Question:

Am I considered an independent student if my parents don't claim me on their federal tax return and I do not live in their home?

Answer:

According the Department of Education, the following questions determine a student’s dependency status. A student must be able answer yes to at least one of the following questions in order to be considered an independent.
Were you born before January 1, 1987?
• At the beginning of the 07-08 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.)?
• As of today, are you married? (Answer “yes” if you are separated but not divorced.)
• Do you have children who receive more than half of their support from you?
• 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, 20011?
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?

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?

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 as determined by a court in your state of legal residence?

• At any time on or after July 1, 2009, did your high school district homeless liaison determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless?

• At any time on or after July1, 2009, 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, 2009, 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 responded no to all of the above questions, you will be required to submit all information regarding parent household and income such as signed copies of parent’s tax returns.


*Previous questions quoted directly from 2010-2011 FAFSA questions 46-58.