COVID-19 Reporting and Information • HEERF I, II & III

Financial Aid

PROFESSIONAL JUDGMENT APPEAL
2021-2022

Listed below are examples of circumstances for which a professional judgment may be considered at Tennessee Tech University. Other circumstances may be considered, if warranted, on a case-by-case basis. Each example below lists the minimum documentation required. You will be notified if additional documentation is needed. A statement from the student, and the parent if applicable, requesting a re-evaluation and the reason for the request should be attached to the documentation listed below.

***PLEASE NOTE: a request to review earnings beyond calendar year 2019 may not be considered prior to the 2020 Tax Return being available*** 

1.  A parent who became unemployed in 2019 or 2020.

    • A statement from parent indicating the date on which he/she became unemployed and the situation that led to the 
      unemployment. 
    • A copy of the letter of separation or lay-off from the company, or notice of company closing.
    • SIGNED copy of parents’ & student’s 2019 Tax Return with schedules and copies of all W2 forms, 1099s, etc.
    • SIGNED copy of parents’ 2020 Tax Return with schedules and copies of all W2 forms, 1099s, etc.
    • A completed and signed 2021-2022 Dependent Verification Worksheet (as determined by the Financial Aid Office).

2. The death of a parent during calendar year 2019, 2020 or after student has filed the 2021-2022 Free Application for 
Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

    • Copy of death certificate. 
    • SIGNED copy of parents’ & student’s 2019 Tax Return with schedules and copies of all W2 forms. 
    • A completed and signed 2021-2022 Dependent Verification Worksheet (as determined by the Financial Aid Office).
    • SIGNED copy of 2020 Tax Return with schedules and copies of all W2s, 1099s, etc. MAY be required to accurately adjust your FAFSA.

3.  A parent lost the job held in 2019 (ex: company closing, lay-off, etc.) and was employed in a lower-paying position for 2020.

    • Statement from parent describing the situation that led to the loss of the first job
    • A copy of the letter of separation or lay-off from the company, or notice of company closing.
    • SIGNED copy of parents’ & student’s 2019 Tax Return with schedules and copies of all W2 forms, 1099s, etc.
    • SIGNED copy of parents’ 2020 Tax Return with schedules and copies of all W2 forms, 1099s, etc.
    • A completed and signed 2021-2022 Dependent Verification Worksheet (as determined by the Financial Aid Office).    

4.  A student/parent/spouse had income in 2019 (Child support, alimony, unemployment, etc.) that is no longer received.

    • Statement from student/parent (spouse if applicable) stating what income has ceased, when it ceased and why.
    • Verification of the income received in 2019 that has ceased.
    • SIGNED copy of parents’ & student’s (spouse’s if applicable) 2019 Tax Return with schedules and copies of all W2 forms.
    • Verification from the source of the untaxed income documenting the date on which it ceased and the amount received in 2019.
    • A completed and signed 2021-2022 Verification Worksheet (as determined by the Financial Aid Office).

5. A student or spouse who became unemployed in 2019 or 2020.

    • A statement from student indicating the date on which he/she became unemployed and the situation that led to the unemployment. 
    • A copy of the letter of separation or lay-off from the company, or notice of company closing.
    • SIGNED copy of student’s and spouse’s (if not a joint return) 2019 Tax Return with schedules and copies of all W2 forms, 1099s, etc.
    • SIGNED copy of student’s 2020 Tax Return with schedules from and copies of all W2 forms, 1099s, etc.
    • A completed and signed 2021-2022 Independent Verification Worksheet (as determined by the Financial Aid Office).

6. The death of a spouse during the 2019 or 2020 calendar year or after a student has filed the 2021-2022 FAFSA.

    •  Copy of death certificate. 
    • SIGNED copy of 2019 Federal Tax Return with schedules and copies of all W2 forms, 1099s, etc.
    • A completed and signed 2021-2022 Independent Verification Worksheet (as determined by the Financial Aid Office).
    • SIGNED copy of the 2020 Tax Return with schedules and a copy of all W2s, 1099s, etc. MAY be required to accurately adjust your FAFSA.

7.  A student or spouse lost the job held in 2019 (ex: lay-off, company closing etc. ) and was employed in a lower-paying position for 2020.

    •  Statement from student or spouse describing the situation that led to the loss of the first job.
    • A copy of the letter of separation or lay-off from the company, or notice of company closing.
    • SIGNED copy of student’s or spouse’s 2019 Tax Return with schedules and copies of all W2 forms.
    • SIGNED copy of student’s 2020 Tax Return with schedules and copies of all W2 forms.
    • A completed and signed 2021-2022 Independent Verification Worksheet (as determined by the Financial Aid Office).

8. Unusual necessary medical/dental expenses for calendar year 2019 or 2020.

    • SIGNED copy of student’s and parents’ (or spouse if applicable) 2019 Tax Return with schedules and all W2 forms,  1099s etc. 
    • A statement that summarizes the total amount of out-of-pocket, non-reimbursed expenses for the 2019 or 2020 calendar year, and the person in the household who incurred the expenses (this should not include insurance premiums or travel). Your summary must be specific, as we will not calculate expenses and assume what was or was not non-reimbursed.
    • Cancelled checks or receipts showing amounts paid with statement from insurance company showing that expenses were not reimbursed may be requested.
    • Statement from pharmacy showing pharmaceuticals paid for by student/parent not covered by insurance—co-pays may be included. 
    • Statement from physician showing out-of-pocket payments, i.e. co-pays. 
    • A completed and signed 2021-2022 Verification Worksheet (as determined by the Financial Aid Office). 
    • SIGNED copy of applicable 2020 Tax Return with schedules may be required with all W2 forms, 1099s, etc.

9.  Disability of student/spouse/parent.

    • Medical documentation of disability and any benefits received as a result of disability. 
    • Statement from employer showing earnings for the current year until student/spouse/parent became disabled. 
    • Unemployment compensation documentation of amounts and duration of payment(s). 
    • Income from all sources taxed and untaxed for the current calendar year.
    • SIGNED copy of applicable 2019 Tax Return with schedules and all W2 forms, 1099s, etc.
    • SIGNED copy of applicable 2020 Tax Return with schedules and all W2 forms, 1099s, etc.
    • A completed and signed 2021-2022 Verification Worksheet (as determined by the Financial Aid Office)

10. Dependency Override

CIRCUMSTANCES NOT GIVEN CONSIDERATION
The Department of Education has identified conditions that, individually or in combination with one another, DO NOT QUALIFY AS UNUSUAL CIRCUMSTANCES, or do not merit a change in dependency status. Those conditions are as follows:

  • Parent(s) refusing to contribute to the student’s education 
  • Parent(s) unwilling to provide information necessary to complete the FAFSA and/or verification process.
  • Parent(s) not claiming the student as a dependent for income tax purposes.
  • Student demonstrating total self-sufficiency and/or not living with their parent(s)

However; if you could not answer YES to one of the 13 dependency questions provided on the FAFSA but you feel you meet the criteria stated below, you may contact our office and request the appropriate paperwork necessary to be considered for a Dependency Override.

CIRCUMSTANCES GIVEN CONSIDERATION (with supporting documentation)

    • A student’s voluntary or involuntary removal from the parents’ home due to an extreme situation that threatened the student’s health and/or safety and due to these conditions, parent support was terminated.
    • Incapacity of parent(s) such as incarceration, mental or physical illness or the inability of the applicant to locate the parent(s).
    • Other extenuating circumstances that can be sufficiently documented.

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