Skip to main content

Professional Judgment

Professional judgment is the process and determination by financial aid advisors to make adjustments, based on special circumstances, to need calculations, including Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and the Cost of Attendance (COA) reported by FAFSA.

For this process, financial aid advisors conduct a Contribution Review that will require the completion of the Contribution Review Form (available by campus below) with a submission of a Letter of Description, and supportive documentation to determine if adjustments are warranted due to special circumstances. Adjustments to the EFC or COA may assist students in becoming eligible for additional financial aid resources.

The contribution review allows students to document unusual circumstances not reflected on the FAFSA. Approval of the circumstances may lower the estimated family contribution, which may allow for additional need-based aid. If verification has not yet been completed, verification of your 2019 tax information with tax documentation and W-2’s must be submitted to the Financial Aid Office.


*Professional Judgments do not guarantee adjustments or additional aid.

Special Circumstances That May Qualify:

  • Some examples include, but are not limited to:
  • Change in income or job loss
  • Financial Hardship
  • Unusual family medical or dental expenses not covered by insurance
  • Tuition cost for elementary/secondary school for student’s siblings or dependents
  • Extraordinary dependent care expenses
  • Decrease or loss of child support
  • Divorce of a dependent student’s parent or of an independent student
  • Death of a dependent student’s parent or of an independent student’s spouse.
  • Computer purchase or substantial transportation costs for college.
  • Other changes or unusual situations.

Special Circumstances Related to COVID That May Qualify:

  • Laying off or furloughing of staff that affected student’s or parent’s income
  • Lost wages due to illness, a quarantine period, or shelter-in-place order
  • Loss of employment
  • Death of a parent or other wage-earner
  • Inability to work because of illness
  • Forced relocation expenses due to COVID
  • Out-of-pocket medical expenses


Students must complete the Contribution Review Form, provide a Letter of Description of Special Circumstances, as well as supporting documentation for the special circumstance in which may be considered for professional judgment. Students will need to submit these documents, via email,  to their advisors at their home/primary-enrolled campus. Please be advised that your advisors may request additional documentation or a meeting to discuss your circumstances. Please allow 14 business days for your advisor to review your documentation. If an adjustment* can be made,  your advisor will notify you of any financial aid resources you may be eligible for.


Below are links to the Contribution Review Form based on the primary enrolled campus. You must submit the form to your home/ currently admitted campus.

Main Campus Form DACC Form Alamogordo Form Grants Form Carlsbad Form

Info Sessions

Advisors from the NMSU Financial Aid System will host info sessions for students to ask questions about the professional judgment process. Students from any campus are encouraged to attend.

Date Time Zoom ID Advisors
October 21 2:00 pm 963 0213 4808 Stephanie & Valerie
October 26 5:00 pm 933 8067 4165 Rocio & Belinda
October 28 3:00 pm 969 3120 2203 Priscilla & Paul