When you complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the government requires that you report information from two years prior. Circumstances can drastically change in two years affecting your ability to pay for your education. As a result, you may be eligible for a Professional Judgment.
Professional Judgment refers to the school’s authority to make adjustments, on a case- by-case basis, to information reported on the FAFSA so that the Department of Education can recalculate the Expected Family Contribution (EFC).The purpose of Professional Judgment is to determine an EFC that reflects a family’s current financial situation.
A Professional Judgment can be requested when a family has experienced any of the following situations:
Reduction or loss of income
Reduction or loss of nontaxable income
Death of a parent or spouse
Exceptional medical/dental expenses
Other unusual circumstances
To request a Professional Judgment, you should:
- Contact the Financial Aid Office on your campus. Getting a better understanding of your circumstances will help us assist you with available options. If a Professional Judgment is warranted, we will provide you with the appropriate forms.
- When submitting a Professional Judgment request, be sure to complete all required sections of the form(s) and submit all appropriate documentation as indicated.
- Once a decision is made, you will be notified of the determination along with any changes that are reflected in the financial aid award for the year. In some cases, an adjustment does not increase the student’s eligibility for grants or the total amount of aid awarded.