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Professional Judgment in Financial Aid Presented by – Samantha Veeder Director of Financial Aid Hobart & William Smith Colleges Guidance Counselor Workshop.

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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:

1 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

2 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.

3 PJ Principles

4 Areas to Perform PJ Adjustments Need analysis Cost of attendance –Dependent care –Computer purchase Satisfactory Academic Progress Refusal or adjustment of loan certification

5 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

6 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

7 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

8 Independent Criteria Federal guidelines established in Higher Education Amendments of FAFSA questions 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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