Financial aid regulations assume that the family has primary responsibility for meeting the educational costs of attending college. If you are considered a dependent student, your aid eligibility is determined by using parent income and asset information in addition to your information. Dependent students are required by law to provide parental information and signatures to be considered for financial aid.
A student is considered independent for 2013 – 2014 if he or she:
Federal regulations allow the financial aid office to use professional judgment to change dependency status to “independent” on a case-by-case basis. The student must demonstrate that there is an unusual circumstance other than the fact that the student is self-sufficient or that the parents are unwilling to contribute to the student’s education. If you do not meet any of the above criteria but you believe that you should be considered independent because of truly exceptional circumstances making it inappropriate to expect a parental contribution, you may petition for a waiver of federal regulations requiring parental information. Examples of unusual circumstances are situations such as when a student’s parents cannot be located, or where an otherwise dependent student has been a victim of domestic violence or abuse and is no longer able to reside with his or her parents.
Federal Regulations have identified four conditions that, individually or in combination with one another, do not qualify as “unusual circumstances” and do not merit a dependency override. Those circumstances are:
In order to petition for independent status, please submit the Petition for Independent Status Form with supporting documents to the Financial Aid Office. Click to download form: Petition for Independent Status Form