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Dependency Appeal


Occasionally students and/or parents will feel that the information required on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) does not realistically reflect their circumstances or their ability to provide the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). When this happens, a student may choose to submit an appeal to the UW Office of Scholarships & Financial Aid requesting that his or her situation be reviewed.

The Dependency Appeal is for students who feel that they should be considered independent from their parent(s) for financial aid purposes, even though they do not meet any of the automatic independent criteria as outlined in the FAFSA. Dependency appeals may be submitted under one of the following categories:

  • You have irreconcilable differences with your supporting parent(s). Please note that your parent(s) choosing not to pay for your education is not considered an irreconcilable difference.

  • You are in danger of abuse, either physical or mental from your parent(s) or you have been abandoned by them.

  • Your parents are not US citizens and are unable to travel freely or move money from their country AND you are a resident alien or naturalized citizen of the U.S.


A variety of documentation is required for each type of dependency appeal. A complete set of procedures and requirements is available from this office, check with a counselor for further details. Approval of a dependency appeal does NOT guarantee that status in future years. Dependency appeals must be recertified EVERY YEAR. You should submit a complete dependency appeal with a completed FAFSA or Renewal FAFSA directly to this office. Your appeal may be reviewed by a committee of financial aid administrators. Additional documentation may be required to substantiate your appeal. You will be notified in writing as to the decision made on your appeal. If approved, we will sign the FAFSA authorizing the dependency over-ride and submit it to the Federal Processor on your behalf.

Our mission is to provide funds to students who truly need financial aid. Often we cannot do that unless we are fully aware of unusual circumstances that may exist. If you have any questions about whether a particular situation might qualify, you should discuss it with a financial aid adviser. All your data and documentation are kept scrupulously confidential.


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