Find out if you qualify for more federal financial aid for the upcoming academic year through the Professional Judgement process.
Each year, students are required to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This form uses tax information from two years prior to determine the amount of federal scholarships and loans students can receive for the upcoming school year. COVID-19 has significantly impacted many students’ financial situations, however, the FAFSA does not currently provide an option to note special circumstances that may affect a student’s ability to pay for college. That’s why SEU offers a service called professional judgement, which allows students to account for major medical, household, or employment changes from one tax year to another, such as in 2019 or 2020.
Professional judgement is an appeal process through which students can request a reevaluation of their eligibility for federal aid. This could potentially increase their financial aid award. If you are able to document a significant change in your family’s finances — or believe there are special circumstances that were not considered when you initially completed the FAFSA — we recommend that you submit a professional judgement request form. SEU’s Student Financial Services team will evaluate these requests on a case-by-case basis. Submitting an appeal does not guarantee an adjustment or addition to your financial award.
Professional judgement services are open to students who meet the criteria below:
Students must also be able to demonstrate at least one of the following changes:
All undergraduate students should contact a counselor from Student Financial Services (SFS) to discuss the process for determining eligibility and the next steps for the professional judgement process. If approved, the SFS counselor will send the student a professional judgement request form for completion. The form asks you to indicate the major changes you experienced and may require supporting documentation, such as tax information and other pieces as needed. You should complete this application as soon as possible because the process could take multiple weeks to complete.
Visit the website Finaid. This site is currently the most comprehensive source of student financial aid information. You will find breakdowns for better understanding professional judgement, the FAFSA, and more.
You can reach out to Student Financial Services with any questions by virtual appointment, email, or phone.
SFS Office Hours: Monday – Friday | 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. ET
Note: Sending an email or setting up a virtual appointment is recommended for beginning this process.