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Independent Students

Your dependency status determines whose information you must report when you fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). A dependent student will report both the student and parents’ information. An independent student report just the student’s own information (and, if you are married, your spouse’s information).

Independent Student Determination

Undergraduate students cannot declare themselves independent of their parents due to family disagreement, living arrangements or parental unwillingness to contribute to the cost of attendance.

Student independence is determined by completing the dependency status questions on the FAFSA. Independent status can include one of the following situations:

  • At least 24 years old
  • Married
  • Graduate or professional student
  • Veteran
  • Member of the armed forces
  • Orphan
  • Ward of the court,
  • Someone with legal dependents other than a spouse
  • Emancipated minor
  • Someone who is homeless or at risk of becoming homeless
Extenuating Circumstances

There may be extenuating circumstances of estrangement or dysfunction, including but not limited to abuse, abandonment, drug abuse and parent incarceration, that may allow an otherwise dependent student to qualify as independent. These extenuating circumstances must be documented by an objective third party to qualify. Please submit the Dependency Override form for the aid year you are in. If you have questions and want to discuss your unique situation, please reach out to your financial aid counselor.