American Rescue Plan Special Circumstance Guidance


SUNY Erie students and their families may have experienced unexpected circumstances and/or expenses during the past academic year due to Covid-19.  Students with documented ‘Special Circumstances’ that negatively affects you/your family’s financial situation could be eligible for an adjustment to the original data provided on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and your financial aid eligibility.

For example, because of COVID-19 some employers have shut down, reduced work hours, or furloughed employees. Some students or parents may not have been able to work due to illness. Your campus Financial Aid Office will be able to review your special circumstances and possibly adjust the amount of financial aid you receive or would have received. Your campus financial aid office may be able to review your special circumstances to adjust the amount of financial aid you receive or would have received.
If your family has experienced a change in income due to unusual, special circumstances, your campus financial aid office has Professional Judgement and U.S. Department of Education guided flexibility to re-evaluate your situation for the following reasons:

  • Loss of job or permanent/indefinite reduction of work hours
  • Separation or divorce
  • Personal bankruptcy that occurs during the current financial aid year
  • Death of a member of your immediate family
  • Reduction/loss of child support
  • High non-reimbursed medical expense.
  • Your parents took money out of their pension/retirement plan as a one-time payment to help cover expenses
  • Other documented special circumstances outside of the student’s control

If you would like to apply for an American Rescue Plan Special Circumstance, please submit the Special Conditions Request Form.

Please remember the appropriate documentation as stated on the form to support your Special Circumstance. You may mail, fax, email, or drop off your completed Special Circumstance form along with all the required documentation to the Financial Aid Office. 

Please note: Federal Financial aid appeal decisions (Special Circumstances) are at the discretion of the campus, based on guidance provided by the U.S. Department of Education. All decisions final. Every effort will be made by SUNY Erie to assist students in need. 

For further information please contact the Office of Financial Aid:
Financial Aid Office, North Campus
(716) 851-1677