Special or Unusual Circumstances

Important Notice: 

Due to system delays at the federal government level, we are currently experiencing significant delays in processing special or unusual circumstance appeals. We understand the critical importance of financial aid for your education and anticipate that processing will begin sometime in late June.

We appreciate your patience and understanding during this time.


At Southern, we understand that every student's financial situation is different and that the FAFSA is not always the most accurate representation of your current situation. We want you to know that we are here to help, so if any of the following apply to you, be sure to let us know.

Special Circumstances:

  • Significant changes in family income such as job loss or loss of benefits
  • Divorce or legal separation
  • Large medical or dental expenses not covered by insurance

Unusual Circumstances:

  • Recent death of a parent
  • Inability to add parents to the FAFSA due to abuse, neglect, unknown parentage, etc.
  • Parental refusal to provide information
    • (Will qualify for an Unsubsidized Direct Loan only)
  • Homelessness or at risk of being homeless (self supporting plus lacking fixed and adequate housing)

We are pleased to announce we have established a partnership with Inceptia to guide students and parents through the financial aid appeal process.

Professional Judgement (PJ)/Financial Aid Appeal Process

Use the PJ Advisor portal to expedite the financial aid appeal process. PJ Advisor is an accessible, intuitive tool that will guide you through the process to request a professional judgement/appeal.

Please note the deadline for submitting an appeal is 5.1.2025.

What Happens Next?

Start your request by accessing PJ Advisor at https://inceptia.org/pjadvisor/southernct2025. You (or a parent, spouse, or legal guardian) will need to do the following*:

  • Create a secure user name and password.
  • Select your dependency status as reported on the FAFSA.
  • Answer the pre-screening questions and select your appeal category.
  • Explain your situation in detail, upload supporting documentation, and submit.
  • Print, sign, and upload the signature page.

*Dependent students that provided parental information on the FAFSA are required to have one parent signature on the signature page once all documentation has been submitted.

Upon receipt of all required documents, Southern Connecticut State University will conduct a preliminary review to ensure the submission is accurate and complete. You will be notified via email if there are any questions or if any additional documentation is required. Once the submission is verified as complete, the Financial Aid Office will review for final determination and contact you with the results.


If you have any questions about the appeal process, please contact: SCSU Financial Aid Office 203-392-5222

About Inceptia

Inceptia, a nonprofit organization, provides innovation and leadership in higher education access and success through engaging and empowering students and streamlining processes. Our mission is to support schools in illuminating a path towards educational and financial success for students and families, allowing them to pursue their dreams of reaching their full potential. Our solutions are designed to support student success by helping schools maximize resources, so they can spend more time delivering meaningful learning experiences across the student lifecycle that fosters education and personal development.


Please check here for additional resources: https://inside.southernct.edu/basic-needs-resources