Use of Professional Judgment When Prior-Prior Year Income is Used to Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

ED recently posted GEN-16-03 about the use of Professional Judgment (PJ) when prior-prior year income is used to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The DCL reminds schools of their statutory ability to use PJ to assist families when warranted and that the Department is aware there may be an increase in the use of PJ due to using prior-prior year income. Due to the expected increase in the use of PJs, ED will adjust appropriately any risk-based models used to evaluate the use of PJ and potential school concerns.

Though ED encourages the use of PJ where appropriate, they remind schools that PJ is on a case-by-case basis and must be properly documented. Also, don’t forget when submitting professional judgment changes to a student’s information to the Department’s Central Processing System (CPS), you must set the Professional Judgment Flag to 1 (EFC Adjustment Processed) to indicate that the submission was the result of a professional judgment determination.

For more information about Professional Judgments and for additional resources click here: