Professional Judgement

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Dependency Override Appeal

Chattahoochee Technical College understands that navigating the financial aid process can be a daunting task and the Chattahoochee Tech Financial Aid Staff Members are here to help provide you with a clearer understanding of the Financial Aid Dependency Override Appeal. 

Federal regulations permit the College to override a student’s dependency status for Federal Financial Aid purposes if unusual circumstances exist and can be documented. This determination is made on a case-by-case basis. Not all requests will qualify for a Dependency Override. A Dependency Override request can take up to 5 business days to process once all required documentation is provided.

The following conditions are NOT considered unusual circumstances:

  • Parents refusal to contribute to the student’s education
  • Parents are unwilling to provide information for the FAFSA or verification  
  • Parents do not claim the student as a dependent for income tax purposes
  • Student demonstrates total self-sufficiency
  • Student does not communicate with parents

If you have an unusual or extenuating circumstance that you believe warrants you independency status, you will need to complete and submit the Dependency Override Appeal form, along with all required supporting documents. Please contact your Financial Aid Counselor for a form to be emailed to you. You can submit the form, and all supporting documents, to our Financial Aid Secure Document Portal.  

For more information, please visit the Dependency Status guidelines set forth by Federal Student Aid.

Special Circumstance Appeal

Chattahoochee Technical College recognizes that changes may be experienced in the financial situation of a household. While the FAFSA determines financial aid eligibility based on tax and income data from two years prior, the SCA process exists to re-evaluate a student’s aid based on certain significant financial changes.

Financial Aid Administrators are authorized to use professional judgment on a case-by-case basis for students with special circumstances that affect a family’s ability to pay for college education that are not reflected in the information provided on the FAFSA. Manual adjustments can be made to students’/parents’ yearly income based on current financial status as opposed to financial information on the FAFSA from two years prior. In many cases, professional judgment adjustments made to the FAFSA do not result in significant changes to the Federal Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and do not change a student’s financial aid eligibility. Special Circumstance Appeals are made based on a change of income that is beyond your control.

Examples of unusual circumstances that warrant an appeal may include the following:

  • Separation or Divorce
  • Loss or reduction of employment (those due to cause or personal choice are not applicable)
  • Death of parent or spouse
  • Child Support change

Please contact your Financial Aid Counselor for a Special Circumstance Appeal form to be emailed to you. You can submit the form, and all supporting documents, to our Financial Aid Secure Document Portal

If ALL supporting documentation is not submitted, this could result in denial of your appeal. All pertinent information is needed so that full consideration can be given to your appeal. Your aid will remain the same until your appeal has been approved. Once a decision has been made, you will be contacted through student email. All financial documents used for the current year’s FAFSA and the financial documents for the change in income year will be needed.

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