Students are considered dependent or independent based on information provided on the FAFSA. Most undergraduate students are considered dependent. All graduate students are considered independent. Dependent students must report parental income information on the FAFSA. Dependency is not a status of choice. Dependency status for financial aid is not based on whether or not a student lives with a parent; it is not based on whether or not a student is financially self-supportive; it is not based on whether or not parents claim a student as a dependent on their taxes.
In rare circumstances, a student who does not meet the FAFSA requirements for independent status can be considered independent provided they submit a letter explaining their situation along with any appropriate supporting documentation to the Director of Student Administrative Services. This is done only in extreme circumstances and must be thoroughly documented. Parents’ refusal to provide income information on the FAFSA is not a sufficient reason for a dependency override appeal; neither is a student’s financial self-sufficiency. If you think your situation warrants an override of dependency status, please contact Student Administrative Services at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 513-244-4418.