Special Condition and Professional Judgment

The information contained on this page is specific to Empire State University students.

Please note that if your EFC (Expected Family Contribution) is already zero, you should not complete the special condition application, since completing this form would not result in any additional aid.

Several specific circumstances exist that allow current year expected income instead of previous year income to be used to calculate a student's eligibility for a federal Pell grant. These conditions accommodate certain situations where a family's financial circumstances would be worse in the application year than in the previous year.

Expected year income or adjusted base year income will be used in a student's Pell grant eligibility calculation only if the student (or student's parent if dependent) meets a specific special condition. Students should provide appropriate documentation. The Financial Aid office's decision is final and cannot be appealed to the Department of Education.

Examples of Special Circumstances:

  • loss of employment
  • loss of earnings due to disability or natural disaster
  • loss of untaxed income or benefit
  • separation or divorce
  • death
  • substantial change in income
  • one-time source of income
  • unusual medical expenses
  • secondary and elementary tuition expenses


Special Condition Application: If you feel that you meet one of the criteria above and can document your claim, you can complete and submit a Special Condition Application online. After submitting the online application, you will need to submit documentation of your special circumstance to the Financial Aid office.