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Professional Judgement (PJ)/Request for Special Consideration

We recognize that the FAFSA may not always accurately reflect your financial situation and/or dependency status.  Although considerations for specific situations are limited, we may be able to give additional consideration for certain situations as described below.

  • Special Circumstances refer to the financial situations that justify an aid administrator adjusting data elements in the Cost of Attendance or in the EFC (Expected Family Contribution) or SAI (Student Aid Index) calculation.

  • 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.

A student may have both a special circumstance and an unusual circumstance. Financial aid administrators may make adjustments that are appropriate to each student’s situation with appropriate documentation. 

Requesting special consideration is expedited by using the PJ Advisor portal - an accessible, intuitive tool that will guide you through the process.

To submit an appeal for the 2022-2023 aid year, click here. The deadline to submit is July 1, 2023.

To submit an appeal for the 2023-2024 aid year, click here. The deadline to submit is July 1, 2024.

What Happens Next?

After accessing one of the links above, 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 who provide 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, the University of West Alabama 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, the Financial Aid Office will review for final determination and contact you with the results.


If you have any questions about the PJ process, please contact the University of West Alabama at 205-652-3576 or email financialaid@uwa.

About Inceptia

Inceptia, a division of National Student Loan Program (NSLP), is a nonprofit organization committed to offering effective and uncomplicated solutions in verification, financial aid management, financial education, and repayment wellness. 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 nearly 340,000 students learn how to pay for college, navigate financial aid, borrow wisely, and resolve their student loan repayment challenges. Our solutions are designed to support student success by helping financial aid administrators maximize resources, so they can spend more time focusing on students. Learn more at


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