Financial Aid Professional Judgment

Things change, life happens

Sometimes the information you provide on the FAFSA no longer accurately reflects your financial situation. There are certain circumstances in which financial aid professionals at SUNY Adirondack can review and update your FAFSA. This review of special circumstances is called a Professional Judgment.

A financial aid Professional Judgment is a way for students to explain changes to income, life circumstances, or unusual expenses not reflected on the FAFSA to see if it may result in a change to their federal aid eligibility. Typically special circumstances that are considered under this process are unusual and must be thoroughly documented. Please view the information below to determine if a financial aid professional judgment will benefit you. 


Reasons for request

The following conditions are examples of circumstances that may be considered for a Professional Judgment: *

* To remain equitable, our office will review all applications on a case-by-case basis.

More info

  • Submitting a Professional Judgment request does not guarantee additional financial aid can be granted.

  • You will need to provide adequate documentation for your appeal.

  • The decision by the Financial Aid Office is final and cannot be appealed to the U.S. Department of Education.

  • The Free Application for Federal Student Aid ( FAFSA) must be filed annually; to make an exception for subsequent academic years, a student must resubmit a new Professional Judgment request.

  • It may take up to four weeks for a Professional Judgment request to be reviewed and processed.

  • NYS aid does not qualify for this review.

Please note that if your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) on the FAFSA is "0," you are already receiving the maximum in federal grants, so this process cannot change your eligibility. 

Submit a request

To request a Professional Judgment :

  1. Submit the FAFSA for the aid year in which you are requesting a professional judgment. Note that you MUST include your actual income on the FAFSA; the Financial Aid Office will determine adjustments to income, if any.
  2. Complete and submit our Special Circumstances Form. The form/instructions are available here.

Please reach out to the Financial Aid Office at or 518-743-2223 with any questions regarding this process.