Professional Judgment

The FAFSA Simplification Act helped to distinguishes between different categories of professional judgments:

  • Special Circumstances refer to financial situations (loss of a job, divorce, or separation, etc.) that justify an aid administrator adjusting data elements in the COA or in the EFC calculation.
  • Unusual Circumstances refer to the conditions that justify an aid administrator making an adjustment to a student’s dependency status based on a unique situation (e.g., human trafficking, refugee or asylee status, parental abandonment, incarceration), more commonly referred to as a dependency override.

All requests for a professional judgment (PJ) will be submitted to the Director of Financial Aid (DOFA). The DOFA will review and either approve or deny the professional judgment request. Professional judgments will be conducted on a case-by-case basis. All circumstances will be considered on a case-by-case basis for conditions that differentiate an individual from a defined group of students, rather than for conditions that exist across a group of students.

Your EMS can assist you in getting the correct form to complete.


Questions About Admissions?
Contact the Office of Admissions at (602) 489-5300