FAFSA.us : Helping YOU receive the Financial Aid YOU deserve.


The Department of Education has a very rigid set of criteria for determining whether a student is INDEPENDENT for financial aid filing and it is essential for you to know your Dependency Status.

If there are further considerations, not covered by the following, that the student wishes to address concerning their Dependency status, please contact the financial aid office at the institution the student will be attending.

Regardless of how much support the student actually receives from their parents or legal guardians, they are still considered a DEPENDENT student for financial aid purposes UNLESS:

1. for 2006-07, the student was born before 1-1-1983, and for 2007-08, the student was born
before 1-1-1984; or

2. the student is married; or

3. the student has a child or other dependents who receive more than half their support from the student,
and who also live with the student; or

4. the student is enrolled as a graduate or doctoral student (such as an MA, MBA, MD, JD, Ph.D.,
Ed.D. or graduate certificate); or

5. the student is a qualified veteran of the U.S. Military; or

6. the student is currently serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces for purposes other than training; or

7. the student is an orphan or ward of the court or was a ward of the court until age 18.

We understand that these rules may not make sense to you. Many students feel that they are INDEPENDENT because they have their own house or apartment, file their own taxes, or receive
no support from their parents. Though the rules may seem unfair, the Department of Education
is very rigid on this point and the correct information must be provided.

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