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Special and Unusual Circumstances

Special and/or Unusual circumstances may occur when a student's current financial or dependency situation is no longer accurately reflected on the FAFSA.

Federal regulations provide Financial Aid Administrators the authority to use professional judgment on a case-by-case basis, to adjust the cost of attendance or the values of the items used in calculating the SAI (Student Aid Index) to reflect a student's special or unusual circumstances.

What to Expect

A Special Circumstance review typically takes between 3-4 weeks from the date when all necessary documentation has been received. Once processed, the student will be notified of the final determination of their request as well as an initial or revised financial aid offer. During peak processing times, the request may take longer than stated above.

An Unusual Circumstance request will be processed as quickly as practicable, but a determination will be made no later than 60 days after the student enrolls. Beginning with the 2023-24 award year, any student who was approved for a dependency override and made independent for financial aid due to unusual circumstances will continue to be independent for each subsequent award year at Northeast unless the student informs us that their circumstances have changed, or we have conflicting information about the student's independence. Students must still submit their FAFSA each year but should not need to take additional action to be considered an independent student each year.

Need help or additional information?

Email the Financial Aid Office at or call (402) 844-7285 or schedule an appointment.