American Rescue Act Special Circumstance Guidance

UG Students Only

Students with documented ‘Special Circumstances’ that negatively affects you/your family’s financial situation- such as state unemployment receipts- could be eligible for a financial aid adjustment of higher financial aid award. For example, because of COVID-19 some employers have shut down, reduced work hours, furloughed employees and others may not have been able to work due to illness. Your campus financial aid office may be able to review your special circumstances to adjust the amount of financial aid you receive or would have received.

If your family has experienced a change in income due to unusual, special circumstances, your campus financial aid office has Professional Judgement and U.S. Department of Education guided flexibility to re-evaluate your situation for the following reasons:

  • Loss of job or permanent/indefinite reduction of work hours
  • Separation or divorce
  • Personal bankruptcy that occurs during the current financial aid year
  • Death of a member of your immediate family
  • Reduction/loss of child support
  • High non-reimbursed medical expense.
  • Your parents took money out of their pension/retirement plan as a one-time payment to help cover expenses
  • Other documented special circumstances outside of the student’s control

If you would like to apply for an American Rescue ACT Special Circumstance please click on the link below and download the form. Please remember the appropriate documentation as stated on the form to support your Special Circumstance. You may email all the required documentation to 

The online form is coming soon. Keep checking this page for the live form.

Financial Aid Special Circumstance Appeal Form

Please note: Although Federal Financial aid appeal decisions (Special Circumstances) are at the discretion of the campus and are based on guidance provided by the U.S. Department of Education and are completed on a case-by-case basis with all decisions considered final, SUNY Downstate is compelled to make every effort to assist students in need. Once a student submits their special circumstance form they will be informed of a decision within 7–10 business days.

Contact Information:

Location: 450 Clarkson Ave, MSC 110 Brooklyn, NY 11203
Hours: Mon-Fri, 9:00am – 4:00pm