Professional Judgement

Eligibility for financial aid is determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which currently uses financial information from two years prior to estimate a family’s ability to pay for educational expenses.  The Office of Student Financial Assistance recognizes households can experience changes in income or other circumstances that are not reflected in their information from two years prior.  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. All PJ applications are required to have a detailed letter of explanation and supporting documentation. A Professional Judgement cannot be processed for changes until verification is complete. Please check your aid status on your myUCF Student Self Service Portal.

There must be a significant change to the household finances to be considered for a Professional Judgment.

Non-applicable Circumstances

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

The 2019-2020 Professional Judgement Form will be available for students to complete and submit until July 15, 2020. Students who are submitting for a Cost of Attendance adjustment after this deadline will be reviewed on a case by case basis.


Types of Professional Judgement

Change to Expected Family Contribution (EFC)

    • Loss or change of employment
      – A change in student’s aid eligibility will likely not occur if:
      1. The person who lost employment has currently been rehired and is earning a similar or higher salary than two years prior
      2. The loss or change to income was not significant
    • Child Support reduction or change
    • Divorce/Separation of parents/spouse
    • Change of marital status for dependent students
    • Death of parent(s) or spouse
    • Excessive out of pocket medical and/or dental expenses that exceed 11% of household’s Adjusted Gross Income
    • One-time taxable income (IRA disbursement, pension distribution, etc)

A change to the EFC could, but is not guaranteed to, result in a change of eligibility for need based awards.


Change to Cost of Attendance (COA)

Out of pocket costs for the following:

      • Costs associated with a student’s disability
      • Childcare expenses for a dependent child of the student
      • One-time purchase of a computer for education expenses
      • One-time costs of professional licensure required for student’s major

A change to the COA does not result in a change for eligibility for need based awards, only increases the room in a student’s budget for aid including PLUS and private loans.


Required Documents for Professional Judgment

This chart lists the types of supporting documentation REQUIRED for various categories of Professional Judgment:

Failure to submit all applicable, required documentation listed will result in a delay and possible denial of your Professional Judgment application.