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Occasionally, students will encounter unusual or extenuating circumstances affecting their expenses that may be considered in addition to the standard Cost of Attendance (COA). The federal government permits the financial aid administrator to consider an individual student's circumstances when evaluating his/her financial need through the use of professional judgment . A Request for Professional Judgment Adjustment form, along with supporting documentation, must be completed and submitted to the Student Financial Aid Office for any COA adjustment request. The request will be reviewed and if appropriate, documented adjustments will be made accordingly. Examples of COA adjustments which may be considered include:
1. The cost for child care (spouse must be employed full-time or be a full-time student). The Student Financial Aid Office establishes an annual maximum allowable rate for child care based on the age of the child.
2. Unusual expenses associated with the student's transportation costs (for example, necessary car repairs above and beyond standard maintenance costs already included in the COA).
3.Unreimbursed, necessary medical/dental expenses that have been paid.
4.Elementary/secondary school tuition paid for the student's dependents.
5.Computer purchase- The documented purchase of a computer can be included in a student's
cost of attendance up to a maximum of $1000. One adjustment for the purpose of purchasing
a computer will be done during a student's enrollment at UT.
The Student Financial Aid Office does not make adjustments for costs associated with students' pets, moving expenses, credit card debt, or other expenses not directly related to the student's education.
In addition to adjustments to a student's COA, it is possible for the Student Financial Aid Office staff to make a professional judgment adjustment to data elements used to calculate the estimated student contribution. The most common reasons for such adjustments include:
- Involuntary loss of employment or untaxed income,
- Payment of necessary unreimbursable medical/dental expenses,
- Payment of elementary/secondary school tuition,
- Divorce or separation,
- Death of a parent or student's spouse.
Ifa student believes that s/he has an extenuating circumstance for which a professional judgment adjustment should be made, the Professional Judgment Adjustment form must be obtained from the Student Financial Aid Office, or from the website, and completed. The form, along with supporting documentation, will be reviewed by a Student Financial Aid counselor for possible adjustments and the student will be notified in writing of the approval or denial of the request for an adjustment.