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Special Circumstance – EFC Calculation Appeal

At Mt. San Jacinto College, we work to ensure that financial aid is distributed equitably based on calculated financial need.  When awarding financial aid, Mt. San Jacinto College adheres to the following principles:

  • To the extent they are able, parents and students have the primary responsibility to contribute to educational expenses before MSJC awards financial aid
  • Families should contribute to educational expenses according to their ability. Those with similar financial profiles should contribute similar amounts
  • Both income and assets, including business income and assets, are part of the assessment of the parents' and applicants' ability to pay

How Your Contribution is Determined 

An Expected Family Contribution (or EFC) is calculated for all students who have completed the financial aid application process. MSJC uses this information to determine how much a family will be expected to pay toward the cost of education each year.


A family's contribution from income is based on the prior prior year to the student's entry to college (for example, if a student plans to attend MSJC in 2022-2023, we use financial information from tax year 2020). MSJC then takes a family's total income (taxed and untaxed) for the year and basic living allowances to determine financial need.

The calculation for the basic living allowance figure comes from the California Student Aid Commission, which reflects actual family spending patterns for moderate living standards. MSJC uses these standards in an effort to provide more equitable access for families of similar income levels.  The allowance will not necessarily reflect your family’s actual living expenses.

Special Circumstances 

When you complete your FAFSA application for the 2023-2024 academic year, you are required to report 2021 income informationIf you have had a drastic change in income in 2021 or 2022 due to an unforeseen or special circumstance, the Department of Education and MSJC will allow you to have your financial aid eligibility re-evaluated. 

If you have circumstances that may not be reflected in the information provided on your financial aid application, we may be able to help.  Please see the sections below on what is automatically considered in your aid award, what we can consider, what cannot be considered, and the special considerations given as a result of a job loss or reduction in income.

When determining financial aid eligibility, the following are not and will not be considered in our analysis, and therefore would not qualify as special circumstances:

Expenses related to:

  • Consumer Debt
  • Graduate school expenses for siblings and/or other family members
  • Unwillingness to contribute to educational expenses*
  • Parents voluntarily reducing income
  • Parents returning to school

* It is our expectation that families will use all resources available to them to finance the expected family contribution (EFC) including current salary, savings, investments, and/or payment plans.

Special circumstances may include but are not limited to: 

The following events may qualify for reevaluation of financial aid when finalized documentation is available regarding earnings from the prior year:

  • Death of student's spouse or parent
  • Marital Separation, Pending Divorce or Divorce
  • Unemployment or change in employment
  • Involuntary Reduction in Work Hours, Wage/Salary reduction
  • Mandatory furlough
  • Loss of Benefits or Non-recurring Income
  • High-cost medical bills not covered by insurance 
  • One-time lump sum payment in 2021 

Special Consideration for EFC Calculation Appeals

If you've experienced a significant reduction in pay due to one of the qualifying events listed above, we will reevaluate your financial aid once all earnings information from the prior tax year can be assessed. The Professional Judgment:  Special Circumstance -EFC Calculation Appeal should be submitted via Student Forms prior to April 30th, 2024.
We understand this may result in a financial burden and we will work with you to determine the best financing options available until your financial aid award can be reevaluated. Families should be aware that data must be collected from the entire household who wishes to appeal on the basis of income loss (i.e. wage statements must be received for all wage earners) to determine the net change in household income for the current aid year.

To apply for a 2023-24 Expected Family Contribution (EFC) Calculation Appeal student must meet the following:   

  • Submit your 2023-24 FAFSA application.   
  • Complete all required actions/tasks requested, if any, and receive your revised award or no award notification.   
  • Request an EFC Recalculation Appeal from the financial aid office in StudentForms.   
  • Log into your Student Forms account 
    • Select the red "Request" button at the top right of the page. A "Requests" window will open where you can add “Professional Judgment:  Special Circumstance – EFC Calculation Appeal” for the 2023-2024 academic year.  

Recalculation Appeal steps: 

  • Webform and statement 
  • Upload supporting documentation 
    • Upload a copy of your 2021 or 2022 signed Federal 1040 Tax Return or IRS Transcript and all schedules 
    • Upload any other documentation to support your appeal 
  • Once all forms are uploaded, submit the appeal for consideration 
  • You will be notified via email regarding the results of your appeal. 
    • If approved, you will receive a revised award notification via email. 

You are only able to submit one EFC Calculation Appeal per academic year. 

Please note:  You are required to meet MSJC’s Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Standards.