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Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships

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.