The Federal Government has identified, for student financial assistance programs, certain categories of students who must be considered Independent financial aid applicants. A student is considered an independent financial aid applicant if he or she meets one of the following criteria:
- Was born before January 1, 2000
- Is a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces
- Is on active duty in the U.S. Armed forces
- Is an orphan, were in foster care or ward of the court
- Is/was an emancipated minor
- Is/was in legal guardianship
- Has a legal dependent other than a spouse
- Is a married student
- Is a homeless child/youth
- Is determined homeless by HUD
- At risk for homelessness
- Is working on a masters/doctoral program
- Has a child or children who receive more than half of their support from you.
An Independent financial aid applicant is not required to submit parental information in the application process; however, if the independent applicant is married, spousal information must be reported. A student who cannot meet at least one of the criteria is considered a Dependent Applicant and must provide parental information in the application process.