The system specifically supports two appeal types for Professional Judgment (PJ) - Appeal to Dependency Status and Appeal of the Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) for financially related special circumstances. In both cases the student will contact the institution regarding the appeal and the appeal type will be requested by a school user with the appropriate permissions. The student will then be able to complete an appeal form, electronically sign the appeal and upload supporting documentation for the appeal before submitting the appeal. A school user can then review the documents and appeal and render an appeal decision in the system. The system will then include the transaction in the ISIR correction process as appropriate. 

This document provides an overview of the PJ process in the StudentVerification system. It assumes that configuration of the appeal functionality, customization of instructions and communication to the student have already been completed and that the appropriate school users have been assigned permissions to view and manage the appeals. For more information on setup please see the following related articles:

Process Overview 

The following steps are involved in processing an appeal for Professional Judgment (PJ):

  1. Request for PJ by a school user
  2. Completion of PJ Appeal form by student
  3. Appeal Review by school user
  4. ISIR Correction

Request for PJ

The request for a dependency override appeal or an EFC override will begin with the student contacting the financial aid office and receiving advisement as your institution currently manages the process. A school user with the appropriate permissions will then go to the Student Account Page and click Request Professional Judgment and identify whether it is a dependency override and/or an EFC appeal and the reasons/circumstances for the appeal. 

  • If the student has not been selected for verification and it is necessary for the appeal, select Request Verification first and then request Professional Judgement
  • For additional  instructions please see the How to Create a Professional Judgment Appeal article.

Completion of Appeal PJ Form

Each appeal request will generate new tabs for the student in student self-service. The student will be walked through a webform to generate an appeal request, electronically sign that request and submit supporting documentation. Based on your institution's professional judgment configuration the student may be required to complete transactions in a specific order:

  • Dependency Override must be completed and new ISIR received before verification is completed to insure that the appropriate verification requirements are in place.
    • Please note: Homeless youth determinations should be done outside of StudentForms.
  • Verification must be completed prior to an EFC appeal so that the baseline information for the appeal is present and reviewed prior to the EFC appeal evaluation. 

Please Note: Based on your institution's configuration students may receive automated email and/or SMS notifications regarding document submission and the outcome of their appeal. The student must have created an account for the notifications to be sent.

Appeal Review

Once the student has submitted the appeal(s) they will be available in Appeal queue on the Workflow page for school users with the appropriate permissions. The user may filter by appeal type and/or award year and use the get next feature to get the oldest file for review or select view all to view all files in the appeal review workflow. 

Within file review the user then completes the following steps:
  • Document review of all documents
  • Update information on ISIR as appropriate
  • Render a decision on the appeal 
  • Enter supporting comments for the decision

ISIR Correction

Fields updated during the appeal review on the ISIR will generate an ISIR correction file similar to the verification process. In addition if the PJ appeal is granted, the system automatically sets appropriate fields that a dependency override and/or EFC recalculation was granted. ISIR corrections for PJ are included with corrections from verification in a single batch file for upload to the department.