Professional Judgement Policy

Understand the requirements for adjusting your financial aid package.

What Is Professional Judgment?

Your financial aid eligibility was originally calculated based on the information you provided on your FAFSA. However, if your circumstances change, your financial aid can be adjusted to meet your most current needs. This process is known as professional judgement.

Some circumstances that qualify for professional judgement include:

  • Decrease in income
  • A change in family size
  • Loss of assets
  • Unusual expenses
  • Change in dependency status

Through professional judgement, the Financial Aid department provides a revised aid package when appropriate.

All professional judgement requests require you (and your parents if you are a dependent student) to submit supporting documentation to substantiate the claims you are making of your changed circumstances.

How Do I Submit a Professional Judgement Request?

Scholarships and Grants

Contact your campus financial aid office to initiate the process. They will ask you to submit an Appeal Request form with your written request. An advisor will then provide more information about the kind of documentation you need to submit for your specific circumstances.

What Type of Documentation Do I Need?

Required documentation varies depending on your circumstances. Here are some examples of documentation we might need in order to process your request:

Income adjustment

  • Recent paystubs from all employers
  • Unemployment benefit letter
  • Letter from your most recent employer detailing terms of termination, including severance pay if applicable
  • Documentation from other income received, such as self-employment income, Social Security benefits, insurance benefits, etc.

Medical expenses

  • Proof of medical bills (not paid by insurance)

Dependency overrides

  • Documentation from a professional third party substantiating unusual circumstances that would support a change in dependency, including but not limited to letters from counselors, teachers, doctors, or members of the clergy

Cost of attendance

  • Documentation to substantiate indirect costs above those included in WCU’s cost of attendance, including but not limited to a lease agreement, dependent care receipts, transportation costs, and clinical travel costs

Our Financial Aid department is here to assist you. If you have any questions about the professional judgement process, please don’t hesitate to contact your local Financial Aid office.

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