Special Circumstances

Appealing Your Financial Aid Award

The formula Trinity College uses to calculate your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is nationally standardized to allow for similar family contributions in similar circumstances. Because the formula is standardized, modifications might be necessary to fairly assess the expected family contribution in some individual circumstances. If your family has unique, documentable circumstances that affect your ability to contribute toward your education expenses, you may request that the Financial Aid Office reevaluate your eligibility for assistance based on those circumstances. Requests for reevaluation must be in writing and must include a detailed description of your family's unique circumstances.

Reevaluation of your financial aid eligibility is subject to federal regulations and institutional policies, and is based on:

  • availability of funds
  • timeliness of your original application for financial aid 
  • timeliness of appeal and nature of the change in circumstances
Factors We Will Consider
 
1. Loss of income, such as:
  • Involuntary loss of employment for parent for a minimum of 13 weeks (parent is terminated, fired, laid off) and, in some cases, loss of employment for student
  • Loss of income due to disabling illness or injury
  • Involuntary reduction in earned income, or reduction/elimination of child support, unemployment compensation, Social Security benefits etc.
  • Separation or divorce after the 2017-18 financial aid application is filed
  • Death of a parent


If any of these circumstances apply to your family, please send a letter or email to the Financial Aid Office detailing your situation. 

Special circumstances are defined as unique conditions that exist for an individual student, not conditions that exist for a whole class of students.  If you feel that you have other special circumstances that do not meet any of the criteria listed above, please write a letter to the Financial Aid Office, describing your financial concerns, and providing as much information as possible.

Factors We Will Not Consider
 
Lifestyle choices are not considered to be unique circumstances and adjustments to the need analysis formula will not be made to reflect these conditions, which include:

  • Student or parent credit card debt
  • Mortgage or car payments
  • Early retirement (before age 65)
  • Yearly fluctuations in income (due to loss of overtime, bonuses, etc.)
  • Parental unwillingness to support educational expenses

If you wish to expound upon existing or changing financial circumstances, please contact the Financial Aid Office.