Appealing Status as Dependent Student

In addition to the list of specific allowable circumstances, the financial aid administrator can make a determination of independence with proper documentation, even if the student initially filed as a dependent student. In order to be considered for a dependency override the student must:

  1. File the FAFSA (and Profile if a new undergraduate student) and leave the parental information blank.
  2. Write a letter to the Appeals Committee of the Office of Student Financial Assistance, explaining the extraordinary circumstances.
  3. Include corroborating statements from two professional adults (who are not family members or GW employees). The supporting documentation must be original signed statements which verify the circumstances you described in your letter. In general, professional adults include clergy members, guidance counselors, teachers or professors, doctors, family counselors, mental health professionals and law enforcement officials.

Highly generalized statements will cause your appeal to be denied. Be complete and be specific; concentrate on providing facts, not opinions.

Notification of the appeal outcome will be sent in writing. If your appeal is successful, we will approve a dependency override and make a correction to the FAFSA. The decision of the Appeals Committee is final. The Committee will consider an appeal only once based on the same set of circumstances.