Guidelines for Requesting a Special Circumstances Review
Carleton students and/or families may request, in writing, a review of financial aid for the current academic year based on special circumstances. We assume that a request for review will be made only after the student receives their initial financial aid award.
Carleton is committed to meeting a student’s financial need based on information received on the College Board’s Profile and FAFSA submitted for the student. In addition, we try to treat each individual situation separately, but within the context of providing equitable treatment to all financial aid applicants.
We recognize that a family’s financial resources may change unexpectedly or significantly after the initial financial aid award is calculated and affect the family’s ability to contribute toward the students education expenses at Carleton. In a situation like this, the Office of Student Financial Services will conduct a thorough and personal review of the family’s individual circumstances.
Usually reviews relate to corrections or significant changes to a family’s financial condition for the upcoming year. In general, this can involve a change in number of children in college or a major change in family income or resources from one year to the next. However, there are other reasons students and families determine an aid award may be inadequate. Note that we will respond to specific reasons that appear to invalidate our initial aid decision. We will not respond to generalized requests simply for more funding.
A family may request in writing a review based on their special circumstances by completing the Request for Special Circumstances Review. This form and supporting documents should be submitted to the Office of Student Financial Services.
The request for review does not guarantee an adjustment or increase in the student’s financial aid award. During the review, the student’s account should be kept up to date in the Business Office.
Before submitting your review request, please note the following:
- Review your current financial aid award.
- Review your student account on The Hub – are all components (grants, loans and applicable outside aid) posting to your student account appropriately.
- Review the information submitted on your College Board Profile and FAFSA for accuracy.
- Carleton expects students to contribute a minimum of $2,000 each year toward their educational expenses.
- Student employment earnings are paid directly to the student. Arrangements can be made to credit earnings to the student’s account.
Other worksheets you may find helpful:
- Household Budget Worksheet - may allow you to better describe the expenses you and your family are facing while paying for Carleton. It will also allow us more detailed information about your household cash flow.
- Estimate Income Worksheet - use if you anticipate significant changes in your income for the coming year. Please note that the basis for our aid award is usually the previous year income.
Submit your Request for Special Circumstances Review and supporting documents to:
Director of Student Financial Services
1 North College Street
Northfield, MN 55057