Professional Judgment (PJ) / Special Circumstances

Professional Judgment (PJ)/Financial Aid Appeal Process 

Professional Judgements

Financial Aid Administrators have the authority to take into consideration unique family circumstances not reflected on the application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  An aid administrator may use Professional Judgment (PJ) on a case-by-case basis to adjust the following:

  • Student's Cost of Attendance
  • FAFSA Data Elements used to calculate the Student's Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
  • Students Dependency Status

We are pleased to announce we have established a partnership with Inceptia to expedite the financial aid appeal process by utilizing the PJ Advisor online portal. PJ Advisor is an accessible, intuitive tool that will guide you through the process to request a professional judgment/appeal. 

What Happens Next? 

You may access PJ Advisor at You (or a parent, spouse, or legal guardian) will need to do the following*: 

  • Create a secure user name and password. 
  • Select your dependency status as reported on the FAFSA. 
  • Answer the pre-screening questions and select your appeal category. 
  • Explain your situation in detail, upload supporting documentation, and submit. 
  • Print, sign, and upload the signature page. 

*Dependent students that provided parental information on the FAFSA are required to have one parent signature on the signature page once all documentation has been submitted. 

Upon receipt of all required documents, Inceptia will conduct a preliminary review to ensure the submission is accurate and complete. You will be notified via email if there are any questions or if any additional documentation is required. Once the submission is verified as complete, it will be sent to your school’s financial aid office for final review and determination. Your school will contact you with the results. 


If you have any questions about the appeal process, please contact Inceptia’s PJ Advisor Customer Service Monday through Friday from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm Central at 888-302-7527 or email

About Inceptia 

Inceptia, a division of National Student Loan Program (NSLP), is a nonprofit organization committed to offering effective and uncomplicated solutions in financial aid management, default prevention, and financial education. Our mission is to support schools as they launch brilliant futures for students, armed with the knowledge to become financially responsible citizens. Since 1986, we have helped more than two million students at 5,500 schools reach their higher education dreams. Each year, we help more than 160,000 students learn how to pay for college, borrow wisely, resolve their delinquency issues, and repay their student loan obligations. Our solutions are designed to support student success by helping financial aid administrators maximize resources, so they can spend more time focusing on students. More information at