Determining Dependency Status for 2019-2020

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 2019-2020 academic year and will not need to provide parental information on the FAFSA. 

  • Were you born before Jan. 1, 1996?
  • As of today, are you married? (Also answer "Yes" if you are separated but not divorced.)
  • At the beginning of the 2019-2020 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, 2019, and June 30, 2020?
  • 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, 2020?
  • 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, 2018, 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. 

Are you currently serving on active duty in the U.S. armed forces for purposes other than training? (If you are a National Guard or Reserves enlistee, are you on active duty for other than state or training purposes?)

If you are currently serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces for purposes other than training, submit a copy of your active duty orders

If you are not currently serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces, you will need to correct your FAFSA at fafsa.gov. Review question 49 of the FAFSA and correct the applicable answer from Yes to No. In doing so, the FAFSA is going to ask if you are a Veteran of the Armed Forces. Answer No to this question if you:

  • have never engaged in active duty (including basic training) in the U.S. Armed Forces,
  • are currently an ROTC student or a cadet or midshipman at a service academy,
  • are a National Guard or Reserves enlistee activated only for state or training purposes, or
  • were engaged in active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces but released under dishonorable conditions.

Also, you must update the FAFSA by providing parental information, including the signature of at least one of your parents. You will also need to complete a dependent verification form once we receive the new FAFSA.

Do you now have—or will you have—children who will receive more than half of their support from you between July 1, 2019, and June 30, 2020? Complete the PDF iconDependent Child Information form
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, 2020? Complete the PDF iconLegal Dependent Information form
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?

If your parents are deceased, send a letter confirming your orphan status.

If you are a ward of the court or have been in foster care, provide a letter explaining your circumstances and a copy of the court documents for verification.

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 also 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.")

Provide a copy of the emancipated minor or legal guardianship court documentation issued by the state.

The definition of legal guardianship does not include your parents, even if they were appointed by a court to be your guardians. You are not considered a legal guardian of yourself.

At any time on or after July 1, 2018, 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?

Have one of the following individuals submit a letter on official letterhead confirming your unaccompanied youth/homeless status: 

  • Your school district homeless liaison
  • The director (or designee) of an emergency shelter or transitional housing program funded by the U.S. Department and Urban Development
  • The director (or designee) of a runaway or homeless youth basic center or transitional living program

If unable to obtain a letter from one of the above individuals/organizations, please submit any other documentation that verifies your status (i.e. a statement from yourself explaining that you are homeless and where you have been staying and/or a statement from another individual with knowledge of your status). You do not need to explain why you are or were homeless.

* Answer "No" (you are not a veteran) if you (1) have never engaged in active duty (including basic training) in the U.S. armed forces, (2) are currently a Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) student or a cadet or midshipman at a service academy, (3) are a National Guard or Reserves enlistee activated only for state or training purposes, or (4) were engaged in active duty in the U.S. armed forces but released under dishonorable conditions. Also answer "No" if you are currently serving in the U.S. armed forces and will continue to serve through June 30, 2020. Answer "Yes" (you are a veteran) if you (1) have engaged in active duty (including basic training) in the U.S. armed forces or are a National Guard or Reserves enlistee who was called to active duty for other than state or training purposes, or were a cadet or midshipman at one of the service academies and (2) were released under a condition other than dishonorable. Also answer "Yes" if you are not a veteran now but will be one by June 30, 2020.

** If you do not have a determination that you are homeless, but you believe you are an unaccompanied youth who is homeless or self-supporting and at risk of being homeless, answer “No” to the FAFSA questions concerning being homeless. Then contact your financial aid office to explain your situation. “Homeless” means lacking fixed or regular housing. You may be homeless if you are living in shelters, parks, motels, hotels, cars, or temporarily living with someone else because you have nowhere else to go.