SCC Financial Aid recognize that student and family situations can change, and those changes are not always reflected on your application for aid. SCC is committed to ensuring we are equitably packaging aid and therefore to ensure our students have the resources they need to be successful; our aid administrators can review certain situations to see if your aid can be adjusted in certain situations.
Your educational expenses may be more than the standard Cost of Attendance used to determine your aid package. If you have documentation to support these expenses, (for example: Tools, Uniforms) you may request an adjustment to your cost of attendance – A Budget Adjustment.
Change in Financial Circumstances
The FAFSA application is based on prior-prior year income information. At times this does not reflect the current situation of students and their families. SCC Financial Aid Administrators can make professional judgements to update income information if certain situations apply and it will benefit the student’s aid package.
If any of the below apply please complete a request for a Professional Judgement form found on the SCC website. Submit the form along with any required documents to the financial aid department.
- Divorce or Separation of a Spouse or Parent
- Death of a Family Member
- Extraordinary Medical Expenses Paid Out of Pocket
- One Time Income
- Parent(s) in college
- Reduction or Loss in Earnings or Income
Change in Dependency Status
Financial Aid regulations state that students under the age of 24 are required to provide both student and parent information and signatures on the FAFSA application unless certain situations apply. Family dynamics and situations do not always fit into these dependency status boxes, and therefore the financial aid office can make changes in dependency status for students under 24 if unusual circumstances apply. To find out if this would apply to you and your family situation read the below information or connect with our friendly financial aid staff!
Please note, the situations listed below can NOT be considered as a qualifying unusual circumstance that would allow for a dependency change:
- Parents refuse to contribute to the student’s education.
- Parents are unwilling to provide information on the FAFSA or for paperwork if selected for verification.
- A student is not financially supported by parents or living with parents
- A student is not claimed on parents’ income taxes
What is the Dependency Change process?
If you feel that you will qualify for a dependency change due to unusual circumstances, please contact the SCC financial aid office by emailing us at email@example.com or call us at 509-533-7017 to obtain the form and discuss next steps. All students applying for the first time without parent information will need to have in mind of two adult references that can attest to the unusual circumstances as to why you may be unable to provide parental information on your FAFSA.
The following documents are required when completing a Dependency Change with SCC:
- Completed Dependency Change Form with all questions completed and signed by the student
- A letter of affidavit from a responsible adult in your life, with contact information, that can attest to the unusual situation that would warrant a dependency change. Examples of such adults are, but not limited to:
- High School Counselors
- Medical and/or mental health professionals
- Any other documentation that would help to make a determination for a dependency change (court documents, death certificates, police reports, etc.)
Unaccompanied Homeless Youth
The College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007 (CCRAA) expanded the definition of "independent student" to include youth who are 1) unaccompanied and homeless, or 2) unaccompanied, self-support, and at-risk of homeless at any time during the award year in which they submit the FAFSA. The CCRAA uses the McKinney-Vento Act's definitions of
- "homeless" which, includes youth who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence. It also uses "at-risk of homelessness" to refer to students whose housing may cease to be fixed, regular, and adequate.
- "unaccompanied" which includes youth not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian.
The U.S. Department of Education has defined "youth" to mean 24 or younger.
If you do not have an unaccompanied homeless youth determination but believe you qualify for one, please contact the financial aid office for more information.
Foster Youth are individuals who were in foster care or a ward of the court for any length of time after turning 13. Foster Youth and Unaccompanied Homeless Youth that are Washington residents may be eligible for the Passport to Careers program along with federal aid. This program provides a funding resource for Washington state, federal, or tribal foster students or for students who have experienced unaccompanied homelessness in the last school year. For more information on the program or eligibility requirements visit the Washington Student Achievement Council’s website.
You may be eligible to receive:
- A scholarship for tuition and other living expenses for up to five years of education.
- Priority consideration for others grants and work study programs.
- Other personal support services.