The Office of Student Financial Assistance recognizes that students and their families
may have extenuating financial circumstances that the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) does not consider. Our office reviews such circumstances in accordance with federal guidelines.
Section 479A of the Higher Education Amendments of 1992 authorizes the financial aid administrator to exercise Professional Judgment (PJ) on a case-by-case basis. With the passage of the Higher Education Amendments of 1992, there is now a single need analysis methodology for all Title IV programs including the Federal Pell Grant. This has given the Financial Aid Administrator the optional authority to use professional judgment for the Pell Grant as well as all other Title IV programs.
Although not required, the Office of Student Financial Assistance will provide professional judgment review of the circumstances below when deemed appropriate.
The following are conditions/reasons for which a student may request an adjustment to their EFC. The documents required that are listed below may not be the only documents needed once the PJ has been reviewed.
1. Death of a parent or the independent student's spouse.
A copy of the death certificate
W2’s and current federal tax returns for independent student or for surviving parent of dependent student.
2. Loss of employment by independent student/spouse/parent (for at least 3 months).
3. Loss of earnings due to disability.
4. Loss of untaxed income and benefits.
5. Divorce or legal separation of parent or student
6. One time income (inheritance, IRA distribution, retroactive lump-sum payment, etc.)
*Please be aware that some expenses will not be approved.
7. Non-elective medical or dental expense not covered by insurance.
8. Elementary and secondary education tuition
It is the policy of the Office of Student Financial Assistance that we begin to use PJ to make adjustments to the EFC beginning July 1st for the upcoming award year. Accuracy in your income projection(s) is very important. It is the policy of NKU's Office of Student Financial Assistance to not process future adjustments for any student who underestimates his/her household income by more than 15% for an adjustment calculation. For adjustments to income processed after January 1 of the award year, students and parents will be asked to provide current tax forms or W-2s.
The federal definition of an independent student is one who meets at least one of the following criteria: at least 24 years old, married, a graduate or professional student, a veteran, a member of the armed forces, an orphan, a ward of the court, or someone with legal dependents other than a spouse.
Undergraduate students who submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and do not meet the federal definition of an independent student may request a dependency override if the student can document other unusual circumstances that might warrant the treatment of the student as independent for purposes of establishing eligibility for federal and state need-based financial aid. Please note that the following circumstances that will not be considered unusual:
Students that have circumstances warranting a dependency override should contact the Office of Student Financial Assistance for assistance.
A student’s academic year cost of attendance budget is an estimate of the student’s average educational expenses for a 9-month school year (fall and spring semesters). Allowable expenses in the student’s cost of attendance budget include tuition and mandatory fees and allowances for room and board (living and meal expenses), books, supplies, transportation, personal/miscellaneous expenses and loan fees, if applicable. The cost of attendance budget for a student enrolled in a summer session(s) is also adjusted to reflect expenses associated with that enrollment period. A student’s budget may be adjusted for extraordinary costs such as, expenses associated with dependent care, study abroad, disability expenses and/or employment expenses for co-op study. Personal expenses can only be adjusted if there is an extraordinary circumstance. Appropriate documentation is required for the above. Adjustments for discretionary consumer expenses are not allowed. To discuss your eligibility for a budget adjustment, please contact the Office of Student Financial Assistance.
Processing time can be up to two weeks, or longer during peak times in the year.
Professional Judgments are processed in date order.