Nicholls State University


HEERF III Grant -Special Circumstances

The special circumstance and professional judgement processes are tools for financial aid administrators. Based on adequate documentation, a student’s eligibility for financial aid may be adjusted to include circumstances not reflected in the original application. Instead of the base year income that was initially used in the calculation of the expected family contribution, the application may be adjusted to the income documentation submitted.

As part of the HEERF III Grant funding appropriated, provisions were made requiring schools to conduct direct outreach to applicants to inform them of the opportunity to receive a financial aid adjustment due to the recent unemployment of a direct family member of a dependent student or the recent unemployment of an independent student, or other circumstance related to COVID-19.

To be considered for this HEERF III professional adjustment request:

  • Your household’s financial hardship must be related to the COVID pandemic
  • You have an EFC greater than 0 for the aid year
  • You are pursuing a first undergraduate degree
  • You have significant changes in current income compared to a student’s income tax data reported on his/her financial aid application and have supporting documentation to validate your circumstances
  • You must complete the verification process and provide tax returns, wages and other forms of income for the aid year reported on the FAFSA as well as subsequent years

If you believe that you may qualify, please email and refer to HEERF III – Special Circumstances for further instruction.

All professional judgement applications are required to be complete and have supporting documentation. We have the right to request additional documentation, beyond what is requested on the application, to support your unusual circumstance. A professional judgement cannot be processed for changes until verification is complete.

We understand that many circumstances impact a family’s ability to contribute to a student’s education. Our office will assist you to understand your options and determine if any additional aid may be available based on your circumstances. Please realize that not all circumstances will be eligible for consideration, and not all applications will result in additional financial assistance.