Independent student status is determined by the information you provide on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Criteria for Independent Status
If you answer no to all the FAFSA student status questions listed below, you're considered a dependent student and must provide parent information when applying for financial aid.
If you answer yes to any of these questions on your FAFSA, you're considered independent and parent information is not required.
FAFSA Student Status Questions (2016-2017)
- Were you born before January 1, 1993?
- As of the day you filed your 2016-2017 FAFSA, were you married?
- At the beginning of the 2016-2017 school year, will you be working toward a master's or doctorate degree?
- Are you currently serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces for purposes other than training?
- 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, 2016 and June 30, 2017?
- Do you have dependents other than your children/spouse who live with you and who receive more than half of their support from you, now and through June 30, 2017?
- 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?
- As determined by a court in your state of legal residence, are you or were you an emancipated minor?
- As determined by a court in your state of legal residence, are you or were you in legal guardianship?
- At any time on or after July 1, 2015, did your high school or school district homeless liaison determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless?
- At any time on or after July 1, 2015, did the director of an emergency shelter or transitional housing program funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless?
- At any time on or after July 1, 2015, 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?
What Status Changes Affect Your Aid?
Once you submit your FAFSA, certain status selections can't be changed. See what changes affect your aid to help determine when you should fill out your FAFSA.