Special and Unusual Circumstances

The Financial Aid Office recognizes that student and family situations can change, and those changes are not always reflected on your financial aid application (FAFSA or WASFA). We are committed to ensuring we are equitably packaging aid; therefore, to ensure our students have the resources they need to be successful, our aid administrators can review certain situations to see if your aid can be adjusted in certain situations.

Does your situation involve a change to one of the income components for you or your parent(s) on the FAFSA or WASFA?

  • If yes, we are here to help! See the Special Circumstances process below.

Does your situation involve being unable to provide your parents information on your FAFSA and you are under the age of 24?

  • If yes, we are here to help! See the Unusual Circumstances process below.

Special Circumstances Process

The FAFSA application is based on prior-prior year income information. At times this does not reflect the current situation of students and their families. Bates Technical College Financial Aid Administrators can make professional judgements to update income information if certain situations apply and it will benefit the student’s aid package.  To request an adjustment, you must submit a completed Special Circumstances form along with supporting documentation to our office once you have submitted the FAFSA or WASFA.  This form can be found on our Forms page or you may pick one up from one of our offices.

Unusual Circumstance Process

Financial Aid regulations state that students under the age of 24 are required to provide parent information on the application unless certain situations apply.  We understand that this may not reflect your current family dynamics or dependency status.  Under the FAFSA Simplification Act, Bates Technical College Financial Aid Administrators are allowed to adjust dependency status on a student’s financial aid application (FAFSA or WASFA) if there are unusual circumstances to reflect students’ situations more accurately.  To find out if this would apply to you and your family situation read the below information or connect with our financial aid staff.

Unusual circumstances do not include:

  • Parents refuse to contribute to the student’s education.
  • Parents will not provide information for the FAFSA or verification.
  • Parents do not claim the student as a dependent for income tax purposes.
  • Student is not financially supported by parents (demonstrates self-sufficiency).

Unusual circumstances do include:

  • Human trafficking
  • Legally granted refugee or asylum status
  • Parental abandonment or estrangement
  • Student or parental incarceration
  • Unaccompanied homeless youth or at risk of homelessness

If you feel that you will qualify for a dependency change due to unusual circumstances, please submit a completed Unusual Circumstances form.  This form can be found on our Forms page or you may pick one up from one of our offices.

In accordance with the FAFSA Simplification Act, our office will provide the student with a final determination and financial aid offer as soon as possible and no later than 60 days after the student enrolls.  We may deny unusual circumstance requests if a student does not provide requested documentation within the 60-day timeframe.

Beginning with the 2023-2024 Award Year, any student who has obtained a final determination of independence will be independent each subsequent award year unless the student informs our office that their circumstances have changed or we have conflicting information about the student’s independence.  We may also use an unusual circumstance appeal (dependency override) made in a prior award year at Bates Technical College.

If you have any questions about the special or unusual circumstance process please reach out to a Bates Financial Aid Administrator at 253-680-7020, financialaid@batestech.edu, or visit our office during normal business hours.