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Special Circumstance and American Rescue Plan Act

Student Accounts recently released the Spring 2022 American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 grants to eligible students.  Please refer to https://sunyorange.edu/heerf-funding/ for more information.  You are not required to complete a Special Circumstance Request to receive these funds.  However, if you did have a change in income, then please refer to the information below.

In response to the Covid-19 Pandemic, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP) requires institutions receiving Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (HEERF) to conduct direct outreach to its financial aid applicants and inform them of the opportunity to receive a financial aid adjustment due to significant changes in the student or family member’s financial situation. SUNY Orange has partnered with ED Financial Services  ​to assist with our outreach.  If you receive an email and/or phone call from this service, this is not a scam or spam. 

Students and their families may have experienced unforeseen circumstances and/or expenses during the past academic year due to Covid-19 or other circumstances beyond their control.  Students with documented ‘Special Circumstances’ that negatively affects you/your family’s financial situation could be eligible for an adjustment to the original data provided on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and your financial aid eligibility.

For example, because of COVID-19 some employers have shut down, reduced work hours, or furloughed employees. Some students or parents may not have been able to work due to illness. Your campus Financial Aid Office will be able to review your special circumstances and possibly adjust the amount of financial aid you receive or would have received.

If your family has experienced a change in income due to unusual or extenuating circumstances, the SUNY Orange Financial Aid Office can use professional judgement, and U.S. Department of Education guided flexibility, to re-evaluate your situation for the following reasons:

  • Loss of job or permanent/indefinite reduction of work hours
  • Separation or divorce
  • Personal bankruptcy that occurs during the current financial aid year
  • Death of a member of your immediate family
  • Reduction/loss of child support
  • High non-reimbursed medical expenses
  • Parents took money out of their pension/retirement plan as a one-time payment to help cover expenses
  • Other documented special circumstances outside of the student’s control

**Supporting documentation is required for all special circumstance requests.  All tax documentation must be signed**

If you would like to apply for a Special Circumstance, please visit the link below:


Please note:  Federal financial aid appeal decisions (Special Circumstances) are rendered on a case-by-base basis at the discretion of the campus, based on guidance provided by the U.S. Department of Education. All decisions are final. Every effort will be made by SUNY Orange assist students in need. Once a student submits their Special Circumstance Application and supporting documentation they will be informed of a decision within 7 to 10 business days.

Students with a 0 Expected Family Contribution (EFC) whose personal or family income has deteriorated due to Covid-19 can, with documentation, be considered for an adjustment to their Cost of Attendance (COA) budget which could potentially result in additional aid.  Please contact our office for additional information. 

If you have additional questions, please contact us.  Remember to include the Student Name and ID # on all documentation and communications.  Please make sure you have completed a Proxy Authorization and FERPA Record Release.

Email:        finaid@sunyorange.edu
Phone:      845-341-4190
Hours:       Monday-Thursday (Phone, Email, In-person, Live Chat):  9am to 5pm
                   Fridays (Email & Live Chat Only): 9am to 5pm.