Dependency Status

The Independent Student Policy is based on federal statutory requirements related to Title IV (Federal Financial Aid) eligibility. The university also follows the federal guidelines for the purposes of eligibility for institutional grants and scholarships.

Students are classified as dependent or independent for student aid programs based on answers to a series of questions on the FAFSA. The philosophy behind this policy is that students' parents have the primary responsibility for paying for their children's undergraduate education.

Independent Student Status

A student is automatically considered an independent student if he/she meets one or more of the following criteria:

  • Student is 24 (born before January 1, 1994)
  • Student is married
  • Student is on active duty or a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces
  • Student has children or other dependents they support
  • Student faced extreme circumstances and lack of support from the parents and/or guardians
  • Student is in a graduate program

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. Follow these steps to appeal your status as a dependent student.