Professional Judgment Policies

What is Professional Judgment (PJ)? 

The Office of Financial Aid processes three types of Professional Judgment (PJ) appeals in order to provide students with accurate aid offers each academic year: 

  • Family Contribution Appeal
  • Unusual Circumstance Appeal (Dependency Override)
  • Cost of Attendance (COA) Appeal   
    • NOTE: COA Appeals will open June 1, 2023 for the 2023-2024 aid year. 


Click the boxes below to learn more about each PJ appeal: 


Steps to Open a PJ Appeal

All PJ appeals are submitted through the USA Financial Aid Verification Portal and require supporting documentation. 

  1. Log into the Verification Portal using JagNet credentials;
  2. Confirm the 4 key identifiers from the FAFSA (first name, last name, date of birth and social security number);
  3. Click the Manage Requests box in the upper right hand corner of the page and select the blue plus sign for Family Contribution Appeal, Unusual Circumstance Appeal (Dependency Override) or COA Appeal for the appropriate aid year.
  4. Complete the Web Form and upload documentation to support the circumstances.