Why am I a dependent student?

The Department of Education considers any student under the age of 24 of dependent age, unless they meet certain eligibility requirements. The Federal Financial Aid program expects a student’s education to be the responsibility of both a student and the parent. Because of this, students under the age of 24 are required to include parental information on the FAFSA even if they do not live with their parents or receive financial support from them. The Department of Education looks at your age on January 1 prior to the FAFSA year (July 1- June 30), if you turn 24 after January 1  you will have to wait until the following FAFSA year to become an independent student. 

The Federal Student Aid website goes into more detail about what makes a student dependent or independent.  Click here to view more information on your dependency status, what parent information you need to include on the FAFSA, as well as additional information about this topic.

Please contact your advisor if you have questions about your specific situation.