Professional Judgment Request

***NOTICE - Beginning July 13, 2021 the U.S. Department of Education has suspended verification requirements in most instances for the 2021-2022 academic year. Any conflicting FAFSA data elements will still need to be verified for accuracy. Students will be notified if documentation needs to be submitted.***

The process of determining a student's financial aid eligibility is the same for all applicants based on the FAFSA calculation; however, there is some flexibility when students and/or their families experience significant changes in circumstances from the initial FAFSA filing in their ability to meet educational costs, known as Professional Judgment.

The most common types of changes in circumstances occur when families experience a job loss or income reduction, the death or divorce of student's parent or spouse, or a change in student's marital status. The Financial Aid Office may consider a student's unusual circumstances to make adjustments to the FAFSA data elements used to calculate the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and/or change a student's dependency status, according to federal education laws and guidelines set by the U.S. Department of Education.

Be sure to select the Professional Judgment Request Form for the year you are requesting FAFSA information to be adjusted. An approved Professional Judgment is only applicable to the FAFSA year for which it is granted. You may need to complete a Professional Judgment Request Form for multiple years using the same supporting documentation.

The submission of a Professional Judgment Request Form does not guarantee a change to your aid offer. Decisions are made 2-4 weeks from the date a completed Professional Judgment packet is submitted and verification, if applicable, is finalized. All communication related to the Professional Judgment will be sent via LCMail. If additional documentation is needed, but not provided, processing time will be extended.

**Students who have been selected for verification MUST complete that process before their Professional Judgment request can be reviewed. If applicable, check WarriorWeb for required verification documents.**

Reasons for Request and Documentation Required in Addition to the Request Form

  • Letter from student requesting a review and explaining the reason for request.
  • Copy of marriage certificate.
  • Copies of 2019 IRS Tax Return Transcripts for both parties.
  • Letter from student requesting review and explaining your relationship with your parent(s).
  • Submit three (3) signed letters of support from NON-relatives (for example: landlord, employer, teacher and/or clergy) who can confirm the statements in your letter of explanation. The letters of support should also include how the individual knows you and for how long they have known you.
  • Letter from student requesting review and explaining the reason for request.
  • Proof of income, including Tax Return and W-2 information for individual experiencing loss of income.
  • Official copy of termination letter/proof of last date of employment from employer.
  • Copy of last paystub and/or year-to-date income.
  • Projection of expected income (be sure to estimate based on the calendar year for which the information will best reflect the income while the student is in school).
  • Copies of most recent paystub(s) for any new employment or statement of unemployment benefits.
  • Letter from student requesting review and explaining the reason for request.
  • Documentation of actual medical and/or dental payments made not reimbursed by insurance during FAFSA tax year.
  • Do not include amounts owed but not yet paid.

*For the adjusted gross income to be reduced for medical/dental payments the total amount paid must exceed the protection allowance already allowed for within the FAFSA calculation.

  • Letter from student requesting review and explaining the reason for request.
  • Documentation of school tuition paid during the year and for whom.
  • Documentation must be on official school letterhead.
  • Letter requesting review and explaining reason for parent's enrollment in postsecondary education.
  • Include a copy of parent's class schedule and an invoice from the school.
  • Parent must be enrolled at least half-time (6 or more credits), be degree seeking and must not be receiving employer tuition reimbursement.
  • Letter from student requesting review and explaining the reason for request.
  • Doctor's note indicating expected birth date of child.
  • Proof the student is providing 50% or more support for the child.
  • Letter from student requesting review and explaining the reason for request.
  • Copy of the divorce decree or a letter of separation.
  • Independent students should include FAFSA tax year Tax Return and W-2 form(s).
  • Dependent students should include FAFSA tax year Tax Return and W-2 form(s) for both parents.
  • Must be circumstances affecting data included on the FAFSA not covered above that have a significant financial impact.
  • Letter from student requesting review and explaining circumstances.
  • Supporting documentation to support your reason for requesting consideration.
  • Not all financial hardships qualify as special circumstances (e.g., credit card bills, car payments, or previous educational loan debt).