Post-Application Completion and Special Circumstances (Professional Judgment)

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What happens after I complete my financial aid applications?

  1. Your FAFSA will be processed. Federal Student Aid Programs will transmit an electronic record to Valencia if you chose Valencia’s school code number, 006750, when you completed your FAFSA. You will also receive a copy of this record, by mail or by email if you provide an email address. You should review the information for accuracy and make corrections, if necessary. It will also indicate if you have been selected for verification and if other information will be needed. Please read the report carefully and email finaidoffice@valenciacollege.edu with any questions or concerns you may have. All emails must be sent from your Valencia College email account, and include your VID in the subject line.
  2. Additional requirements are established. If any documents are needed at the time your FAFSA record is received, you will receive an Atlas e–mail notification (in your Atlas account), or a letter if you are not yet admitted to Valencia. Please be sure we have your correct address. (You may update your address and view the missing information requirements on your Atlas account.)
  3. Completed files are reviewed. The federal government requires that some files be selected for a review called verification. If your file was selected for verification, you cannot be awarded financial aid until your original application has been completely checked for accuracy. Corrections will be made, if required, and your application will be reprocessed. Late applications will be reviewed as workload permits after the term has begun. Please take special care to be accurate with your verification questions and to be sure each form is signed. Inaccurate or incomplete verification documents will create a need for further documentation of your resources and will delay the receipt of financial aid.
  4. Eligibility is determined. If you are eligible for financial aid, a Financial Aid Services Award Notification will be sent to you outlining the awards you may receive. You may also view the awards in your Atlas account. Be sure to read any special messages about the type of aid you are receiving and ask questions if you are not sure about any of the information. If you are not eligible for any federal or state grants, you will receive an Atlas e–mail notification.

Special Circumstances:

Requesting a reconsideration of your financial aid offer through Professional Judgment
 
Your eligibility for financial aid is determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which currently uses financial information from two years prior to estimate a household’s current circumstances. We recognize that households can experience changes in income or other finances that are not reflected in their information from two years prior.
 
When these situations occur, it is possible to re-evaluate a student’s aid eligibility based on their current circumstances through the Professional Judgment (PJ) process. All Professional Judgment applications are required to have a detailed letter of explanation and supporting documentation. If you have been selected for Federal Verification, a Professional Judgment cannot be processed for changes until verification is complete.

There must be a significant change to the household finances to be considered for a Professional Judgment.
 
Non-applicable Circumstances
  • Standard living expenses (utilities, car payments, etc)
  • Mortgage payments
  • Credit card/other personal debts
  • Filing for bankruptcy
  • Vacation expenses
  • All other discretionary expenses
To request a Professional Judgment review, please review the list of documentation required below.
 
Types of Professional Judgment:

Change to Expected Family Contribution (EFC)

  • Loss or change of employment
    • Note: A change in student’s aid eligibility will likely not occur if:
      • The person who lost employment has currently been rehired and is earning a similar or higher salary than two years prior
      • The loss or change to income was not significant
  • Child Support reduction or change
  • Divorce/Separation of parents/spouse
  • Change of marital status for dependent students
  • Death of parent(s) or spouse
  • Excessive out of pocket medical and/or dental expenses
    that exceed 11% of household’s Adjusted Gross Income
  • One-time taxable income (IRA disbursement, pension distribution, etc)

A change to the EFC could, but is not guaranteed to, result in a change of eligibility for need based awards.

Change to Cost of Attendance (COA)

Out of pocket costs for the following:

  • Costs associated with a student’s disability
  • Childcare expenses for a dependent child of the student
  • One-time purchase of a computer for educational use
  • One-time costs of professional licensure required for student’s major

A change to the COA does not result in a change for eligibility for need-based awards, only increases the room in a student’s budget for aid including PLUS and private loans. 

 

 

 

 

 

Documentation Required for Professional Judgment:

We will consider the following reasons as we review your financial circumstances. In each case, you must complete our  Professional Judgment Request Form and provide the documentation listed before we can review your request:

□ A. Loss or change of employment or income
o Signed detailed statement describing changes that resulted in loss or reduction of income, include dates and all sources of income
o Copy of applicable tax return transcripts and/or W-2’s, if applicable
o Employer letter on letterhead reflecting last date of employment or DD-214 (Member-4)
o Proof of unemployment benefits, if applicable
o Most recent paystubs showing year-to-date earnings, if applicable
□ B. Change in student marital status after FAFSA filing
o A signed detailed written statement describing the change in circumstances
o Copy of student’s marriage certificate or divorce agreement, whichever is applicable
o Signed copies of student’s and spouse’s most recent Federal Tax Returns
□ C. Death of Parent or Spouse
o A signed detailed written statement describing the change in circumstances
o Copy of a death certificate of the deceased individual
o Copy of the final paycheck
o Documentation of any death benefits received (including but not limited to life insurance, social security, pension payouts, etc.)
□ D. Excessive Medical or Dental Expenses
o A signed detailed written statement describing expenses paid out of pocket
o Copy of Schedule A from 2018, 2019, or 2020 Federal Tax Return, if applicable
o Attach bills/receipts and an itemized list with a total of all medical and or dental expenses
□ E. Disability
o A signed detailed written statement describing expenses paid out of pocket
o Documentation of disability diagnosis
o Documentation of costs paid by you and not reimbursed by anyone else related to the student’s disability (e.g. personal assistance, transportation, equipment, or supplies).
□ F. Reduction in Child Support or Alimony
o A signed detailed written statement describing the changes in circumstances
o Documentation of change in divorce agreement specifying alimony and/or child support (if applicable)
o Documentation of the total amount of alimony and child support for each child (cancelled checks, written agreement, civil judgment, etc.)
□ G. Unusual or unexpected expenses not covered by someone else
o Signed detailed statement describing unusual or unexpected expenses, include dates
o Copy of applicable tax return transcripts and/or W-2’s, if applicable
o If one of the following apply, please check the box and provide appropriate documentation:
□ Tuition expenses for elementary, secondary education, or daycare paid within the 2020-21 award year. Please provide receipts
□ Computer expenses that were paid within the 2020-21 award year. Please provide receipts
□ Parent Attending College and paying out of pocket without reimbursements. Copy of schedule and tuition receipt, certified enrollment from  Registrar’s Office at the parent institution
□ H. Other Reduction of Income
o Signed detailed statement describing unusual or unexpected expenses, include dates
o Copy of applicable tax return transcripts and/or W-2’s, if applicable
o Any supporting documentation that pertains to your income reduction
□ I. One-time Increase in Income
o Signed detailed statement describing unusual or unexpected income, include dates
o Copy of applicable tax return transcripts and/or W-2’s, if applicable
o Any supporting documentation that pertains to your income increase. Please explain how these funds were used along with proof (i.e. Pension, IRA, Capital Gain)