Dependency Override Appeal Policy

Based on the guidelines set by the U.S. Department of Education, you are a dependent student if you are under the age of 24 and answered “No” to the dependency questions on the FAFSA. We do recognize that there are special circumstances in which students are not able to obtain parents’ information.

Students that are unable to complete the FAFSA with parental information can request a Dependency Override by contacting Student Financial Services.

Students should outline their circumstance in a typed, signed letter to Student Financial Services and include any and all documentation they feel will support their appeal for independent status; for example, court orders of permanent status (not temporary), death certificates, and letters from a third party (school counselors, clergy, or family physicians) may be appropriate. Students must also submit a copy of their IRS tax return transcript, W2, and a completed Independent Verification Worksheet.

Student Financial Services will review the Dependency Override request once all documentation has been received. The student will then be contacted by SFS if additional information is needed as well as once the review is completed.

Student Financial Services reviews each request for Dependency Override on a case-by-case basis and students are required to complete the request on an annual basis since the override cannot be automatically renewed each year. 

The following may constitute an acceptable circumstance for the purpose of a Dependency Override:

  • Abandonment by parents
  • An abusive family environment that threatens the student’s health or safety
  • The student being unable to locate their parents

We are unable to take into consideration the following reasons:

  • Parent refusal to contribute to the student’s education
  • Parent unwillingness to provide information on the FAFSA
  • Parent unwillingness to provide income verification documentation
  • Parent does not claim the student as a dependent for income tax purposes
  • Student demonstrates total self-sufficiency year.