Applying for Special Circumstances

Financial aid awards are based on the results of the application which has information from tax year 2018 (for Fall 2020-Spring 2021).  Your 2018 tax year information may not accurately represent your current financial situation. 

If you experience a special circumstance,  you have an opportunity to file for a Review of Special Circumstances where you request the Financial Aid Office to look at either your: 

  • 2019 or 2020 taxes for aid during Fall 2020-Spring 2021

Some examples of special circumstances:

  • Loss of income (wages, benefits, etc.) due to unemployment
  • Extensive medical bills not covered by insurance
  • Death of a parent
  • Divorce or separation
  • Loss due to recent natural disasters (e.g., earthquake, flood, fire) not covered by insurance

Deadline to request: 

  • Academic year or Spring 2021 enrollment only: April 2, 2021

Review of Income

  • 2019Income Year, form available: June 15, 2020
  • 2020Income Year, form available:  August 3, 2020

Keep the following in mind:

  • You can only submit this request once per academic year.  You must decide if you would like to have your 2019 or 2020 income reviewed for Fall 2020 - Spring 2021 aid.
  • Appeals are typically reviewed within 2-3 weeks after submission. During busy processing times (such as the summer), it may take longer for your appeal to be evaluated.
  • This review does not guarantee that any additional funds will be available.  Revised awards are based upon any available funding.  
  • You must have a financial aid award already posted to your MySJSU.
  • Student must be enrolled at least Half-time during the semester that the review is completed in order for any revised aid to be disbursed.
  • Review of special circumstances does not extend the placement of a fee deferral or housing extension.

Contact the Financial Aid & Scholarship Office to discuss the changes in your financial situation and to request a Review of Special Circumstances.

We know that there are many circumstances that may impact a family's ability to contribute to a student's education, and we will work with you to understand your options and determine if any additional aid may be available based on your individual circumstances. Unfortunately, not all circumstances will be eligible for consideration, and not all appeals will result in additional financial assistance.


Review of Extraordinary Expenses

The Cost of Attendance includes average amounts for standard educational expenses incurred by students who attend SJSU during the academic year.  These averages are provided to us by the California Student Aid Commission.

Families do have an opportunity to request an increase in their Cost of Attendance for one of the following reasons:

  • Additional Course-Related Expenses
  • Child Care Expenses
  • Medical/Dental Expenses not covered by Insurance
  • Automobile Expenses (repair, insurance, maintenance)

If a budget increase is approved, it is unlikely that it will be covered by any additional grant funding.  You would need to apply for the additional loan program, typically: Direct Parent PLUS loans, Direct GRAD PLUS loans, or alternative student loan funding. 

There is a maximum increase of $10,000 per academic year that can be considered. 

Contact the Financial Aid & Scholarship Office to discuss any additional expenses you may have incurred to see if they justify a review of extraordinary expenses.  Receipts will need to be provided.