Professional Judgments

Each year, students are required to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This form uses tax information from two years prior to determine the amount of federal grants and loans students can receive for the upcoming school year. COVID-19 has significantly impacted many students’ financial situations, however, the FAFSA does not currently provide an option to note special circumstances that may affect a student’s ability to pay for college.

Palm Beach Atlantic University offers a process called a professional judgment, which allows a student to request a reevaluation of eligibility for federal aid in order to account for job loss, exponential paid medical expenses, or changes from one tax year to another, such as in 2020. If a student is able to provide documentation to support the appeal, we recommend that you contact the Financial Aid Office to evaluate these requests on a case-by-case basis. Submitting an appeal does not guarantee an adjustment or addition to a financial aid offer.

Who is eligible?

To be eligible for this appeal process students must meet the criteria below:

  • Current undergraduate PBA student OR incoming undergraduate PBA student
  • FAFSA applicants who are U.S. Citizens or U.S. Permanent Residents
  • Have an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) higher than zero on their FAFSA. Financial aid offers for students with an EFC of zero have already been determined using the highest need calculation.

Qualifying Appeals

  • A loss of income due to unemployment or loss of child support
  • Recent reduction or changes in income that have occurred within the last two years
  • Unusually high out-of-pocket paid medical expenses (i.e., expenses not covered by insurance)
  • Student/parent marriage or divorce
  • Death of a parent/spouse

How do I start the appeal?

  1. Contact the Financial Aid Office to determine your eligibility.
  2. Submit an appeal letter explaining the significant financial changes you have experienced.
  3. Submit adequate supporting documentation after speaking with a Financial Aid Representative.

Who do I contact?

Contact the Financial Aid Office in one of the following ways:

  • Phone | (561) 803-2126
  • Email | finaid@pba.edu
  • Office | Monday-Friday 8AM-5PM