Dependent/Independent Policy

The Federal Government has identified for student financial assistance programs certain categories of students who must be considered independent financial aid applicants. As a result, a student is considered an independent financial aid applicant if he or she meets one of the following criteria:

  • was born before January 1, 1991 (2014-2015 year)
  • is a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces
  • is currently serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces for purposes other than training
  • has a child who receives more than half support from student
  • has a dependent (other than child or spouse) who lives with and will receive more than half support from student through June 30, 2015
  • is a married student
  • is a graduate or professional student
  • at any time since the age 13, if both parents are deceased, was in foster care or was a dependent or ward of the court
  • is an emancipated minor as determined by a court in state of legal residence
  • is/was in legal guardianship, as determined by a court in state of legal residence
  • was at any time after July 1, 2013, as determined by the high school or school district homeless liaison, an unaccompanied youth who was homeless
  • was at any time after July 1, 2013, as determined by the director of an emergency shelter or transitional housing program funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, an unaccompanied youth who was homeless
  • was at any time after July 1, 2013, as determined by the director of a runaway or homeless youth basic center or transitional living program, an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or self-supporting and at risk of being homeless

An independent financial aid applicant is not required to submit parental information in the application process. However, if the independent applicant is married, spousal information must be reported. A student who cannot meet at least one of the above criteria is considered a dependent applicant and must provide parental information in the application process.