Dependency

Determining Dependency Status for 2020-2021

Your dependency status will determine whether or not parent information will be required on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). If you can answer yes to one of the following questions, you will be considered independent for the 2020-2021 academic year and will not need to provide parental information on the FAFSA. 

  • Were you born before Jan. 1, 1997?
  • As of today, are you married? (Also answer “Yes” if you are separated but not divorced.)
  • At the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year, will you be working on a master’s or doctorate program (such as an M.A., M.B.A., M.D., J.D., Ph.D., Ed.D., graduate certificate, etc.)?
  • Are you currently serving on active duty in the U.S. armed forces for purposes other than training? (If you are National Guard or Reserves enlistee, are you on active duty for other than state or training purposes?)
  • Are you a veteran of the U.S. armed forces?*
  • Do you now have  - or will have - children who will receive more than half of their support from you between July 1, 2020, and June 30, 2021?
  • Do you have dependents (other than your children or spouse) who live with you and receive more than half of their support from you, now and through June 30, 2021?
  • 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?
  • Has it been determined by a court in your state of legal residence that you are an emancipated minor or that someone other than your parent or stepparent has legal guardianship of you? (You should answer “Yes” if you are now an adult but were in legal guardianship or were an emancipated minor immediately before you reached the age of being an adult in your state. Answer “No” if the court papers say “custody” rather than “guardianship.”)
  • At any time on or after July 1, 2019, were you determined to be an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or were self-supporting and at risk of being homeless, as determined by (a) your high school or district homeless liaison, (b) the director of an emergency shelter or transitional housing program funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, or (c) the director of a runaway or homeless youth basic center or transitional living program?**

If you answered yes to one of the following questions, you may be asked to verify your independent status by the Office of Student Financial Aid. The following table indicates acceptable documentation.