The Use of Professional Judgment
The Department of Education allows Financial Aid Administrators to consider changes to certain data reported on the FAFSA that is used in the calculation of the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) to better represent the household's current status.
These changes can only be considered when special circumstances suggest the original EFC may not represent the current ability of the individual or family to pay for the costs of attending college.
Actual adjustment of data that might result in decreasing the EFC must be based on well documented changes in individual or family circumstances.
Dependency status adjustments can be considered when unusual circumstances apply, such as, abandonment by parents, an abusive family environment that threatens the student's health or safety or unable to locate parents.
Dependency status adjustments can only be considered by well documented circumstances.
Original data supplied by the applicant on the FAFSA must be accurate before any consideration for adjustment can be made.
A request for a special consideration is initiated by submitting a Professional Judgment appeal form with all supporting documents attached. Additional information may be requested by the Financial Aid Office. No decision will be made until all requested documents are received. The appeal form is available at: Financial Aid Forms.
Making a request does not ensure the request can be approved.
Professional Judgment approvals are valid for the current year.
Transfer students who have been approved for a Professional Judgment at their prior school must submit a Professional Judgment Appeal with all supporting documents.