You may request for the financial aid office to adjust information on your FAFSA form due to special or unusual circumstances that impact your federal student aid eligibility.  Professional judgement determinations are made on a case by case basis by financial aid staff and are only valid for the current academic year.  The Department of Education distinguishes between 2 different categories of professional judgements:

Professional Judgements due to Special Circumstances:

Special Circumstances refer to the financial situations that justify an aid administrator adjusting data elements in the Cost of Attendance or in the SAI calculation.

Examples of special circumstances that may be considered include: change in employment status, income or assets; change in housing status (e.g. homelessness); medical, dental, or nursing home expenses not covered by insurance; child or dependent care expenses; death of a parent; and divorce or separation of a parent.

All students requesting a professional judgement due to special circumstances, as defined above, must first complete verification. You can learn more about Verification for Federal Financial Aid here.

Professional Judgements due to Unusual Circumstances:

Unusual Circumstances refer to the conditions that justify an aid administrator making an adjustment to a student’s dependency status based on a unique situation, more commonly referred to as a dependency override.

Examples of unusual circumstances that may be considered include: human trafficking; legally granted refugee or asylum status; parental abandonment or estrangement; or student or parental incarceration.

Unusual circumstances do NOT include parents refusing to contribute to the student’s education; parents who will not provide information for the FAFSA or verification; parents who do not claim the student as a dependent for income tax purposes; or students who demonstrate total self-sufficiency.

A student may have both a special circumstance AND an unusual circumstance.

Documentation of the special or unusual circumstances are required. Please note that for cases of separation and divorce, if the parents are filing taxes “Married Filing Jointly,” an adjustment will only be made once. Subsequent years will not be reviewed or considered for adjustment.

To request a professional judgement, please contact the financial aid office at [email protected].



Financial Aid FAQs

Students who receive financial aid have a special obligation to complete their contracts and ISPs satisfactorily and on time. An Incomplete or Unsatisfactory contract or ISP puts aid at risk. If students have any questions regarding the financial aid implications for any aspects of their contract, they should speak with the Office of Financial Aid, contact listed below.

Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid Purposes (SAP) is checked in January and June as a part of the college’s participation in Federal Financial Aid programs. The office of Admissions and Financial Aid checks the following aspects of SAP:

  • Satisfactory completion of semester contracts and the ISP.
  • Satisfactory completion of at least 2/3 of all units attempted (cumulative, including transfer credit).
  • Maximum time frame for federal aid: 46.5 units  (cumulative, including transfer credit).
  • Maximum time frame for institutional aid: through the 8th contract (including contracts earned through transfer credit, unless the student enters NCF directly from high school)


Office staff check in June, after evaluations are due, to ensure that students who receive Bright Futures have satisfactory evaluations for both fall and spring semester contracts.

Perhaps the most common problem is that contract assessments that are “Incomplete” or “Unsatisfactory” will prevent renewal of Bright Futures, and prevent a student from meeting SAP requirements. In order to help avoid this, students should make sure to submit their work on time, and faculty to complete their evaluations by the deadline.

Students with multiple Unsatisfactory contracts should ask about appealing for financial aid; permission to enroll does not automatically guarantee eligibility for aid.

Questions? Contact Us

Financial Aid

Phone Number
Email Address
Palmer D – Second Floor
Office Hours
M - F
8 - 5