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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.

Your Financial Aid Account

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
  • SUNY ESF TAP Codes:
    • Undergraduate-0950
    • Graduate-5555

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