Professional Judgment Procedure

The Financial Aid Director has the authority to exercise professional judgment, both before and after a student is awarded. Professional judgment may not be used to change the needs analysis formula (Cost of Attendance – Financial Resources = Need). The following are examples of items that may qualify for a professional judgment: 

  • Adjustment to cost of attendance based on documented additional expenses
  • Unusual medical or dental expenses not covered by insurance or accounted for in the need analysis formula under the Income Protection Allowance
  • Change in household size or dependents
  • Unusually high child care expenses
  • Unemployment (income reduction)
  • Dependency status override due to abusive family relationships
  • Elementary or secondary tuition paid by the family
  • Natural disasters that impact the family’s income or assets

To request that aid be reviewed due to these or similar circumstances, the student must write a letter explaining in detail the reason for the request. Appropriate documentation will be required and will be suitable for the circumstance. For example, if a student is claiming excessive medical expenses, he/she may be required to produce a statement from their insurance company outlining claims and payments. Students will be notified of what reasonable documentation they will need to produce after the written appeal has been reviewed. 

The student must be enrolled for the term in which the request for professional judgment is made. Requests must be received by the Financial Aid Office two weeks prior to the last day of classes before finals of the current semester. All decisions are made on a case-by-case basis after reviewing the student’s individual circumstances.  The student should be aware that while the university attempts to make a final decision promptly, there may be instances where additional information is required which may delay the decision.