You are independent if you meet one or more of these criteria:
- your age is 24 on December 31 of the academic year that you are applying for assistance, i.e., the 2013-2014 academic year.
- you are currently married at the time you file your FAFSA
- you are currently serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces or you are serving in the National Guard or Reserves on active duty other than state or training purposes
- you are a veteran of active duty military service or will be by June 30, 2014
- you have children who receive more than half of their support from you.
- you have been accepted to a graduate or professional school, for the academic year that you are applying for assistance (i.e. 2013-2014)
- since age 13 both of your biological parents are deceased, you were in foster care, or a ward of the court system in your state.
- you have dependents other than a spouse or children who live with you and receive more than half of their support from you now and through June 30, 2014
- a court in your state of legal residence has determined you are an emancipated minor or you were placed in legal guardianship before you reached the age of adulthood in your state
The following criteria requires additional verification. Verification must be made by one of the following: (1) a McKinney-Vento Act school district liaison; (2) a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development homeless assistance program director or their designee; (3) a Runaway and Homeless Youth Act program director or their designee, or; (4) a financial aid administrator.
- on or after July 1, 2012 your high school or school district homeless liaison determined that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless.
- on or after July 1, 2012 the director of an emergency management shelter or transitional housing program funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development determined you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless.
- on or after July 1, 2012 the director of a runaway or homeless youth basic center or transitional living program determined you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or self-supporting and risk of homelessness.
Unsubsidized Loan for Dependent Students without Parental Data-Sec. 479A of HEA: See Request for Unsubsidized Loan-Dependent Status Review Fact Sheet-/financialaid/factsheets.html
Federal regulations give schools the authority to allow a student to borrow a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan when the student's parents have ended all financial support and have refused to complete and sign a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Request for an Unsubsidized Loan for Dependent Students can be requested by providing all information requested on the Unsubsidized Loan Dependent Status Review Fact Sheet. The factsheet can be obtained at the following link: /financialaid/forms.html
You must meet one of the above criteria to file as an independent applicant. If you do not meet one of the above criteria, but believe you should be considered independent, you must contact the Financial Aid Office at the college or university you plan to attend.