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Special/Unusual Circumstances - Professional Judgement

Have a special circumstance? The Financial Aid Office can use professional judgment to help eligible students receive financial aid.

If Interested please fill out the Professional Judgment Form


Professional Judgment refers to the school's authority to adjust, on a case-by-case basis, to information reported on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) so that the Department of Education can recalculate the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The EFC is the number that the school uses to determine if a student is eligible for need based financial aid.

Please Note: The school does not have the authority to make direct adjustments to the EFC or to the formula used to calculate the EFC, just data elements on the FAFSA which may change the EFC.

The professional judgment process is an extensive process that requires a thorough review by the Financial Aid Office to determine what, if any changes, may be appropriate based on your FAFSA application. It is a time sensitive process that includes the following steps:

  • If a Professional Judgment request is submitted, the student if necessary may be institutionally selected for Verification (if not previously selected). Be aware that during the Verification process, corrections to your FAFSA may be required which can result in a change to a student's aid eligibility.
  • The file will then be reviewed to determine if all required documentation has been submitted. If additional documentation is required, the student will be notified by email.
  • The Financial Aid Office will determine if a student's Professional Judgment request meets the criteria to make data element changes to their FAFSA.
  • If approved, appropriate changes will be made to the student's FAFSA and submitted to the Department of Education. The Department of Education will then recalculate the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and the student's eligibility for need based aid. The student will be notified by email.
  • If denied, the student will be notified by email.

In many cases, an adjustment does not increase the student's eligibility for grants or the total amount of aid awarded. The Financial Aid office reserves the right to deny any appeals that would not increase a student's eligibility for aid.

Special Circumstances

Kingsborough Community College (KBCC) recognizes that special circumstances may occur after the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) was completed, which may affect a student’s eligibility for Federal financial aid. If you, your spouse or parent(s) have experienced a significant decrease in income since the income used on the FAFSA due to one of the conditions described on this form, you may be eligible for Special Circumstances Adjustment.

Reasons for request

  • Loss or Reduction of Income
  • Disability
  • Loss of Untaxed Income (SSI, Child Support, Etc.)
  • Divorce/ Separation
  • Death
  • Excessive Medical/ Dental Expenses
  • Excessive Property Loss/ Damaged due to a declared natural disaster
  • Roth IRA Conversion
  • Other

Unusual Circumstances

Students who do not meet the federal criteria to be considered independent based on the 2023-2024 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) may submit this form with supporting documentation for review to determine if unusual circumstances exist for granting a dependency status adjustment. Unusual Circumstances are reviewed on a case-by-case basis for students.

The following are circumstances that will NOT be considered:

  • Parent(s) refusal to contribute to the student’s education;
  • Parent(s) did not claim student on their tax returns;
  • Parent(s) unwillingness to provide information on the FAFSA;
  • Student demonstrates total financial self–sufficiency.