Students are considered dependent or independent based on the information provided on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  Financial aid regulations assume that the student and parents have the primary responsibility for meeting the cost to attend college.  Students classified as dependent must indicate their parents’ financial information on the FAFSA.  In some rare instances, a student who does not meet the FAFSA requirements for dependent status may have unusual circumstances to justify a dependency override and be considered independent.  Students must submit an Independent Appeal Form along with supporting documents.  Each request is reviewed on a case-by-case basis.  The Independent Appeal Form may be obtained from The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships, please allow 2-3 weeks for processing.


Please note dependency status is not based on:


  • The parent not claiming the student as a dependent on their income tax return.
  • The parent’s refusal to provide financial support or tax information.
  • The student indicating, they are self-supportive, a parent unwilling to provide financial support or;
  • The student not residing with the parent.
  • The student filing a tax return.


Examples of dependency override:

  • Abandonment of parents
  • Death of parents
  • An abusive family environment that threatens the student health or safety


All Graduate students are considered independent.

  • Dependency override is reviewed by the management team in The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships.  Once reviewed, a decision is rendered, and notification is sent to the student via email.
  • Please allow at least three weeks once all documentation is received for a decision to be made.  If additional documentation is requested the processing time may be extended.


Please Note: If your appeal references sexual misconduct, the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships is required to report allegations of this nature to the Title IX Coordinator.