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How do I know if I am a dependent or an independent student?

These questions are used to determine, whether you are a dependent or an independent student for the FALL 2013 - SPRING 2014 (July 1, 2013 - June 30, 2014) academic year.

  • Were you born before January 1, 1990?
  • As of today, are you married?
  • At the beginning of the 2013-2014 school year, will you be working on a master's or doctorate program?
  • 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 1st 2013 and June 30th 2014?
  • Do you have dependents (other than your children or spouse) who live with you and who receive more than have of their support from you, now and through June 30th 2014?
  • 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?
  • 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 as determined by a court in your state of legal residence?
  • At any time on or after July 2012, 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 2012, 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 2012, 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?

Under Financial Aid regulations, you are considered a DEPENDENT student unless you can answer "yes" to one or more of the above questions. If you are considered a dependent student, in order to process your financial aid application, must provide your information and your parent’s information regardless:

  • if your parent does or does not live with the you,
  • if your parent does or does not live in the United States
  • if your parent’s income was earned in dollars or not
  • if your parent does or does not provide you with financial support,
  • if your parent did or did not claim you on their tax forms,
  • if your parent does or does not file taxes,
*If you have a special or unusual circumstance, speak to a Financial Aid counselor.

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