Can I be declared independent if I am younger than 24?
The Higher Education Act of 1992 set requirements for establishing a student’s independence status. These questions are used to determine whether a student is considered a “dependent” or “independent” student. Please see these questions to determine your dependency status.
If you answer YES to any of the following questions, you are considered independent and do not have to provide information about your parents on your FAFSA.
If you answer NO to all of the questions, you are dependent and must provide information about your parents on your FAFSA.
- Were you born before January 1, 1990?
- Are you married? (answer yes if separated but not divorced)
- Are you working on a master’s or doctorate program?
- Are you currently serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces?
- Are you a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces?
- Do you have children and provide more than half of their support?
- At any time since you turned age 13, were both your parents deceased, were you in foster care, or were you a ward or dependent of the court?
- Do you have dependents (other than children or my spouse) who live with you for which you provide more than half of their support?
- Has it been decided by a court in your state of legal residence that you are an emancipated minor or that you are in a legal guardianship?
- Are you homeless or at risk of being homeless