Emergency Assistance & Special Circumstances

WPI’s financial aid staff is here to help you navigate the financial aid application process and to answer any questions you may have about paying for your college education. Please feel free to reach out to us, and we will help you in any way we can!

We are available for meetings in person, in our office in the Bartlett Center, virtually or by telephone. Please call 508-831-5469 or email finaid@wpi.edu for an appointment. Appointments are available Monday through Friday, between the hours of 9am and 4pm EST. Our team will be happy to help to arrange an appointment for you! 

Our phones (508-831-5469) are answered Monday through Friday between the hours of 9am and 4pm EST.

Emergency Financial Assistance

WPI has demonstrated multiple times that it is a community that cares. Funds have been established to assist our WPI community members who encounter an unforeseen financial emergency or catastrophic event. To learn more about these funds, and how to apply, please visit the Dean of Student’s website and the Financial Support & Resources page.

Special Circumstances

Special circumstances are anything that differentiates the family's finances from those of other families. Reasons for a professional judgement request may include (but are not limited to):

  • Recent unemployment
  • Recent death of wage earner
  • Recent change in marital status
  • Recent unusually high out of pocket medical expenses not reimbursed by insurance
  • Other significant, measurable, and involuntary changes in financial circumstances

    **Please note that a Professional Judgement request does not guarantee approval. In addition, even if approved, the recalculation of FAFSA data does not always result in an increase of aid eligibility. If the professional judgement is not in your favor, it will not be processed.

    If you have questions about this process, and how to request an appeal, please email finaid@wpi.edu.
Dependency Override

Most undergraduate students at WPI are considered financially dependent on their parents. This means your parents must provide their financial information on your FAFSA and CSS Profile. However, WPI recognizes that a student may be unable to contact a parent or have an unusual circumstance where contact with parents poses a risk. These circumstances may require you to request a reconsideration of your dependency status. Reviews of dependency override requests are performed on a case-by-case basis by the Office of Financial Aid for students with unusual circumstances. 

The following are examples of unusual circumstances that may warrant a dependency override:

  • Human trafficking as described in the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (22 U.S.C. 7101 et seq.)
  • Legally granted refugee or asylum status
  • Parental abandonment or estrangement
  • Incarceration of both parents
  • Abusive family environment

The following circumstances would not be considered for a dependency override:

  • Parents refuse to contribute to the student’s education
  • Parents will not provide information for the FAFSA/CSS Profile or verification
  • Parents do not claim the student as a dependent for income tax purposes
  • Student demonstrates total self-sufficiency

Please note that submission of a dependency override request is not a guarantee of an override. An approved dependency override request may or may not result in more or different types of financial aid awarded to you.

Students who feel they meet the criteria for an unusual circumstance and would like to request a dependency override should fill out the following form and submit required documentation to finaid@wpi.edu. More information about required documents are listed inside the form.