What makes a student Independent?
An independent student is determined by the Federal Processor based on the answers to questions on the FAFSA. Ways to determine if a student is independent:
1. Are/will the student be 24 during the current academic year? YES=independent
2. As of the date the FAFSA is completed, is the student married? YES=independent
3. As of the date the FAFSA is completed, will the student be working on a master’s or doctorate program? YES=independent
4. Does the student have children that they provide more than half of the support during the year? YES=independent
5. Does the student have dependents (other than children or spouse) that they provide more than half of the support for during the year? YES=independent
6. Are both of the student’s parents deceased, or is the student a ward/dependent of the court? YES=independent
7. Is the student currently serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces for purposes other than training? YES=independent
8. Is the student a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces? YES=independent
If the answer to any one of these questions is YES, the student would be considered Independent by the Federal Processor. The student does not need to answer YES to all of these to be independent. One YES will make a student 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.