Special Condition Application

What is the Special Condition Application (SCA)?

While the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is intended to determine the amount a family can reasonably be expected to pay toward a student's college costs, circumstances occasionally arise that make the FAFSA data an inaccurate picture of family resources. The SCA allows us to evaluate your current financial circumstances with the possibility of increasing your aid.

Examples of special conditions that may be reviewed:

  • Retirement of dependent student's parent
  • Death of dependent student's parent
  • Parent's loss of employment
  • Reduction of untaxed income (child support or Social Security income)
  • High unreimbursed medical expenses in the base year (the tax year reported on your FAFSA)
  • Circumstances that may complicate your dependency status
  • Additional education expenses not already included in the standard budget, such as child care for a child or dependent, computer costs, travel for educational conferences, study abroad or additional coursework.

How to request an SCA

Contact an advisor at the Office of Financial Aid to discuss whether you might benefit from completing an SCA, which requires substantial documentation on your part.

When to complete an SCA

Except in the case of a dependency override, you should wait until you have received your first MSU financial aid award notification. If the aid you are offered is not sufficient and you believe you have extenuating circumstances, call our office and ask to speak to an advisor about your special condition(s). If you believe you qualify for a dependency override, contact the Office of Financial Aid before filing the FAFSA.

SCA filing deadline

You must submit your SCA no later than February 1 of the aid year for which you are applying; for instance, February 1, 2023 for the 2022-23 aid year.