Facebook Pixel Aid Eligibility Recalculation | Western Kentucky University


Aid Eligibility Recalculation

The Department of Student Financial Assistance is aware students and families may have unusual circumstances where their financial situations may not accurately represented by the FAFSA. Below are a few types of adjustments that could be made to eligible students should their personal circumstances warrent some sort of federal aid recalculation. 


Dependency Override


Federal financial aid regulations assume that the family has the primary responsibility in meeting the educational costs of students. Occasionally, due to unusual circumstances affecting the parent-child relationship, students may not be able to file the FAFSA as a dependent. If you feel you have an unusual circumstance that may qualify you to become independent of your parents for financial aid purposes, please contact the individual listed at the bottom of this web page. All students are screened for potential eligibility prior to being allowed access to the application for Dependency Override.


In particular, the following circumstances DO NOT merit a dependency override, either alone or in combination:

  • Parents refuse to contribute to the student's education;
  • Parents are unwilling to provide information on the application or for verification;
  • Parents do not claim the student as a dependent for income tax purposes;
  • Student demonstrates total self-sufficiency.

Note that all of these circumstances are largely discretionary in nature. A student cannot become independent just because the parents are unwilling to help pay for the student's college education.

Although these circumstances are not sufficient for a dependency override, they do not preclude it. Sometimes there are additional circumstances that occur in conjunction with these circumstances that do merit a dependency override.

Students will be asked to complete an Appeal for Independent Status and to submit documentation supporting their claim of unusual circumstance. This documentation will include, but may not be limited to:

  • A letter from the student describing his/her circumstance in detail, along with a FAFSA form completed with student information only.
  • Letters from two adults serving the student in professional capacities (i.e., pastor, teacher, counselor), who are aware of the student's situation. Copies of appropriate court documentation are also acceptable to support your petition.
  • Signed copy of most recently filed Federal Tax Return, if applicable, showing the student filed taxes independently.
  • Other documentation of how the student has provided for his/her own basic needs (shelter, food, clothing, transportation, medical care, etc.).

Questions concerning the Dependency Override process should be emailed to Katie Carpenter in the Department of Student Financial Assistance: katie.carpenter@wku.edu

Income/financial hardship does not constitute an unusual circumstance, and parent(s') inability or unwillingness to pay is not a reason to apply for a dependency override (as stated in DCL GEN-93-11, May 1993). The request for dependency override falls under regulations dealing with professional judgment [Higher Education Act, sec. 479A(a)] and must be reviewed by a committee to ensure regulatory compliance. Therefore, the committee's decision is final and cannot be appealed.



Professional Judgement
FAFSA Re-Calculation

The FAFSA is a great way to estimate a family’s ability to pay for college. However, WKU Office of Student Financial Assistance recognizes that students may experience life changes that affect their ability to pay. As a result of those changes, the FAFSA doesn’t reflect the student’s present financial situation. The federal government allows WKU to review situations on a case-by-case basis and reevaluate a student’s financial aid. 

Situations that may qualify for a review:

  • Job loss
  • Loss of benefits (e.g. child support or social security)
  • Private school tuition
  • Unusually high medical/dental expenses paid out-of-pocket
  • Change in marital status
  • Death of a family member whose income is listed on the FAFSA     

The situations listed below, while not inclusive, cannot be considered for reevaluation:

  • Mortgage payments
  • Utility payments
  • Car payments
  • Credit card debt
  • Vacation expenses
  • Tithing expenses

If you have a FAFSA on file with WKU, you may request a reevaluation by contacting one of our financial aid counselors to discuss your situation. Completion of a Special Circumstances Form does not guarantee that you will be approved or become eligible for additional aid. Please keep in mind that it may take several weeks to complete the reevaluation process. In the meantime, you will be responsible for payments due to the university while the form is being processed.


Homelessness or At Risk of Homelessness

Students experiencing homelessness or who are at risk of becoming homeless may qualify for re-examination of their federal aid.

If a student is homeless or is at risk for becoming homeless, the Department of Student Financial Assistance can work with the student to determine if the student's federal aid eligibility can re re-evaluated.

Any student experiencing homelessness or is at risk of being homeless should contact the Department of Student Financial Assistance for assistance with their federal aid.

Student Financial Assistance

317 Potter Hall
Western Kentucky University
1906 College Heights Blvd. #11018
Bowling Green, KY 42101-1018

Phone: 270-745-2755

Fax: 270-745-6586

Email: fa.help@wku.edu

Some of the links on this page may require additional software to view.

 Last Modified 1/4/24