Image: Banner image of campus logo Merritt College

Dependent Versus Independent Status

Dependent Versus Independent Status

Dependent vs. Independent Status for 2014/2015 FAFSA

If you are considered an Independent Student, only your information (and
your spouse’s, if you are married) is used to calculate the expected family
contribution. If you are a Dependent Student, your parents’ income
information is also used.
You are considered an Independent Student if any one of the following
applies to you: (if none of these statements apply to you, you are
considered a Dependent student)
1 You are or will be at least 24 years old as of December 31, 2011 (born before January 1, 1988), or
2 You are married, or
3 You have legal dependents of your own, or
4 You are a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces, having served on active duty,
or
5 You are a ward of the court or both of your parents are deceased.
6 You are considered a Dependent Student and must supply information
about your parents on your FAFSA if none of the conditions above
apply to you.

Overriding Dependency Status
It may be possible to have your dependency status officially changed by the
Financial Aid Officer by filing a petition with the financial aid office. There
must be extenuating circumstances (such as a family situation involving
abuse or other adverse circumstances) involved which are documented by a
professional familiar with the situation in order to be considered.