  • The student's custodial parent has died, and although the other natural parent is still living, the student has neither had contact with nor received any financial support from the living parent for a significant length of time.
  • The student is a political refugee or eligible non-citizen. His or her parents do not reside in the United States and are unable to be contacted by normal communications (i.e. mail, phone, email, etc.).
  • The students faces an abusive home environment (physical, emotional and /or sexual abuse).
  • The student was abandoned at an early age and has no ongoing contact with his or her biological or adoptive parents.

Reduction In Income/Professional Judgment

If a student's family has experienced a significant reduction in income in the current year as compared to the tax year used on the FAFSA, the student can apply for a Reduction in Income through the Professional Judgment process. The family's estimated current year income must be substantially less than its previous income in order for Wake Tech's Financial Aid Office to re-evaluate eligibility for federal, state and institutional aid. Requests for Reduction in Income (PJ) must be submitted by April 1 of the school year and prior to the last date of attendance for the academic year at Wake Tech. Requests will not be considered after this deadline.

The following are examples of reasons a student may request a Professional Judgment:

  • Loss of employment or reduction of employment - The student, spouse or parent(s) is unemployed and has been out of work for at least 10 consecutive weeks or is still employed but will have significantly reduced earnings.
  • Loss of untaxed income or benefit - The student, spouse or parent(s) has lost some type of untaxed income or benefit (Social Security, child support, etc.).
  • Divorce or separation - Since filing the FAFSA, the student or the student's parent has become divorced or separated.
  • Death of parent or spouse - Since filing the FAFSA, the student's spouse (independent student) or parent (dependent student) has died.
  • Loss of income due to natural disaster or disability - The student, spouse or parent(s) has been unable to pursue normal income-producing activities due to a disability or a natural disaster.
  • Extreme out-of-pocket medical expenses - The student, spouse or parent(s) paid high amounts of medical expenses out of pocket.

*Forms are available by request. Contact your assigned Financial Aid specialist to discuss if your situation would qualify for an adjustment.