Maricopa Emergency Management System Alert

Request for Special Circumstance (Income) Review

The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is a measure of how much you and/or your family can be expected to contribute to the cost of your education for a given award year and it is used to determine how much financial aid you can receive. The information you report on your FAFSA (taxed/untaxed income, assets, household size, number of household members in colleges, etc.) is used to calculate your EFC using a formula specified in the law. 

The 2022-2023 FAFSA uses tax information from 2020; this data is used as a predictor of your and/or your family's current financial situation. Phoenix College recognizes that the FAFSA application may not always portray an accurate picture of your current financial situation. If you experience any unexpected circumstances or if you financial circumstances have changed since you first submitted your FAFSA, you may request a review of your financial aid eligibility

Reviewable Circumstances May Include (but are not limited to):

  • Loss of job or reduction in income (i.e., work, child support, etc.)
  • Loss or reduction in one-time income 
  • Tuition payments for Elementary, Junior High, or High School
  • High medical or Dental expenses not covered by the insurance
  • Death of spouse or parent
    • Parent (of a dependent student) attending college or university (at least half-time)
  • Change in Marital Status (only if it changes your FAFSA dependency status)

If your current situation is not listed above, please contact us and we will assess your situation. Please note that not all situations are reviewable per federal regulations.

Additional Details to Consider:

The following information will provide more guidance on whether or not you may be eligible for a review request and what you may expect after submitting your request and required supporting documentation:

  • If you have an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of Zero ‘0,’ you are already receiving the maximum amount of financial aid that we are able to offer to you. Therefore, no adjustments can be made to your FAFSA that would enable you to receive additional funds. 
  • An Approved Special Circumstance Review Request does not always result in additional financial aid assistance. This could happen if you already have a Bachelor’s Degree (BA/BS) or if your situation does not reduce your EFC enough to be within the range of eligibility for other federal grants, institutional grants, and/or scholarships. 
  • Review Requests may take more time than other processes in our office. We ask that you remain understanding and patient while we give your submission our fullest attention. Once the Review is complete you will be contacted regardless of the outcome. All communication will be through your official Student Email 
  • Incomplete forms or missing supporting documentation will delay your review. 

Required Supporting Documentation:

Depending on your circumstances, you may be required to submit the following documents*: 

  • A signed detailed explanation of the circumstances that led to your income reduction, or circumstances that have affected your household income. Be sure to include specific dates (Month/Year) and information on your current situation. If your hours were reduced, please be sure to include the number of hours currently working weekly. Specify if you are receiving any types of benefits or assistance and be sure to include documentation. 
    • If you currently have no income, you must explain how your expenses are being paid (including amounts paid on your behalf)
  • A signed copy of your 2021 Federal Tax Return (1040 form and all Schedules)
  • W-2’s and/or Schedule C/C-EZ if Self-Employed*
  • Signed letter from previous employer (on company/business letterhead) indicating start and end dates of employment
  • If reporting Income Reduction: Copy of 2 most recent pay stubs showing YTD earnings from ALL employers in 2022*
  • If reporting job loss/termination of employment, proof (or denial) of unemployment benefits from DES; if not receiving benefits, you must explain why
  • Loss or reduction of income or benefit
  • Tuition Payments for Elementary, Junior High or High School**
  • If reporting Marital status change: Appropriate court documentation indicating date of separation or divorce
    • Note: this will only be approved if it results in a change in dependency status on FAFSA
  • If reporting death of Spouse or Parent: Copy of death certificate
  • If Reporting Medical Expenses NOT paid by insurance: A signed and detailed summary totaling those expenses and receipts of payments made (must submit receipts of medical expenses paid NOT covered/reimbursed by insurance**)

*If married, include Spouse; dependent students include Parent(s)

**For the income year reported on the FAFSA 

NOTE: Additional info/doc may be requested, depending on your unique situation

Special Circumstances Review Request Form:

Use this form to report changes in the student’s (Student and Spouse if married) income:

If you are a Dependent Student, you must submit both the Student request form (above) and the Parent request form (below):

Submission Dates:

  • 2021-2022 Academic Year: 
    • Fall 2021: July 1 - November 30, 2021
    • Spring 2022:  December 1, 2021 - April 22, 2022
    • Summer 2022: April 25 - July 1, 2022
  • 2022-2023 Academic Year: 
    • Fall 2022: July 1 - November 30, 2022
    • Spring 2023:  December 1, 2022 - April 21, 2023
    • Summer 2023: April 25 - July 20, 2023

NOTE: the deadline may be earlier if students’ classes end earlier than the standard semester end date.