American Rescue Plan Professional Judgment Guidance

Students with documented “Special Circumstances” that negatively affect their or their family’s financial situation could be eligible for a higher financial aid award and/or American Rescue Plan (ARP) funding. Because of COVID-19, some employers closed, reduced work hours, or furloughed employees. Some employees may not have been able to work due to illness. The SUNY Oneonta Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships may be able to review your file for Special Circumstances and adjust the amount of financial aid you receive.

If your family has experienced a change in income or expenses due to unusual special circumstances, your Financial Aid Advisor has the ability to use Professional Judgement, flexibility allowed by the U.S. Department of Education, to re-evaluate your situation. Some of the potentially eligible Special Circumstances are:

  • Loss of job or permanent/indefinite reduction of work hours
  • Reduction/loss of child support
  • High non-reimbursed medical expenses
  • One-time withdrawal from a retirement plan to help cover unusual expenses
  • Other documented special circumstances outside of the student’s control

Please email us at to connect with your Financial Aid Advisor about your family’s Special Circumstances. Make sure to include your full name and Oneonta ID number in your request for a special review. We will get back to you as quickly as possible and provide guidance on the next steps. Also, if your family has experienced other changes (such as separation or divorce, change in household size, etc.) since you filed your FAFSA, we encourage you to reach out to us.

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