What makes a student Dependent?
A dependent student is determined by the Federal Processor based on the answers to questions on the FAFSA. Ways to determine if a student is dependent:
1. Is or will the student be 24 during the current academic year? NO=dependent
2. As of the date the FAFSA is completed, is the student married? NO=dependent
3. As of the date the FAFSA is completed, will the student be working on a master’s or doctorate program? NO=dependent
4. Does the student have children that they provide more than half of the support for during the year? NO=dependent
5. Does the student have dependents (other than children or spouse) that they provide more than half of the support for during the year? NO=dependent
6. Are both of the student’s parents deceased, or is the student a ward/dependent of the court? NO=dependent
7. Is the student currently serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces for purposes other than training? NO=dependent
8. Is the student a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces? NO=dependent
YES to any one of the above conditions would make a student Independent for Federal Aid purposes. The student does not need to answer YES to all of these to be independent. Simply not claiming a student on the parent’s taxes does not make him or her independent for Financial Aid purposes. A student who handles his or her own finances without the help of parents is not independent for Financial Aid purposes. A student may need to provide proof of independent status to Financial Aid. An example would be providing a DD214, dependent's birth certificate, or marriage certificate to the Financial Aid office for status verification.