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Professional Judgment
 
Incarcerated Spouse

If one spouse is incarcerated, financial aid administrators can use professional judgment to treat the couple as though they are separated. Regardless of whether they are separated or not, the financial aid administrator can use professional judgment to exclude an incarcerated spouse from household size. The financial aid administrator should consider whether the spouse will be incarcerated for the full award year when making his or her decision.

Note that if a student is separated, they are still considered married for the purpose of determining independent student status. So using professional judgment to exclude a student's incarcerated spouse from household size will not cause the student to revert to dependent student status.

 

 
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