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EIU Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships

Professional Judgment Policies and Procedures

​Due to varying circumstances, students and parents often find the information provided on the FAFSA no longer realistically reflects their ability to provide educational support. When this happens, students may choose to submit a Professional Judgment (PJ) appeal to our office requesting that their situation be reviewed.

It is the policy of Eastern Illinois University’s Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships that we begin to use Professional Judgment to make adjustments to the EFC after March 1 for the upcoming award year. Please allow 4-6 weeks, after submitting all requested documentation, for appeal results. Please note, a successful appeal does not guarantee additional aid, and sometimes additional aid is not immediately available.

Examples of professional judgment reasons include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Death of a student’s parent or spouse
  • The family has incurred extraordinary medical/dental expenses
  • The student’s parent is attending college at least half-time in a degree-seeking program
  • The student’s parent has retired
  • The student or the student’s parents have separated or divorced
  • The student’s or parent(s)’ income has been significantly reduced in the current year
  • The student or parent(s) no longer receives untaxed benefits such as child support, or other sources of income
  • The parent or student has received a one-time disbursement of funds (i.e. severance package, bonus, etc...) which were unavailable for educational expenses

To request a Professional Judgment, please submit the attached appeal form(s) and additional documentation to support your request to the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships. Please include the student’s name and EIU E# on all documentation. Upon receipt and review of the appeal form, additional documentation may be requested as needed. Please check your EIU Panthermail account frequently.

Please allow at least 4 - 6 weeks, after submitting all requested documentation, for appeal results. If a preliminary simulation does not yield a significant change to your current financial aid award package, the appeal will not be processed and the student will be notified. Please note, a successful appeal does not guarantee additional aid, and additional aid is not always immediately available. Appeals will only be processed once unless a significant change or omission occurs.

The deadline for appeals for students enrolled fall semester only is November 1st. The deadline for students enrolled spring semester only is April 1st. The deadline for students enrolled both fall and spring is April 1st.

For adjustments to income processed after January 1st, students and parents will be asked to provide current year tax forms or W-2s rather than estimates. Once again, this is to provide the Department of Education with the most current, up-to-date information possible.

Professional Judgment Forms

Professional Judgment Forms

Electronic signatures are currently not accepted for our institutional forms (listed on this page). ; All signatures MUST be handwritten. ; If you are connected to a printer, you may type in other information and print the form. ; Some information cannot be handled in this way, such as signature/date lines, and any information provided by or requiring the signature of another person.

All forms are .pdf documents. ; Get the latest free Adobe Reader here.

Related Pages

Contact Information

Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships

Student Services Building East Wing
600 Lincoln Avenue
Charleston, IL 61920
(217) 581-6405
Fax: (217) 581-6422

Office Hours

9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. M-F

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