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Professional Judgment

The Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA) provides the authority for the financial aid administrator to exercise discretion in a number of areas when a student has special or unusual circumstances. This authority is known as professional judgment (PJ). It allows the financial aid administrator to treat a student individually when conditions exist that differentiate that student from a class of students. PJ decisions must be made on a case-by-case basis as the result of examining an individual student’s unique circumstances. Such circumstances may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Parents’ loss of employment or change in employment status
  • Student’s loss of employment or change in employment status
  • Loss of untaxed income (Social Security benefits, pension, etc.)
  • Divorce/separation or death of a parent
  • Change in dependency status (dependent to independent only)
  • Unusual medical/dental bills or disability-related expenses
  • One-time income
  • Other unusual debt/expenses (transportation related, child care, residency interviews etc.)

If you are experiencing a special or unusual circumstance, please contact the CBU Financial Aid Office and ask to speak to someone about extenuating circumstances.