Changes in Family Financial Situation?

The American Rescue Plan (ARP) requires institutions receiving aid from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF III) to make financial aid applicants and recipients, enrolled on or after March 13, 2020, aware of the opportunity to receive a financial aid adjustment due to the most recent unemployment of a household family member or themselves, or for certain other financial circumstances. 

Professional Judgement refers to the authority of a school’s financial aid administrator to adjust the elements in the student’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC) or cost of attendance (COA) as a result of the special circumstance.  

Circumstances That Cannot Be Considered:

  • Voluntary termination of employment.
  • Unusual expenses related to personal living (e.g. Wedding expenses, credit card debt, home mortgage, school loan payments, car payments, legal expenses, other miscellaneous consumer expenses) .
  • Families with reductions processed in 2020-21 whom grossly underestimated their 2020 income.
  • One year bonus incomes such as lottery or gambling winnings and distributions from IRA, 401K or retirement.
  • Reductions in overtime pay (this will be reflected on the following year’s aid applications).
  • Reductions in income resulting from bankruptcy proceedings.

Please be aware that not all professional judgements result in additional financial aid. The decision of the financial aid administrator is final and there is not another option to appeal.  

The preferred deadline for this application (including all required supporting documentation) is November 15, 2021. If you have questions regarding your specific financial circumstances, please email

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