You are considered an independent student if you meet one of the following criteria:
- Are 24 years old
- Are working on a master's or doctorate program at the beginning of the academic year for which aid is being requested
- Are married when you complete the FAFSA
- Have children who receive more than half of their support from you
- Have legal dependents (other than a spouse or children) who live with you and receive more than half of their support from you (and will continue to do so during the academic year)
- Had no living parent (biological or adoptive) when age 13 or older (even if now adopted); were in foster care when age 13 or older (even if not in foster care now); or were a dependent/ward of the court when age 13 or older (even if not a dependent/ward of the court now)
- Are currently serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces for other than training purposes
- Are a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces
- Are currently an emancipated minor (as determined by the relevant state court)
- Are currently in legal guardianship (as determined by the relevant state court)
- Were determined to be an unaccompanied homeless youth by a high school or school district homeless liaison
- Were determined to be an unaccompanied homeless youth by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
- Were determined to be either an unaccompanied homeless youth or a self-supporting individual at risk of being homeless by the director of a runaway or homeless youth basic center or transitional living program
If you do not meet at least one of the above independent student criteria, you are considered dependent and must include parental information on the FAFSA.
If you do not meet any of the above independent student criterion but have extenuating circumstances, contact the financial aid office at your college to discuss your situation.