The federal regulation that determines whether you are a dependent or independent
student for purposes of financial aid is different from the Internal Revenue Service
definition of a dependent, and also differs from many insurance company and employer
definitions. To be considered an independent student for financial aid purposes for
the 2016- 2017 academic year, you must meet at least one of the following qualifications.
- Were you born on or before January 1, 1993?
- Will you be working on a master’s or doctorate degree at the beginning of the 2016-2017
- As of today, are you married?
- Do you have children who receive more than half their support from you?
- Do you have dependents (other than your children or spouse) who live with you and
receive more than half their support from you, now and through June 30, 2017?
- Are you an orphan or a Ward of the Court, or were you a Ward or Dependent of the Court
until age 18?
- Are you currently serving on active duty in U.S. Armed Forces for purposes other than
- Are you a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces?
- As of today, are you an emancipated minor as determined by a court in your state of
- As of today, are you in legal guardianship as determined by a court in your state
of legal residence?
- 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 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?
If you cannot answer yes to at least one of the questions listed above, then you are
a dependent student and must submit parental tax information on your FAFSA, whether
or not your parent’s actually contribute any funding toward your education or support.
For more information regarding federal financial aid, please visit https://studentaid.ed.gov/