Federal Financial Aid regulations assume that the family has the primary responsibility in meeting the educational costs of students. Occasionally, due to unusual circumstances, students should not be considered as dependent. If you feel that you have an unusual circumstance that may qualify you to become independent of your parents for financial aid purposes, please contact our office at the bottom of this web page.
Students may be asked to complete an Appeal for Independent Status and to submit documentation supporting their claim of unusual circumstance. This documentation will include, but may not be limited to:
- A letter from the student describing his/her circumstance in detail along with a FAFSA form completed with student information only
- Letters from two responsible adults who are aware of the student's situation (i.e., pastor, teacher, counselor). Copies of appropriate court documentation are acceptable to support your petition.
Questions concerning these letters or the Dependency Override procedure should be directed to a Financial Aid counselor in the Department of Student Financial Assistance. (Please note: income is not an unusual circumstance and parent(s') inability or unwillingness to pay is not a reason to apply for a dependency override, as stated in DCL GEN-93-11, May 1993). The request for dependency override falls under regulations dealing with professional judgement (Higher Education Act, sec. 479A(a)) and therefore the decision is final and can not be appealed.
You must reapply for a Dependency Override each year if your request is approved.