1) Why am I not
considered an Independent student when I pay for my own bills and
you feel you have special circumstances not considered below, please
speak with the financial aid office at your school.
Department of Education has a very rigid set of criteria for determining if
a student is INDEPENDENT for financial aid filing, and it is essential
for you to know your status. Regardless of how much support you actually
receive from your parents, you 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 professional student; or
5. the student is a qualified veteran of
the U.S. Military (not on active duty); or
6. the student is currently serving
on active duty in the US 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.
none of these criteria are met, the student is considered DEPENDENT and
must provide custodial parents' financial information. If the student IS
dependent, it is very helpful to have the custodial parent available for
the application process as well, since questions will be asked about
their financial data.
bear in mind that filing under the incorrect dependency status will
result in your application being rejected by the Federal Processor.
understand that these rules may not make sense to you. Many students feel
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.
2) I was considered Independent when I
was married, but am now divorced and considered a dependent student. How do I get the form to recognize me
as an Independent student?
a student was considered Independent only by meeting the requirement
for being married, and has since divorced, the student is considered a DEPENDENT
student by the Department of Education guidelines. We understand that these rules may not
seem fair to you. Many students feel 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. You
can check with the Financial Aid office at your school to see if they
have policies for special circumstances that may apply to you.
3) Am I considered a Veteran?
The Department of Education defines a Veteran as the following:
Select Yes if the
student is a Veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces. The student is a veteran
if he or she: served in active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces (Army, Navy,
Air Force, Marines, or Coast Guard), or served as a member of the
National Guard or Reserves and was called to service for purposes other
than training, or was a cadet or midshipman at one of the service
academies and was released under a condition other than dishonorable.
Also select Yes if the
student is not a veteran now but will be one by June 30, 2008.
Select No if the
- never served in the U.S. Armed Forces,
- currently an ROTC student, a cadet or midshipman at a service
academy, or a National Guard or Reserves enlistee activated only for
If the student is unsure of his or her status, contact the
school's financial aid office.