Dependent Versus Independent Status

Dependent vs. Independent Status for FAFSA

If you are considered an Independent Student, only your information (and your spouse’s, if you are married) is used to calculate the expected family contribution. If you are a Dependent Student, your parents’ income information is also used.

You are considered an Independent Student if any one of the following applies to you: (if none of these statements apply to you, you are considered a Dependent student)

  1. You are or born before January 1, 1995
  2. You are married
  3. You have children that you support
  4. You have legal dependents of your own
  5. You are a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces, having served on active duty
  6. You are a ward of the court/in foster care/both of your parents are deceased
  7. You are or was in legal guardianship
  8. You are or was an emancipated minor
  9. You are an unaccompanied homeless youth as determined by high school/homeless liaison, HUD, or director of homeless youth center

You are considered a Dependent Student and must supply information about your parents on your FAFSA if none of the conditions above apply to you.

Overriding Dependency Status

It may be possible to have your dependency status officially changed by the Financial Aid Officer by filing a petition with the financial aid office. There must be extenuating circumstances (such as a family situation involving abuse or other adverse circumstances) involved which are documented by a professional familiar with the situation in order to be considered.  You may visit the Financial Aid department and request for the dependency override form.