FAFSA & Federal Financial Aid

Federal financial aid may be available for qualifying students based on the results of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA is free to complete and may help you offset the cost of education-related expenses. Below are just a few resources to help you be successful.

File Your FAFSA Professional Judgement Verification Contact Us



  1. Grants
    This is need-based funding determined by your FAFSA that doesn’t need to be paid back. 
  2. Work-study
    This is funding that can be earned by working and doesn’t need to be paid back.
  3. Loans
    This is borrowed money that you repay with interest.


  • October 1
    FAFSA applications open for the next academic year.
  • March 1
    The priority financial aid deadline from ORU for returning students. 
  • June 30 
    The FAFSA deadline for the coming academic year   

Important: The earlier you file the FAFSA, the better. Apply by March 1, ORU’s priority financial aid deadline, to be considered for all available types of financial aid.


  1. Complete your FAFSA at www.fafsa.gov. Remember, it’s free!
  2. On the FAFSA, enter ORU’s code (003985) to send us your information.
  3. Complete and submit all additional documents that may be requested.
  4. If you’ve been admitted to ORU, we’ll send you a personalized financial aid offer.
  5. Confirm and accept your financial aid offer in your ORU Vision account.


I plan on attending ORU between: I’ll submit the following FAFSA: Sometime between: Using tax return information from:
July 1, 2022 - June 30, 2023 2022-2023 FAFSA October 1, 2021 - June 30, 2023 2020 (filed early 2021)
July 1, 2023 - June 30, 2024 2023-2024 FAFSA October 1, 2022 - June 30, 2024 2021 (filed early 2022)


Apply to ORU  Start Your FAFSA 

Remember to use ORU’s school code (003985) when completing the FAFSA so that we receive your information. If you have questions about federal financial aid or need help completing the FAFSA, connect with us today.

Professional Judgement

What is Professional Judgement?

The FAFSA uses a past year's financial data because it is easily verifiable (e.g. taxes and W-2s). However, sometimes changes in employment, marital status, or health can make past financial data become outdated for the purpose of estimating current year financial data. Professional Judgment (PJ) may be utilized for special circumstances that the FAFSA does not take into consideration. For example, loss of income, high medical bills, and extenuating family situations. Professional Judgment is the process of having the ORU Financial Aid Office override FAFSA data for federally-approved situations using reasonable methods for adjusting the FAFSA data inputs. No changes are made to the FAFSA's EFC formula.

Professional Judgment is also used for students who are considered Dependent by FAFSA but have unusual family circumstances that allow the ORU Financial Aid Office to determine the student is Independent for FAFSA. Dependency Override situations include abusive parents, incapacitated parents, and other sensitive family situations. Dependency override adjustments are rare so a follow-up questionnaire may be requested, and full documentation is required to be considered for approval. 

How do I petition?

If you have already submitted your FAFSA, you may inquire about your eligibility for Professional Judgment by completing this form. If determined eligible for an adjustment, you will be sent a petition to complete for requesting additional funds, and a list of documentation to include. Once you submit the form and accompanying documentation, your information will be reviewed and the Financial Aid Office for an adjustment using the information you provided. Please allow two weeks after documentation is complete for processing of PJ adjustments.

What is the deadline?

Professional Judgment Petitions can only be obtained after first submitting a FAFSA for the applicable school year, even if the FAFSA will be unofficial or rejected as a result of not having a Dependency Override processed yet, for example. If your EFC is already $0, only a Dependency Override PJ Petition would be considered. Also, any PJ Petition for the fall semester should be fully documented before the end of May 1. The further after May that a PJ situation occurs, the less likely it will be considered for the current school year. However, the financial situation may be accounted for on a following year's FAFSA. 

Petition Now


Some students have their FAFSA applications selected for a process called Verification. Students are selected by the Department of Education or by the school. Common reasons to be selected include reporting unlikely FAFSA information (e.g. taxes paid amount equals adjusted gross income amount), significant changes of FAFSA information compared to a prior year's FAFSA, or being selected at random.

Verification FAQ

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