The Special Conditions Application is available for students and their families who have already completed a FAFSA and there has been a change to the student, parent, or spouse’s financial information. The U.S. Department of Education allows financial aid administrators to determine which conditions warrant further review. There are limitations to what conditions financial aid administrators can consider. To remain equitable, our office will review all applications on a case-by-case basis.

The Following Items are Considered for Special Conditions:

  • Loss of job/reduction in income
  • Reduced earnings due to disability or natural disaster
  • Loss of benefits or untaxed income
  • Divorce or separation of parents or student listed on the current FAFSA since completion
  • Death of a parent or spouse listed on the current FAFSA since completion
  • Farm or farm-related conditions
  • Medical/dental expenses not paid by insurance
  • Cost of dependent care expenses and/or the cost of private elementary or high school, if medically or psychological necessity

As part of the application, you, your spouse, and/or your parent(s) will be asked to estimate your income and possibly your expenses for the current year. If you underestimate your projected income or overestimate your projected expenses, it may be decided that a subsequent appeal will not be reviewed, and/or you may be required to pay back financial aid that was received as a result of substantially incorrect estimations. When estimating income, please include all sources of potential income for the year, including but not limited to wages, bonuses, severance, unemployment, disability, etc.

The Review Process

Make sure you include all applicable documentation to support your special condition. Documentation submitted with your application will not be released back to the student or family; as a result, please do not submit original copies of documents. A copy of the original document will be sufficient for the review of the Special Conditions Application. Preferred documentation is listed on the application.

The review process can take four to six weeks to complete depending on the receipt of a completed application, requests for additional information, and the time of year the application is submitted.

When our office receives the application, an advisor will contact the student and/or parent via email if any additional information or clarification is needed. The advisor will also be in contact with the student and/or parent once the application review is completed.

Not all application reviews will warrant a change to the student’s original financial aid offer. Any changes to the student’s financial aid offer will depend on when our office is notified of the change, the impact on the student’s financial need, and funding levels at the time the application is completed.

The decision made by the Office of Student Financial Aid Special Conditions advisor is final and cannot be appealed to the school or the U.S. Department of Education.


Refer to the FAFSA Dependency page to determine if you are a dependent or independent student.

For changes in financial circumstances that occur or have occurred in 2023, and the student will be enrolled at Iowa State University for the Fall 2023 / Spring 2024 academic year, please complete the 2023-2024 Special Conditions Application.

Please allow for additional processing time for applications submitted between May and September.



Yes. If there is a subsequent change after the initial application is completed, our office will consider another application.

A financial aid advisor will contact the student and/or parent to request completed or further documentation. If the requested documentation is not received by our office, the application review will not be completed.

Four to six weeks for normal processing time.
-Times vary depending on how efficiently our office received completed documentation.
-Processing time may be longer during the months of June, July and August due to high volume.
-The student and/or parent will be contacted via email or postal mail when the review is complete.

The required application depends on the student’s dependency status as determined by the FAFSA.

-A parent of a dependent student should complete the Parent Special Conditions Application if the change pertains to the parent(s).
-An independent student (not required to submit parental data on the FAFSA) should complete the Independent Student Special Conditions Application if the change pertains to the student or student’s spouse.
-A dependent student (required to submit parental data on the FAFSA) should complete the Dependent Student Special Conditions Application if the change pertains to the student.