Student and Family Resources
The analysis of a family's financial strength includes consideration of income, assets and debts; family size; medical and dental expenses; number of children in post-secondary education; and other factors. Information used to analyze the family's financial strength is taken from the data provided on the FAFSA.
If you apply as your parent's dependent, both your ability and your parent's ability to contribute will be evaluated.
If you are independent and single, only you are expected to contribute to your cost of education. In order to apply as independent, you would have to comply with any one of the dependency standards set by the U.S. Department of Education:
- Be at least 24 years old.
- Be working on a master's or doctorate program (such as MA, MBA, MD, JD, or Ph.D., etc.) during the school year that you are applying for.
- Be a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces.
- Have children who receive more than half of their support from you.
- Have dependents (other than your children or spouse) who live with you and who receive more than half of their support from you, now and through June 30 of the school year that you are applying for.
- Be an orphan or ward of the court.
- Be married.
If both you and your spouse are students, each of you must complete a separate application. If your spouse is not a student, he or she is expected to contribute a calculated spouse contribution based on his/her income and assets.
Students who are planning to marry should apply using their current marital status at the time of application.