Until the age of 24 you are considered a 'dependent' (a few things exempt you from being a dependent) the government looks at your parent's tax returns for any student loans, grants, etc. My daughter was living in her own apartment, paying her own bills and over 18. When we did her FASFA it was required that our tax return info was entered on the form. I was livid. She's on her own and living in her own place and yet the government (who says she's a legal adult at 18 and is responsible for her own actions etc) says that until 24, the parent's income is figured in on how much she gets, yet I cannot claim her as a dependent on my tax returns! Maddening!
I also had a fellow student in LPN school who was 23, engaged to be married and lived on her own who was also required to use her parent's return to fill out info. She had been estranged from her parents since the age of 17 and they had not given one red cent in supporting her from that age on, yet she was expected and required to get the info. After some jumping through hoops, she was able to get the paperwork needed so that she did not need to get it from them.
Will I need my parents’ information?
Will I need my parents’ information?
If you can answer No
of the following questions, you are considered a dependent student on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA):
- Were you born before January 1, 1989?
- As of today are you married?
- At the beginning of the 2012-2013 school year, will you be working on a master's or doctorate program (such as an MA, MBA, MD, JD, PhD, EdD, or graduate certificate, etc.)?
- Are you currently serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces for purposes other than training?
- Are you a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces?
- Do you have children who will receive more than half of their support from you between July 1, 2012 and June 30, 2013?
- Do you have dependents (other than your children or spouse) who live with you and who receive more than half of their support from you, now and through June 30, 2013?
- 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?
- As determined by a court in your state of legal residence, are you or were you an emancipated minor?
- As determined by a court in your state of legal residence, are you or were you in legal guardianship?
- At any time on or after July 1, 2011, did your high school or school district homeless liaison determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless?
- At any time on or after July 1, 2011, did the director of an emergency shelter or transitional housing program funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless?
- At any time on or after July 1, 2011, did the director of a runaway or homeless youth basic center or transitional living program determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or were self-supporting and at risk of being homeless?
If you are considered a dependent student, your parents
must answer the parental questions on the FAFSA.
If you can answer Yes
of the questions above, you are considered an independent student and information about your parents is not required on the FAFSA .
Note: Health profession students
may be required to provide parental information regardless of their dependency status.
If you have a special circumstance that prevents you from providing parental information you may
be able to submit your FAFSA. However, your FAFSA will be incomplete. You must contact the financial office at your college and provide them with documentation to verify your situation