10. Professional Judgement
The KCTCS College Financial Aid Director and/or their designees are authorized to exercise Professional Judgments on student financial aid data. Professional Judgment may be used at the discretion of the KCTCS College Financial Aid Director or their designees. Professional Judgments apply to dependency overrides and to data adjustments in the application. It is important to note that the provisions for these two types of changes are in separate places in the HEA. The citation for dependency overrides is in Sec. 480(d)(7); the citation for data adjustments is in Sec. 479A.
The KCTCS College Financial Aid Director or their designees may use Professional Judgment, on a case-by-case basis only to alter the data used for dependency overrides and to data adjustments in the application to calculate or adjust the EFC. This alteration is valid only at the college making the Professional Judgment.
KCTCS students wishing to alter their financial aid data may request Professional Judgment changes by contacting their college financial aid office in person or by submitting a request via email. The KCTCS Financial Aid Director and/or their designee may submit Professional Judgment requests via electronic method. All requested or required professional judgment must be requested, accepted, and acknowledged before any Title IV FSA funds are awarded/disbursed.
- The reason for the adjustment must be documented in the student’s financial aid/PeopleSoft file, and it must relate to the special circumstances that differentiate the student from those conditions that exist for a whole class of students.
- Professional judgment can also be used to adjust the student’s cost of attendance.The college Financial Aid Director must resolve any inconsistent or conflictinginformation shown on the output document before making any adjustments.
- A KCTCS College Financial Aid Director’s decision regarding adjustments is final and cannot be appealed to the System Office or the DOE.
- KCTCS and Federal regulations state that nothing within Title IV regulations shall be construed as limiting the authority of the College Financial Aid Director to make data adjustments for some situations. However, the law gives some examples of special circumstances, such as elementary or secondary school tuition, medical or dental or nursing home expenses not covered by insurance, unusually high child care costs,being homeless or a dislocated worker, recent unemployment of a family member,or other changes in the family’s income or assets. Use of professional judgment is neither limited to nor required for the situations mentioned. As with the specific special circumstances listed in the law, Directors are not required to make an adjustment in this situation.
- The law does not allow the College Financial Aid Director to modify either the formula or the tables used in the EFC calculation; Directors can only change the cost of attendance or the values of specific data elements used in the EFC.
- College Financial Aid Directors cannot adjust data elements or the cost of attendance solely because she/he believes the tables and formula are not adequate or appropriate. The data elements that are adjusted must relate to the student’s special circumstances.
- Professional judgment cannot be used to waive general student eligibilityrequirements or to circumvent the intent of KCTCS Professional Judgment procedures or federal Title IV professional judgment or other laws or regulations.
The type of documentation required for a Professional Judgment consideration will vary with the type of special circumstances involved in the student’s request. KCTCS students who feel they have extenuating circumstances that warrant a Professional Judgment should contact their college financial aid office.