Professional Judgement for Special Circumstances
Note: Students who cannot qualify for Pell Grant assistance will not benefit from completing the special circumstance process.
Students in the following Methodist College degree programs will not benefit: Nursing Assistant, Second Degree Nursing, MSN and any other students who have previously completed a bachelor's degree. Also, students who have reached the lifetime limit for the federal Pell Grant will not benefit from this process.
The Financial Aid Office at Methodist College recognizes that there are instances when an individual's FAFSA does not accurately reflect a student's or their family's current situation. Professional Judgment is the Financial Aid Administrator's ability to change a student's financial assistance eligibility based upon unusual or special circumstances. There must be a significant change to the family's situation to be considered for a Professional Judgment decision. Examples of the most common circumstances are listed below; however, this list is not intended to be all-inclusive, as you may have a situation that is not categorized but still applicable. Requests are reviewed by a committee after a Professional Judgment Request form is completed and submitted with all required statements and supporting documentation. Students will be notified of denial or approval by mail, an email to their Methodist College email address or by telephone within 30 days after submission of the request.
A request for a recalculation of financial need-based aid can be based upon (but not limited to) the following special circumstances:
- Loss of employment/income by student, their spouse or parent(s)
- Loss of income due to disability of student, their spouse or parent(s)
- Loss of unemployment benefits or untaxed income or benefits by student, their spouse or parent(s)
- Death of a spouse or parent(s)
- Divorce or separation of self or parent(s)
- Loss of income due to a natural disaster or declared emergency
- Lump sum distribution or non-recurring income that inflates adjusted gross income for 2018
- Number in household increased after filing the FAFSA
- Other special circumstances that may affect you or your family's ability to pay for your educational expenses
For a request to be taken into consideration, you MUST submit the following required documentation:
1. A completed Professional Judgement Request Form
2. A written or typed statement describing in detail:
- The unusual circumstances or conditions
- The specific dates when these circumstances or conditions occurred
- The changes in your household as a direct result of these special circumstances
- The statement must be signed and dated
3. A 2020-2021 applicable Dependent or Independent Verification Worksheet
Professional Judgement Request Form
Dependent Verification Worksheet (needed if parent information is on your FAFSA)
Independent Verification Worksheet (needed if parent information is not on your FASFA)
Verification/documentation listed for your special circumstance(s) or condition(s):
Examples of documentation that can be used would include: termination or reduction-in-hours notification from an employer; unemployment benefits letter; copies of paid medical expenses not covered by insurance; legal documents (separation, divorce, marriage, adoption, etc.); three months of recent paystubs showing recent year-to-date earnings; benefit statements; physician's statement; signed copy of your or your parent's 2019 or 2020 Federal Income Tax Return; W-2 forms; 2018 or 2019 1099 MISC Forms, letters from agencies such as DCFS, etc.
Once paperwork is submitted, the Financial Aid Office will reach out to the student for any additional documentation/paperwork needed.