Income Adjustment

What Is an Income Adjustment?

An Income Adjustment is considered when significant changes in income have occurred to a student and/or parents (if dependent), and as a result the income information reported on the FAFSA no longer accurately reflects the student’s and/or family’s ability to contribute toward the student’s education as they could before. The process involves the review of supporting income, asset, and other relevant documentation to determine how to adjust the data elements on the FAFSA to more accurately reflect the current financial circumstances.

A Note Regarding Changes to your Financial Situation due to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Students who experience a loss in income based on the COVID-19 pandemic may qualify for additional federal student assistance.  When completing the FAFSA, a student reports income information from two years prior.  If you have had a loss in income and previously did not qualify for a Federal Pell Grant, you may be eligible for additional funds based on an income adjustment.  Possible circumstances may include unemployment, death of a wage-earner (parent, if dependent; spouse, if independent), divorce, and loss of untaxed income (such as child support). A review of your circumstance will require income and substantiating support documentation for the circumstance. See below for more detailed information about the Income Adjustment Appeal process.

What Are the Qualifying Conditions for an Appeal?

At Brooklyn College, an Income Adjustment appeal may be considered for a student (independent or dependent) and/or to the parent(s) of a dependent student when the following conditions exist:

  • A significant loss of income has occurred due to a period of unemployment, termination of current employment, change of jobs, or a reduction of wages or hours from current employment.
  • Money was earned during the tax year information used on the FAFSA. However, money could no longer be earned after that tax year due to disability or natural disaster that occurred after the relevant tax year.
  • A student (if independent) or parents (if dependent) separated or divorced after filing the FAFSA.
  • A student’s (if independent) or parent’s (if dependent) spouse has died after the FAFSA was filed.
  • A student and/or parent previously received unemployment compensation or a type of untaxed income or benefit but have since completely lost that income or benefit. The untaxed income or benefit must be from a public or private agency, from a company, or from a person because of a court order.

For Dependent Students Only

When you filed your FAFSA, you were a dependent student. After you filed, your FAFSA your marital status changed from single to married.

Learn About the Appeal Process

If you have questions about whether or not you may be considered for a special circumstance appeal, refer to our Special Circumstance Appeal Process webpage and schedule an appointment with your financial aid adviser.

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