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.  By providing the information requested 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 the other natural parent is still living but 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/her parents do not reside in the United States and are unable to be contacted by normal communications (i.e. mail, phone, e-mail, etc.).
  • Abusive home environment (physical, emotional, and /or sexual abuse)
  • Abandonment at an early age and no ongoing contact with biological/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 prior year (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 prior year income in order for Wake Tech's Financial Aid Office to re-evaluate eligibility for Federal, State, and Institutional Student Financial Aid programs. 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 currently unemployed and has been out of work for at least 10 consecutive weeks or is currently still employed and 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 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. Please contact your assigned Financial Aid Specialist to discuss if your situation would qualify for an adjustment.