StudentForms supports two types of appeals for Professional Judgment (PJ), these appeals may be added through manual request, through bulk action, or through student request. These appeals allow the student to complete a web form that includes a statement indicating the reason for the request and if required allows the student to upload supporting documentation. Once the student completes the appeal, a school user reviews and makes a determination on the outcome of the appeal. The appeals available in StudentForms include:

  • Professional Judgment: Family Contribution Appeal (PJ EFC) - Appeal to review and adjust as needed data elements used in the EFC calculation.
  • Professional Judgment: Dependency Override (PJ DO) - Appeal to review if a change warranted in dependency status from Dependent to Independent 

These appeals require the student to have an ISIR on file for the award year to request and ISIR corrections may be made from these transaction types. Once an outcome is determined, any changes indicated during review appear in ISIR corrections and the appropriate flag is set on the subsequent ISIR. 

Users with the following roles may request and review (approve, deny, rescind) the appeal:

  • Professional Judgment: Family Contribution Appeal (PJ EFC) - Admin, School Admin (Limited), School PJ User
  • Professional Judgment: Dependency Override (PJ DO) - Admin, School Admin (Limited), School PJ User 

Users with the Admin, School Admin (Limited), and the School PJ User roles may request the appeal by going to Student Search  > Student Profile > Transactions Tab > Add

This document provides an overview of the PJ process in StudentForms. It assumes that the configuration of the appeal functionality, customization of instructions, and communication to the student has 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:

Requesting Appeal

After navigating to Student Search  > Student Profile > Transactions Tab in StudentForms, to request the appeal the user completes the following:

  • Click Add button to open the Request Transaction modal

  • Click the "Please select an award year..." dropdown to select the award year for which the appeal is being requested
    • Only open award years are available to be requested. If an award year is not appearing in the list and it is  during that award year cycle, Admin users may check your Award Year dates in Settings > Award Year Dates

  • Click the "Please select a transaction..." dropdown to select the type of appeal transaction being requested
    • Visibility of transaction types will vary based on ISIR information (if ISIR imported for AY), dependency status, user role, and appeals that have been enabled in Settings > Appeals
      • Independent students will not have the Dependency Override transaction type

  • In box labeled "Tracking Group"  you may change the default tracking group   
    • Each request for the same appeal type in the same award year must have a unique tracking group
  • Select reason(s) for request - StudentForms has default professional judgment reasons, the school admin may remove, add, change the reasons as part of the appeal setup.
  • In box with "Enter your comments..." enter a reason for selecting the student for the appeal being requested.
    • Comments entered into the box are visible to the student after logging into Studentforms
  • Click Complete to finish the request for appeal and to add it to the student's task list
  • Click Cancel to cancel request and return to transaction tab

Appeals - Appeal Screen Overview

The Appeals screen is how a school user will review and make a determination on the appeal. After logging into StudentForms, the school user is on the Dashboard. The school user can navigate to the Appeal screen for a student by either choosing the student from the Appeals Workflow or by student search. Below is how to get to the Appeal screen by both methods, first is the Workflow screen.

Select Workflow from the menu to be taken to the Workflow page.

Workflow Overview

The Workflow screen contains the different file reviews available for the school. The workflow tiles will vary based on user roles. Admin and School Admin (limited) will have all workflows available. School PJ Users will only see the Appeal Review tile. 

  • Click Category dropdown - to limit the view to only specific appeal type
    • Visibility for appeal type category limited by role
  • Click Get Next Appeal button to open the oldest appeal in workflow by date ready
    • Pended appeals are skipped over using get next functionality
  • Click View All button to view all files in the workflow

Student Search

Generally, student search will be used to find a specific student who may be requesting assistance on their tasks or to review their account.

  • Enter into the Search box the student information
  • Select View button for the student if multiple students returned in search

  • Click the Transactions tab to see the list of available transactions for the student

  • Click the Review button for the appeal that requires review
    • Visibility of transaction type is based on user role(s)

Appeal Screen Overview

The appeal screen is used to review the documentation submitted by the student and for the school user to make a determination on the outcome of the appeal.  The school user may also request additional documentation from the student as needed.

  1. Review Tab - This allows the school user to review documents submitted, make a determination on the outcome of the appeal, and request additional documentation
  2. Student View - This allows the school user to view the student task list for the appeal
  3. Outcome Information - Provides information on the outcome of the appeal (approved, denied, rescinded), the reviewer's comments, and the date of the outcome
  4. Add button - This allows the school user to request additional information from the student as needed
  5. View button - This allows the school user to review documents submitted and determine if they are acceptable
  6. Delete button This allows school users with admin or school admin(limited) roles to delete submitted documents
    • Note: Documents deleted in this manner are permanently deleted from StudentForms and may not be recovered. Only documents uploaded in error to the wrong account should be deleted in this manner.
  7. Show Previous Versions link - Allows the school user to see all documents submitted that are not the current version of the document i.e. previously rejected documents

  1. Full File Review and FAFSA Section Dropdown - The full file review is where the school user makes any necessary adjustments to the data elements used in the EFC calculation. The FAFSA section dropdown allows the user to move to the different sections of the FAFSA.
  2. Edit button - Opens the FAFSA/ISIR field to make adjustments to ISIR data.
  3. Pend button - This allows the user to place the transaction into a pend status. This places an indicator in the Appeal review workflow grid and removes the file from the get next functionality of the workflow.
  4. Approve button - Once all documents have been reviewed and approved, the school user may approve the appeal based on their review criteria.
    • The button is only enabled after all documents are reviewed and the transaction is in a Reviewing File status
  5. Deny button - Once all documents have been reviewed and approved, the school user may deny the appeal based on their review criteria.
    • The button is only enabled after all documents are reviewed and the transaction is in a Reviewing File status
  6. Rescind button - Allows the user to rescind (ignore) the appeal request, places the transaction status into Ignored

Appeals - Completing PJ Review

After the student has submitted the appeal for review, the appeal appears in the Appeal Review workflow. The school user opens the appeal from the workflow to begin the review process.

To complete the review of the Appeal, all of the active documents submitted must first be reviewed. 

Click the View button for each document to open the document review modal. 

  • Enter any required document values from the document submitted 
    • Web forms will prepopulate information entered into the web form
  • Click the Complete button to approve the document
  • Click the Pend button to mark the document as pended
    • This places an indicator in the document review grid
  • Click the Reject button to return the document to the student to upload a new document or add pages to the existing document

Once the appeal documents have been reviewed the school user may make any needed adjustments to ISIR values in the full file review section. After all adjustments have been made the school user may approve, deny or rescind the PJ appeal. Choosing one of the options sends a notification to the student with the outcome of their appeal.    

  • Click the Approve button to approve the appeal.
  • Click the Deny button to deny the appeal.
  • Rescind button closes the appeal without a decision and marks the transaction Ignored.

When a PJ Appeal is approved, a correction file is always generated to update the appropriate flag on the ISIR. 

  • For PJ EFC transactions a correction is made to Professional Judgment to a value of 1 = EFC adjustment processed
  • For PJ DO transactions a correction is made to Dependency Override Indicator to 1 = FAA override from dependent to independent.  
  • NOTE: No other values will populate for either field through StudentForms. i.e. StudentForms does not set the Dependency Override Indicator to 4 = FAA homeless youth determination. 

Each of the options requires the school user to enter a comment section to describe the decision steps and outcome of the appeal.  The comments are able to be included in the notification that is sent to the student admin users may update the notifications by going to PlatformManagement > Settings > Platform Communications > StudentForms, then editing the individual appeal approval and denial emails to include the Transaction Outcome Comments merge field.