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:
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.