What Parents & Students Need to Know About FAFSA Dependency Status
Nov 20, · A student can't simply choose to file as an independent on the FAFSA, the application that most schools use to determine financial aid . Nov 21, · A student can't simply choose to file as an independent on the FAFSA, the application that most schools use to determine financial aid .
Rebecca Lake has been a financial planning and credit expert for The Balance for over three years. She has over a decade of experience writing personal finance, investing, and small business content for publications like Forbes Advisor and U. She also assists with content strategy for prominent brands in the financial services industry, including Citibank, Discover Bank, and AIG Insurance.
Your dependency status—whether fiinancial a dependent of your parents or legal guardians, or an independent student—determines, in part, what information you include on the form and what aid you're eligible to receive. If you plan to complete the FAFSA for the upcoming academic year, here flle some helpful things to know about applying for aid as an independent student.
Dependency status is determined by the U. Department of Education. Answering yes to any of these questions means you finamcial be considered an independent student. But if you answer no to all of them, then you're most likely a ho student for the purposes of completing the FAFSA.
The Department of Education offers a simple worksheet to help you determine your dependency status. It's important to understand whether you're a dependent or independent student because your dependency status determines what information you need to include on your FAFSA. Schools use this number as a gauge for deciding how much financial aid you should be awarded.
As an independent student, it's filr assumed that you're responsible for your own financial support. The upside of that status is that you may qualify for more financial aid without that extra financial finanical.
If you've reviewed the Department of Education guidelines for independent student status and you think you how long to cook butterfly pork chops in the oven, the next step is completing the FAFSA. If you're eligible for unsubsidized federal loans only, then no further verification will be required.
But if you also qualify for subsidized federal loansyou may need to offer additional proof of your independent student status, such as:. After your school verifies your status, it can forward your information to the Department of Education. Failing to verify independent status with your school could cause you to be ineligible for aid.
In some cases, you can still complete the FAFSA as an independent student, even if you don't meet the Department of Education's guidelines. To do independen, you'll need to ask for a fniancial override. When completing the FAFSA, you'll have an opportunity to mention special circumstances indpeendent keep you from providing information about your parents or legal guardians, even if you're considered a dependent student. An override isn't usually an option if your parents or legal guardians simply refuse to offer their financial information so you can complete the FAFSA.
Some schools award financial aid on a first-come, first-served independeht. If you're applying as an independent student, verifying your dependency status can add time to your application processing.
FAFSA dependency status has no impact on private student loans. Instead, financkal rely on your credit score and financial background for approval. Also, keep in mind that if you've already completed the FAFSA as a dependent student but are now independent, you can ask your school for a dependency review.
This may help you qualify for additional aid. Federal Student Aid. Actively scan device characteristics for identification. Use precise geolocation data. Select personalised content. Create a personalised content profile. Measure ad performance. Select basic ads. Create a personalised fknancial profile. What is a domestic bursar personalised ads.
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Table of Contents. What Is an Independent Student? Why Dependency Status Matters. Apply as an Independent Student. Using a Waiver for Independent Status.
Plan Ahead independwnt Independent Status. Full Bio Follow Linkedin. Follow Twitter. Read The Balance's editorial policies. Reviewed by. Toby Walters is a financial writer, investor, and lifelong learner.
He has a passion for analyzing economic and financial data and sharing it with others. Article Reviewed on February 06, Whether you're a dependent or hwo student can determine the amount of aid you qualify for. Independent students may be required to provide additional documentation to verify their dependency status.
It may be possible independnt qualify for aid without providing parent or legal guardian financial information, even if you're a dependent student. Applying for the FAFSA as early as possible could help if your school offers aid what does malachite look like a first-come, first-served basis. Article Sources. Your Privacy Rights. To change or withdraw your consent choices for TheBalance.
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Dependency status is determined by the U.S. Department of Education. You may be considered an independent student if you meet any of the following guidelines: 1 ? You're 24 or older by Jan. 1 of the school year in which you're applying for aid You're married or separated, but not divorced. Federal Student Aid Loading. Aug 13, · The government does provide an independent student designation for students that can convince their financial aid office they are truly independent. Criteria for filing as an independent student To complete a FAFSA as independent student, .
The guidelines in this article have been updated to reflect the — academic year. And for more help applying for financial aid, read this guide which includes advice on filling out the FAFSA. I felt totally awesome last month when I was able to tell my friends that I had already done both my federal and state tax returns. It also marked another first; I discovered I was no longer a dependent. Indeed, I no longer fell under the criteria set by the government in order for my parents to claim me as a dependent and get that coveted exemption.
Just for reference, here are those criteria:. For the first time, I did not meet the last two criteria on that list. Maybe you are now at that point as well. That gave me plenty of money to buy more study music. So, naturally, you come to the next conclusion:. Turns out claiming yourself as independent when applying for federal aid is much, much harder. Therefore, to be considered an independent on the FAFSA, you need to meet at least one these criteria:. You can find all of these requirements at the official government student aid site as well.
The financial aid administrator will help you figure out what to do next. Hope this clears up any confusion you have about your status when applying for loans this year. Just take solace in the fact that the rest of us are doing it as well. Image Credits: hand writing on paper. Skip to content The guidelines in this article have been updated to reflect the — academic year. Just for reference, here are those criteria: You must have one of following relationships to your parents: child biological, step, adopted, or foster , brother or sister, or a descendant of one of these.
You must be under 24 and be a full-time student for at least five months of the year, or under 19 and not in school. You must have not provided more than half of your own support for the year. You must have lived with the parent wanting to claim you for more than half the year. So, naturally, you come to the next conclusion: Being independent will net me a lot more financial aid as well.
Be married as of the day you apply. Be an active-duty member or veteran of the U. Have children who get more than half their support from you between July 1, and June 30, Have other dependents who get half their support from you and live with you at the time you apply through June 30, Have both of your parents deceased, be in foster care, or be a ward of the court at any time since you turned You are or were an emancipated minor or in legal guardianship as determined by the court of your state of legal residence.
You have been deemed homeless or at risk of homelessness by a high school homelessness liaison or a director of a homeless shelter or transitional program at any time on or after July 1, What if I meet one of these criteria, but my parents claimed me as a dependent on their taxes?