Change of Circumstances / Professional Judgment

Have your finances been negatively affected by changes associated with the Coronavirus?

Is your current situation not reflected in the tax information provided on your FAFSA?

If so, the Office of Student Financial Aid can use professional judgment to help current students receive the maximum financial assistance for which they are eligible.

Eligibility for financial aid is determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which currently uses financial information from two years prior in estimating a household’s current circumstances. The Office of Student Financial Aid recognizes that households can experience changes in income or other finances that are not reflected in their information from two years prior – especially in the wake of the Coronavirus.

When these situations occur, it is possible to re-evaluate a student’s aid eligibility based on their current circumstances through the Professional Judgment (PJ) process.

Please Note: The school does not have the authority to make direct adjustments to the EFC or to the formula used to calculate the EFC, just data elements on the FAFSA which may change the EFC.

There must be a significant change to the household finances to be considered for a Professional Judgment. In many cases, an adjustment does not increase the student’s eligibility for grants or the total amount of aid awarded. The Office of Student Financial Aid reserves the right to deny any appeals that would not increase a student’s eligibility for aid. The decision of the Office of Student Financial Aid is final and cannot be appealed to the Department of Education.

Non-applicable Circumstances

  • Standard living expenses (utilities, car payments, etc.)
  • Mortgage payments
  • Credit card/other personal debts
  • Filing for bankruptcy
  • Vacation expenses
  • All other discretionary expenses

Begin the review process by clicking Hebrew the Bear to enter the myAthens Portal:

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