Circumstances That May Justify a Professional Judgment
Professional judgment is an opportunity for the parent, student, or the University to account for exceptions in certain areas that might allow more financial aid eligibility. The goal of Professional Judgment is to consider whether current circumstances are hindering a student from receiving adequate financial assistance.
Following are some examples of reasons for which a student and/or parent may request a Professional Judgment, but these are not the only reasons why Professional Judgment may be appropriate:
- Job loss or income reduction
- Illness or death of a spouse
- Medical and dental expenses not covered by insurance
- Unusually high child/dependent care expenses
- Parents enrolled in college
- Elementary and secondary school tuition
- Early distribution from retirement plans
- Loss of benefit
- Roth IRA rollovers
- Male students who failed to register for Selective Service
- Dependency override
Limits on the use of Professional Judgment
Professional Judgment may not be used to modify the EFC formula tables used in the EFC calculation.
Processing Requests for Professional Judgment
Students are required to submit a request for Professional Judgment review to the Financial Aid Office.
All requests for the use of Professional Judgment are considered on a case-by-case basis and documented in detail in the student’s file. If an adjustment is made, documentation includes the reason for the adjustment and how it relates to the special circumstances that have arisen.
Professional Judgment may be applied to adjust either the cost of attendance in the student budget or a data element in the ISIR. If the data element in the ISIR is adjusted, the University will use the resulting EFC consistently for all federal student aid funds awarded to undergraduate students.
An aid administrator’s decision regarding adjustments is final and cannot be appealed.