Change to Dependency Status
Dependent Students must report their parent's income and assets as well as their own when applying for federal financial aid. The U.S. Department of Education automatically considers you dependent if you answer ‘NO’
to all of the following questions on your 2012-13 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA):
- Were you born before January 1, 1989?
- Will you be enrolled in a master's or doctorate program (beyond a bachelor's degree) at the beginning of the 2012-2013 school year?
- Were you married the day you completed your initial 2012-2013 FAFSA?
- Do you have children that you support financially with more than half of your income?
- Do you have dependents (other than your children or spouse) who live with you and that you support financially with more than half of your income, between July 1, 2012 and June 30, 2013?
- Are you currently serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces for purposes other than training?
- Are you a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces?
- At any time since you turned age 13, were both your parents deceased, were you in foster care or were you a dependent or ward of the court?
- Are you or were you an emancipated minor as determined by a court in your legal state of residence?
- Are you or were you in legal guardianship as determined by a court in your legal state of residence?
- At any time after July 1, 2011 are you or were you at risk of being homeless?
- Homeless: means lacking fixed, regular and adequate housing, which includes living in shelters, motels or cars, or temporarily living with other people because you have nowhere else to go.
- Unaccompanied: means you are not living in the physical custody of your parent or guardian.
- Youth: means you are 21 years of age or younger or you are still enrolled in high school on the day you complete your FAFSA.
If you are or were at risk of being homeless, in order to answer 'YES' to these questions you must have a determination by a high school or school district homeless liaison, a director of an emergency shelter or transitional housing program funded by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, or the director of a runaway or homeless youth basic center or transitional living program.
If you were able to answer ‘YES’ to any of these questions you are considered an Independent student. Independent Students only report their own income and assets (and those of a spouse, if married) when applying for federal financial aid.
If you answered 'NO' to all of the questions above but have unusual circumstances, a dependency override may occur. Some examples of unusual circumstances are if a student has been a victim of domestic violence and is no longer living with his or her parents as a result of this violent environment.
If you believe you have an unusual circumstance, you should discuss your situation with a counselor. If, after meeting with an SFS Counselor, it is determined that a dependency override should be made, your counselor will then inform you what documentation will be necessary to process the override.