Are You an Independent Student?

Whether you need to include your parents’ financial information on your FAFSA depends on whether you are a dependent or independent student. You are considered independent and do not need to provide parental information if you meet any of these conditions:

  • Are 24 or older as of December 31 of the award year
  • Are a graduate student
  • Are married
  • Provide over 50% financial support for dependents
  • Are a U.S. Armed Forces veteran
  • Currently serve on active duty in the armed forces for purposes other than training
  • Are an unaccompanied youth who is homeless or at risk of being homeless
  • Are an emancipated minor or in legal guardianship
  • Since turning 13, were in foster care, a dependent or ward of the court; or both your parents are deceased

If you do not meet any independent student criteria, you must provide parental information. If special circumstances inhibit your ability to provide parental information (you can’t locate your parents, they are incarcerated, you left home due to an abusive situation or your parents refuse to provide their information and refuse to provide financial support), contact your college’s financial aid office.