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COVID-19 Financial Aid Updates

FIU understands that the COVID-19 pandemic has financially impacted many families over the past two years. If you or your family experienced changes to your financial situation that has affected your ability to pay for your educational expenses, you can request a Professional Judgment/Special Circumstances review.

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.

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:

The following conditions would not warrant a reevaluation of the financial need.

  • Bankruptcy, foreclosures or collection costs associated with outstanding debt.
  • Consumer debt (credit cards, car payments, loans, etc.)
  • Payments on back taxes owed to the IRS.
  • Lottery or gambling winnings or losses.
  • One-time income used for non-life essential items.

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).

Important Information before you consider submitting your request

If your EFC is already "0" you have been, or will be offered, the maximum amount of aid you are eligible to receive. Emergency funding may be available to assist with unusual expenses or a financial emergency. Please visit  FIU Emergency Aid for additional information.

Possible Outcome of Professional Judgment changes made to your FAFSA 

  • No change: The change in circumstances did not impact your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) or financial aid.
  • Reduced EFC but no change in financial aid offer: The change in circumstances reduced the EFC but did not change it enough to impact your financial aid eligibility.
  • Reduced EFC and adjustments made to federal loans: The change in circumstances reduced the EFC and qualified you for subsidized loan
  • Reduced EFC and adjustments made to state and/or federal grants: The change in circumstances reduced the EFC and qualified you for additional state and/or federal grants.

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


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.


Last updated: March 9, 2023