“Professional Judgment” (PJ) Adjustment: The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) determines a student’s eligibility for financial aid. The FAFSA uses financial information from two years prior to estimate the current circumstances of a household. CCSNH recognizes that households can experience special circumstances that are not reflected in the submitted FAFSA.

The college Financial Aid Director or designee has the authority to use professional judgment (PJ) to adjust, on a case-by-case basis, information reported on the FAFSA so that the Department of Education can recalculate the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The EFC is the number that the school uses to determine if a student is eligible for need based financial aid.

Federal Student Aid (FSA) notes the following information for students and their families:

Changes to Your Family’s Financial Situation

If your or your family’s financial situation has changed significantly from what is reflected on your federal income tax return (for example, if you have lost a job or otherwise experienced a drop in income), you may be eligible to have your financial aid adjusted. Complete the FAFSA questions as instructed on the application (including the transfer of tax return and income information), submit your FAFSA form, then contact the college you plan to attend to discuss how your current financial situation has changed.

If your financial circumstances have changed in the last two years, you may become eligible for Federal Pell Grants or other need-based student aid through the PJ process.

Please contact your college’s Financial Aid Office.

The Financial Aid Office’s decision is final and cannot be appealed to the U.S. Department of Education.