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Professional Judgement refers to the school’s authority to make adjustments, on a case-by-case basis, to information reported on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) so that the Department of Education can recalculate the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The EFC is the number that the school uses to determine if a student is eligible for need based financial aid.

PLEASE NOTE: The school does not have the authority to make direct adjustments to the EFC or the formula used to calculate the EFC, just data elements on the FAFSA which may change the EFC.

Policies are in place to provide consistent decisions for student applications concerning special circumstances which may or may not affect the student's eligibility for financial aid.

Examples of special circumstances are as follows:

  • Unusual medical and dental expenses (expenses which exceed 7.5% of Adjusted Gross Income)
  • Support of extended family
  • Private elementary and secondary school costs; childcare and dependent care costs
  • Unusual debts
  • Income reduction or non-recurring income
  • Divorce or death of parent
  • Dependency status

NOTE: Documentation must be provided in all cases to be reviewed. The use of professional judgement is neither limited to nor required for the situations mentioned.

All cases will be reviewed by a financial aid administrator. To determine eligibility for special circumstances, contact the Financial Aid Office.