Professional Judgment

Professional Judgment Information Statement

In accordance with federal regulations, the Financial Aid Office may take into account a student's special circumstances to make adjustments to a student's: expected family contribution for educational expenses, and/or financial aid dependency status as determined by federal guidelines. These adjustments only affect need-based aid.

Adjustments must be reasonable and documented, and the institution is held accountable for decisions made. Students requesting consideration for either of these categories of adjustments should complete the Income Adjustment Form or the Dependency Status Override Form. The form should be signed and submitted with required documentation to the Financial Aid Office. Professional Judgment forms are located in the Financial Aid Office.

Students requesting consideration for professional judgments must make an appointment with the Financial Aid Office for review. All documents must be submitted for review. Incomplete Forms will not be evaluated and all decisions are final.

Income Adjustment

You must submit a personal written request regarding your situation. Only the loss or significant change in a parent's income is considered; a dependent's income is not considered when reviewing a request for an income adjustment. Proof of prior year income and current year expected income is required.

Dependency Status Override

You must submit a personal written request regarding your situation

Parental unwillingness or inability to assist a student with their educational expenses does not relieve their obligation or responsibility, nor does it constitute independence on the student's part.

The choice made by the student to move out of their parent's home and be financially independent from them does not constitute independence for the purpose of financial aid. If the student can meet the following criteria a Dependency Status Override Form must be completed.

  1. Severe Estrangement from parents. Examples include abandonment, parental drug/ alcohol abuse, parental mental incapacity, physical or emotional abuse, parental incarceration (written statements from at least two professional adults must document any of these examples). Professional adults would include teachers, clergy, guidance counselors, law enforcement officials, or doctors. These statements must be signed and dated. If the statements are NOT on business letterhead the statement must have an attached business card.
  2. You are divorced after being married for at least two years and maintained a residence apart from your former spouse during the time you were married, and you now maintain a separate residence from your parents and pay ALL expenses from your own income and assets.