Financial Aid Dependency Status
Federal Financial Dependency Status
When you apply for federal student aid, your answers to questions on the FAFSA automatically determine whether you are considered a dependent or independent student. We suggest that you figure out your financial aid dependency status before completing your FAFSA in order to provide the most accurate information.
Your dependency status determines whose information to report on your FAFSA:
- If you’re an independent student: you report yours (and, if married, your spouse’s) financial information.
- If you’re a dependent student: you report yours and your parents’ financial information.
Keep in mind that your FAFSA dependency status is not the same as your tax filing dependency status. To determine whether you are considered a dependent or independent student please review the list below.
You’re an independent student if you answer "yes" to at least ONE of the following:
- Were you born before Jan. 1, 1989?
- Are you married? (Answer "Yes" if you are separated but not divorced.)
- At the beginning of the 2012-2013 school year, will you be working on a master's or doctorate degree (such as an M.A., M.B.A., J.D., Ph.D., Ed.D., graduate certificate, etc.)?
- Are you currently serving on active duty in the U.S. armed forces for purposes other than training? If you are a National Guard or Reserves enlistee, are you on active duty for other than state or training purposes?
- Are you a veteran of the U.S. armed forces?
- Do you have children who will receive more than half of their support from you between July 1, 2012 and June 30, 2013?
- Do you have dependents other than your children or spouse) who live with you and who receive more than half of their support from you, now and through June 30, 2013?
- At any time since you turned age 13, were both your parents deceased, were you in foster care, or were you a dependent or ward of the court?
- Has it been decided by a court in your state of legal residence that you are an emancipated minor or that you are in a legal guardianship?
- At any time on or after July 1, 2011, were you determined to be an unaccompanied youth who was homeless, as determined by (a) your high school or district homeless liaison or (b) the director of an emergency shelter or transitional housing program funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development?
- At any time on or after July 1, 2011, did the director of a runaway or homeless youth basic center or transitional living program determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or were self-supporting and at risk of being homeless?
If you answered no to all of the above, you are considered a dependent student and should report your financial information as well as your parents' financial information on your FAFSA.