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FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I change my FAFSA status to independent?

    Dependency status is not a choice for the student or family. The FAFSA determines each student's status based on information in the following areas:

    1. Student's Age
    2. Student's Degree Program
    3. Student's Marital Status
    4. Presence of children or other dependents for the student
    5. Students who are a ward of the court or whose parents are both deceased
    6. Military service, either active duty or a qualified veteran

    Each school has the ability to override the automatic dependency decision if certain conditions exist. In almost every case, this must be based on abandonment and/or an unsafe living environment with the parent(s). Supporting documentation is required before any override can be considered.

    Note that dependency for federal and/or state tax returns is not the same as dependency for aid purposes. Claiming or not claiming a student on tax returns has NO impact on that student's status as determined by the FAFSA.

Contact Information

Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships
113 Bray Hall
1 Forestry Drive
Syracuse, NY 13210
(315) 470-6706
(315) 470-4734 (Fax)

Important Codes

SUNY-ESF Federal School Code: 002851

 · Undergraduate-0950
 · Graduate-5555

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