Professional Judgment


A Professional judgment is used to take into consideration factors which have not been reflected on the FAFSA. The professional judgment may either increase or decrease data elements used to calculate a student’s EFC.

If you think some aspect of your financial situation was overlooked that would affect an evaluation of your need, you are entitled to an appeal. Professional Judgment forms are available online on the Documents and Forms Page, click here. Complete and submit all appeal documentation to the Office of Student Financial Aid. We will make every effort to reply to your appeal within 10 business days. Replies may take longer during peak processing times. Section 479A of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, authorizes the Director of Student Financial Services to use professional judgment, on a case-by-case basis for students with “special circumstances” that affect a family’s ability to pay for a college education that is not reflected in the information provided on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The FAFSA is designed to determine a family’s ability to pay for higher education by calculating the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) amount. The EFC is a measure of how much the student and his or her family can be expected to contribute to the cost of the student’s education for the year. The information provided on the FAFSA is used to calculate the EFC.