Financial Aid

My circumstances/finances have changed since I completed my FAFSA...what do I do?

You may be eligible to file a Professional Judgment Form if you have special circumstances.

A Professional Judgment allows the Financial Aid Office to review unusual/special circumstances which have changed the financial situation for the student. Such things as having paid high medical expenses, changes in income, or changes in household size may be considered in these cases. With the exception of a Dependency Override Request, your file will be automatically selected for Verification upon receipt of your Professional Judgment Form. The Verification process must be completed before your Professional Judgment will be fully processed.

What changes might qualify me for a Professional Judgment as a dependent student (parental information required on FAFSA)?

  • I cannot provide my parents financial information.
    • You may qualify for a Dependency Override if:
      • You have no contact with your parents
      • You have left home for safety reasons
      • You don’t know where your parents live
    • You may qualify to receive only unsubsidized loan funds if they simply refuse to provide the information.
  • My parent(s) or I have had a loss or change of income.
    • You may qualify for an income adjustment if the change is substantial.
    • If your EFC (Expected Family Contribution) is zero, you already qualify for the maximum award.  Therefore, a Professional Judgment would not be necessary.
  • My parent(s) or I have extreme medical and/or dental expenses not covered by insurance.
    • You or your parent(s) extreme medical and/or dental expenses not covered by insurance can be submitted for review.
    • These expenses must have been paid by yourself or your parent(s).  Do not include expenses still owed or expenses paid by insurance.
  • My parent(s) are enrolled in college at least half-time (6 or more credits).
    • You must be able to demonstrate undue financial hardship to the family.
    • Your parent must be enrolled at least half-time per term.
    • Your parent must be degree seeking.
  • My parent(s) have passed away.
    • You will want to have your parent’s income removed.
    • You will need to adjust the number reported in your household.
    • You may qualify for a Dependency Override.
  • My parents have divorced or separated since filing my FAFSA
    • You will want to have the parent’s income, who is no longer in the household, removed.
    • You will need to adjust the number in your household.
    • If one of your parents remarries, contact the Financial Aid Office to see how this might impact your FAFSA. 

What changes might qualify me for a Professional Judgment as an independent student (parental information not required on FAFSA)?

  • I or my spouse have had a change or loss of income
    • You may qualify for an income adjustment if the change is substantial.
    • If your EFC (Expected Family Contribution) is zero, you already qualify for the maximum award.  Therefore, a Professional Judgment would not be necessary.
  • I or my spouse have extreme medical and/or dental expenses not covered by insurance.
    • You or your spouse’s extreme paid medical and dental expenses not covered by insurance can be submitted for review.
    • These expenses must have been paid by you and/or your spouse.  Do not include expenses still owed or expenses paid by insurance.
  • My spouse has passed away
    • You will want to remove your spouse’s income from your FAFSA.
    • You will want to adjust the number in your household.
  • I have divorced or separated  since completing my FAFSA
    • You will want to remove your spouse’s income from your FAFSA.
    • You will need to change the number reported in your household.

How do I submit a Professional Judgment?

  • Print the Professional Judgment Form located at http://www.lcsc.edu/financialaid/financial-aid-forms
  • Select the reason for your request
  • Sign the form
  • Attach your letter of explanation
  • Attach the required documentation.  See Required Documentation to Submit a Professional Judgment.
  • Attach your supporting documentation.  See Acceptable Supporting Documentation.
  • Submit all documents to the Financial Aid Office for review
  • Incomplete Professional Judgment packets will not be reviewed

Required documentation to submit a Professional Judgment for dependent students.

  • A completed current year FAFSA
  • You must document your reason(s) for requesting a Professional Judgment and submit non-returnable copies of your documentation to the Financial Aid Office
  • A copy of you and/or your parent(s) Federal Tax Return Transcript . The Tax Return Transcript can be:
    • Printed from the IRS website at www.irs.gov
    • Requested by phone at 1-800-908-9036
    • Requested by mail by submitting IRS Form 4506T-EZ
  • A Non-Filing Income Statement for you and/or your parent(s) if taxes will not be filed. The form is located at www.lcsc.edu/financialaid/financial-aid-forms 
  • Dependent Verification Worksheet located at www.lcsc.edu/financialaid/financial-aid-forms

Required documentation to submit a Professional Judgment for independent students.

  • A completed current year FAFSA
  • You must document your reason(s) for requesting a Professional Judgment and submit non-returnable copies of your documentation to the Financial Aid Office
  • A copy of you and/or your spouse’s Federal Tax Return Transcript. The Tax Return Transcript can be:
    • Printed from the IRS website at www.irs.gov
    • Requested by phone at 1-800-908-9036
    • Requested by mail by submitting IRS Form 4506T-EZ
  • A Non-Filing Income Statement for you or your spouse if taxes will not be filed. The form is located at  www.lcsc.edu/financialaid/financial-aid-forms
  • Independent Verification Worksheet located at www.lcsc.edu/financialaid/financial-aid-forms

Acceptable supporting documentation for dependent students.

  • Dependency override: Your detailed letter explaining your relationship with your parent(s). Submit a copy of all documents that support the claims in your letter.  Include three letters of support from NON-relatives. (Example: landlord, employer, teacher and or clergy) that can confirm the statements in your letter of explanation.  The letters of support should also include how they know you and how long they have known you.
  • Loss of Income – Parent/Student: Submit proof of prior–year income and current-year expected income. Submit proof of reason for and date of income loss.  Include most recent paystub(s) and letter from employer(s).
  • Excessive medical and/or dental expenses: Submit proof of actual medical and/or dental payments made in the prior year that were not reimbursed by insurance.
  • Parent is enrolled in postsecondary school: Submit a letter explaining the reason for your parent’s enrollment in postsecondary school.  Include a copy of the parent’s class schedule and an invoice from the school.  Your parent must be enrolled at least half-time (6 credits), degree seeking and must not receive employer tuition reimbursement.
  • Death of a parent:  Submit proof of death and surviving parents and/or student’s expected current-year income.
  • Divorce or separation: Submit a copy of the front page and signature page of the divorce decree or a letter of separation.  Include the current-year expected income of the student, and/or the custodial parent.

Acceptable supporting documentation for independent students.

  • Loss of Income – Student/ Spouse: Submit proof of prior–year income and current-year expected income. Submit proof of, reason for, and date of income loss.  Include most recent paystub(s) and letter from employer(s).
  • Excessive medical and/or dental expenses: Submit proof of actual medical and/or dental payments made in the prior year that were not reimbursed by insurance.
  • Death of a spouse:  Submit a proof of death and student’s expected current-year income.
  • Divorce or separation: Submit a copy of the front page and signature page of the divorce decree or a letter of separation.  Include your current-year expected income.

What happens next?

  • Your Professional Judgment form and documentation will be reviewed by the Financial Aid Committee.
  • You will receive written notice of the Committee’s decision.
  • If your Professional Judgment is approved, the necessary corrections will be made and you will receive a revised award letter e-mail notification.
  • A Loan Request Form will be required if adjustments result in additional loan eligibility and you wish to apply for the increased amount.

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