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Students may request a Professional Judgment for the 2020-2021 academic year due to COVID-19 related income loss.  For any professional judgment, we are required to assess a 12 month period of time for income.  In these situations, we will assess projected income for the calendar year (Jan 2020 – Dec 2020).  Income will be projected based on Year-To-Date earnings plus any benefits received.  Students are required to complete the Professional Judgment request form and provide the following documentation for the impacted taxpayer:

  • 2019 IRS 1040 – If not yet filed, copies of all form W-2 for each tax payer (if a joint return, W-2 are required regardless)
  • Statement/letter from employer indicating job loss or reduction of pay
  • Last paystub from 2020
  • State and federal unemployment benefits


After you submit your FAFSA but before you receive your award notification, you can correct any errors directly through the FAFSA form. See how to make changes to my FAFSA form.

Once you have received your award notification (through your FIU email or MyFIU) DO NOT make any changes to your FAFSA without consulting OneStop. At this point, corrections to your FAFSA will not be automatically reviewed without submitting a FAFSA Correction Form indicating what the correction is and the reason you initiated it. The correction may generate a request for additional information before an award is revised, if applicable.


Special Circumstances

If you experience changes in your life that significantly impact your eligibility for financial aid, you should contact OneStop. We will help you determine what is the best course of action to take.

Dependency Override

Federal regulations permit the university to override a student's dependency status for federal financial aid purposes if extenuating circumstances exist and can be documented. Examples of such extenuating circumstances are the death of a parent, parent abandonment or abuse. This determination is made on a case by case basis.

Note: All documentation must be submitted at the same time in order for it to be evaluated.

The following conditions are NOT considered unusual circumstances:

  • A parent refusing to provide data
  • A student who does not wish to communicate with parents
  • A student who has been previously considered independent for the purposes of receiving financial aid but does not meet the current definition
  • A student who is divorced at the time of filing and does not meet one of the current definitions of an independent student

To request a dependency override, find the form for the correct year under Financial Aid Forms.

All Forms

Professional Judgment

A financial aid administrator may exercise professional judgment to assist students who have extenuating circumstances which warrant a reevaluation of their eligibility for financial aid. These may include but are not limited to:

  • Involuntary loss of employment (e.g. termination, lay off) of student, spouse or parent
  • Reduction or loss of untaxed income or benefits (e.g. unemployment compensation, social security, AFDC, etc.) for student, spouse or parent
  • Divorce or separation of student or parent
  • Death of parent or spouse
  • Extraordinary medical expenses paid by student, spouse or parent not covered by insurance

A request for professional judgment form must be completed and submitted along with all documents required for your extenuating circumstance.

To request professional judgment, find the form for the correct year under Financial Aid Forms.

All Forms

Note: If you are a dependent student, provide documentation for both yourself and your parent(s). If you are an independent student, provide documentation for both yourself and your spouse (if married).

Last updated: August 17, 2020