If you (the student) or your parent(s) (if you are a Dependent undergraduate student) are experiencing extenuating circumstances, it may warrant a professional judgment. A professional judgment is when a financial aid administrator adjusts the student's Cost of Attendance (COA) or the data used to calculate their Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on a case-by-case basis.
The U.S. Department of Education permits financial aid administrators to exercise professional judgment to assist students and their families who are experiencing Special Circumstances, referring to financial situations such as unemployment, medical expenses not covered by insurance, daycare costs, elder care, or private tuition for elementary or secondary education costs. If this is your situation, we may be able to assist you.
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) asks for prior-prior year's income information to determine a student's financial need. Your current financial situation may warrant replacing that year's information with the current year's income projections. With the submission of proper supporting documentation (tax returns, W2s, etc.), we may exercise the authority in making appropriate changes that reflect your family's true financial status.
Dependent students whose parents refuse to contribute to their education expenses are not eligible for a dependency override, however, a financial aid administrator may conduct a dependency override on a case-by-case basis for students with unusual circumstances. Unusual Circumstances refer to the conditions that justify an aid administrator adjusting 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.
You are not able to make changes to your FAFSA regarding your income or dependency status changes yourself.
If you have any questions you may contact the Financial Aid Office via email by using our Financial Aid Contact Form. You may also visit one of our Solution Center locations on your home campus or contact our office by phone at (877) 672-1830, to discuss your circumstances and receive guidance on maximizing financial aid.