Parent information is required for any student who cannot prove that they can answer "yes" to one of the various dependency questions on the FAFSA.
However, there may be a situation where a student may not be able to provide parental information due to no fault of their own. In this case the otherwise dependent student may be declared independent by the Office of Financial Aid for financial aid purposes.
Circumstances that may be eligible for a dependency override:
- Your custodial parent has died and the other natural parent is still living. However, you have had no contact or support from the living parent for a significant period of time.
- Extraordinary family circumstances. The circumstances may be a result of abandonment or where the student’s welfare would be placed in jeopardy if contact is continued.
- Other unusual circumstances
All situations will require a Dependency Override form and supporting documentation from various unbiased third parties. NOTE: requesting a dependency override does not guarantee that it will be approved. The decision of the Office of Financial Aid is final.
Circumstances that are not acceptable reasons for a dependency override:
Student is no longer living at home.
Student is living at home (or with relatives) but is paying rent.
Student has ongoing arguments with parents and due to this the parents have refused to help.
Student has elected to put him/herself through college.
Parents have chosen to not provide financial information for the FAFSA OR provide help with the student’s college expenses.
Student lives with, or has a step-parent who refuses to provide support.
Student was married after the FAFSA was filed.
Re-evaluation of Financial Aid
The FAFSA requires tax information from the previous tax year. This does not always reflect the current financial situation for a family. It is important to file the FAFSA with the information as it is listed on the tax return. The student should then contact the Office of Financial Aid an inquiry about a re-evaluation. During the re-evaluation the school has the ability to use their professional judgment in order to alter the FAFSA data to reflect the current situation. DO NOT alter FAFSA data on your own.
Circumstances that may be eligible for a re-evaluation:
- Job Loss (Must be out of work for at least 10 weeks)
- Job Change
- Loss of Untaxed Income or Benefits
- Death of Parent/Spouse
- High Medical/Dental Expenses
- Lump Sum Distribution
All situations will require a Re-Evaluation of Financial Circumstances form and supporting documentation. NOTE: a re-evaluation does not guarantee an increase in your financial assistance. An increase depends on the availability of funds and demonstrated financial need.
Dependent Care Expenses
A student may request an increase to their budget in order to include expenses for dependent/child care.
Please note that an increase to the budget will not increase the grant eligibility for the student making the request. I will only increase the amount of loan funding eligibility.
A dependent care adjustment request form must be submitted before any budget adjustment can be made.