Independent vs. Dependent
On the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, you will be asked six questions which will determine whether or not you are a dependent or independent student. If you can answer yes to any one of these questions you can be considered independent. An independent student is someone who is at least 24 years old by the end of the calendar year in which the requested aid will be used, is married, is a graduate or professional student, has a legal dependent other than a spouse, is a veteran, or is an orphan or ward of the court, or at risk of being homeless. If you do not meet any of these specifications then you are considered dependent upon your parent(s).
Your dependency status determines whether your parent(s)' resources will be used in the determination of your need. If you are a dependent when we estimate your need, the financial status of your parent(s) will be taken into consideration as well as your own.