Federal Student Aid allows the Office of Student Financial Aid to use professional judgment to override a student’s dependency status from dependent to independent if documentation substantiating any of the following can be provided by the student:

  • Evidence of an unsafe and/or unhealthy relationship with the student’s biological parent(s), and this must be substantiated by someone who is working with the student in their professional capacity (ie: medical provider, education administrator, legal counsel, police reports, DHS reports, and/or social worker)
  • Both biological parents are deceased after the student’s 18th birthday
  • Abandonment or incarceration of the surviving parent(s)
  • Other circumstances, other than financial self-sufficiency, that can be sufficiently documented

Per Federal Student Aid, financial self-sufficiency of the student, financial independence of the student, and/or the parent(s) unwillingness to financially support the student will not and cannot be taken into consideration when a student is appealing their dependency status.

If you feel you can provide documentation to support your independent status, you may submit an independent appeal. The appeal will not be reviewed until all documentation is provided by the student, and the student will be notified via email after their appeal is reviewed.