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:
- Student's Age
- Student's Degree Program
- Student's Marital Status
- Presence of children or other dependents for the student
- Students who are a ward of the court or whose parents are both deceased
- 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.