The FAFSA requests the prior year's income information and does not give the student the opportunity to explain a circumstance that could affect his or her ability to pay for college. Therefore, under federal law, financial aid administrators have been given the authority through "Professional Judgment" to take some circumstances into account and make changes to a student's official Expected Family Contribution (EFC).
If your EFC is $0, you may have already been awarded the maximum available aid. Please contact the financial aid office to discuss if a Professional Judgment would still benefit you.
Special circumstances can refer to any financial situation that is not addressed in the application process.
The following list includes common special circumstances in which professional judgment may apply:
Please note that the financial aid office is not limited to these circumstances, nor are we required to use professional judgment for these circumstances. We highly recommend coming in and speaking to one of our financial aid counselors.
Most students entering a postsecondary school straight from high school are considered financially dependent on their parents. This means their parents must provide their financial information on the FAFSA. In some circumstances, the financial aid office can change a student's FAFSA status from dependent to independent in situations where providing parental information may be difficult for the student.
The following are examples of circumstances that may considered for a dependency override:
The following circumstances would not be considered for a dependency override:
Note: If you are unable to provide your parents information on the FAFSA and do not meet any of the criteria above, please contact the financial aid office for additional information.
The special circumstances form is available on the Financial Aid forms page
Please allow approximately three weeks once all documentation is received for a decision to be made. If additional documentation is requested the processing time may be extended.