Income Reduction and Dependency Override Appeals
Professional Judgment appeals, also known as Income Reductions and Dependency Override appeals, refer to the authority of a school's financial aid administrator to adjust data elements on the FAFSA and to override a student's dependency status. These evaluations are done on case-by-case basis and with adequate documentation.
The decision of the financial aid administrator is final. There is no appeal. By law, neither the school's president nor the US Department of Education can override the financial aid administrator's decision.
The deadline to submit a Professional Judgment Appeal is the last day of the enrollment term for the academic year.
There are 2 types of professional judgment appeals:
Income Reduction or EFC Adjustment Appeal
The FAFSA uses the prior to prior year as base income to determine student’s eligibility (for example, for the 2020-2021 year, students use 2018 income to complete the FAFSA). If you believe that the current family income is a more accurate measure of the student’s current financial status than the income reported on your FAFSA, you may be eligible to submit a petition for an EFC adjustment.
Dependency Override or Change of Dependency Status
The FAFSA determines the students’ dependency using 9 different criteria. There are times, though, when an otherwise independent student may not meet the criteria established by these questions. If your FAFSA determined that you are a dependent student, but you have circumstances that merit a special consideration, you may qualify for a change of Dependency Status.
Professional Judgement Appeal Deadlines
The last day to submit the required documentation for Income Reduction or Dependency Override appeals is the last day of the enrollment term.