Presentation on theme: "Professional Judgment in Financial Aid Presented by – Samantha Veeder Director of Financial Aid Hobart & William Smith Colleges Guidance Counselor Workshop."— Presentation transcript:
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 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 Need analysis Cost of attendance –Dependent care –Computer purchase Satisfactory Academic Progress Refusal or adjustment of loan certification
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
CIRCUMSTANCEDATA VERIFICATION POSSIBLE ADJUSTMENTS Unusual medical and dental expenses Federal income tax sched. A – itemized deductions, and/or receipts Reduce AGI by expenses exceeding certain % of income. Income reduction or non-recurring income (divorce, death, loss of employment) Signed statements documenting estimated earnings, divorce agreements, disability/SS benefits Use projected year income for income reduction. For non- recurring income, reduce AGI by that amount. Unusual debts (mortgages, credit card to cover unemployment) Contract, mortgage, lien, billing payment summary Reduce AGI by annual installment, or adjust assets Elementary/second ary school costs; dependent care Receipts for payment, signed statements Reduce AGI by expense amount, increase COA
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 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.