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Professional Judgment in Financial Aid. Presented by – Samantha Veeder Director of Financial Aid Hobart & William Smith Colleges Guidance Counselor Workshop Syracuse, NY 11/15/01. PJ Definition.

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professional judgment in financial aid

Professional Judgment in Financial Aid

Presented by – Samantha Veeder

Director of Financial Aid

Hobart & William Smith Colleges

Guidance Counselor Workshop

Syracuse, NY

11/15/01

pj definition
PJ Definition
  • Higher Education Act provides authority for financial aid administrator to exercise discretion in a number of areas.
  • Allows the financial aid administrator to treat a student individually when the student has special circumstances that are not sufficiently addressed by the standard approach.
  • Special circumstances are conditions that differentiate an individual student from a class of students rather than conditions that exist across a class of students.
  • Often used in cases of either dependency overrides or income/data element adjustments.
areas to perform pj adjustments
Areas to Perform PJ Adjustments
  • Need analysis
  • Cost of attendance
    • Dependent care
    • Computer purchase
  • Satisfactory Academic Progress
  • Refusal or adjustment of loan certification
areas where pj does not apply
Areas Where PJ Does NOT Apply

Currently, FAA may not:

  • Change a student’s status from independent to dependent
  • Create a new cost category
  • Adjust EFC directly
  • Change the formula itself
dependency override
Dependency Override

“In unusual circumstances, a student who does not meet any of the dependency criteria may still be considered to be independent on the basis of the financial aid administrator’s professional judgment.”

SOURCE: SFA Handbook

independent criteria
Independent Criteria

Federal guidelines established in Higher Education Amendments of 1992. FAFSA questions 52-58.

  • 24 years old by 12/31 of the award year,
  • Veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces,
  • Graduate or professional student,
  • Married,
  • Orphan or ward of the court,
  • Has legal dependents other than a spouse.
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