Dependency is determined by the answers a student provides on their FAFSA. A student cannot choose to be independent on family circumstances alone. If your circumstance does not meet the FAFSA criteria, but you feel you are independent, please review and complete the Dependency Override Form (click on "Financial Aid Forms").
The Federal Processor will determine if a student is independent for 2018-2019 based on if the student is:
- 24 years of age (born before January 1, 1995)
- A veteran
- Serving active duty
- Has a dependent(s) or child that received more than half of the student’s financial support
- Working on a master’s or doctorate program
- At any time since you turned age 13, both your parents were deceased, you were in foster care, or you were a dependent or ward of the court
- You are, or you were, an emancipated minor as determined by a court in your state of legal residence at the time you received that determination
- You are, or you were, in legal guardianship as determined by a court in your state of legal residence at the time you received the determination
- At any time on or after July 1, 2017, your high school or school district homeless liaison determined that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless
- At any time on or after July 1, 2017, the director of an emergency shelter or transitional housing program funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development determined that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless
- At any time on or after July 1, 2017, the director of a runaway or homeless youth basic center or transitional living program determined that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or were self-supporting and at risk of being homeless
Based on Federal Guidelines, the following circumstances are not usually approved or considered reasons for independent status:
- You do not reside with your parents,Your parents refuse to pay for your college education,
- Your parents are not financially able to pay for your college education,
- You were married AFTER you applied for financial aid (some exceptions exist ONLY if you are married BEFORE the Fall semester begins, contact the Campus Financial Services Center for more information after you apply), or
- You do not want your parents’ assistance to pay for college.
If you have an unintentional or uncontrollable loss of parental relationship, you may submit a Dependency Override Form (click on "Financial Aid Forms") along with detailed documentation to the SVSU Financial Aid Office for review. The review process may take two to four weeks.