Dependent/Independent Policy

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.