Students who are considered independent by appeal will have to reaffirm annually that their circumstances have not changed from their original appeal. If parental reconciliation occurs, a student will be switched back to a dependent status again for financial aid purposes.
There is a common public perception that if a student can financially demonstrate self-support and the parent(s) does not claim their son or daughter that it is reasonable grounds for the student to be considered independent for financial aid purposes.
Historical perspective is valuable here. Prior to the 1992 Reauthorization of the Higher Education Act of 1965, a self-support criterion was considered when determining a student's dependency status and whether the parent(s) claimed the student for federal income tax purposes. In 1992, Congress eliminated this self-support and claiming test from the standard definition of an independent student. Hence, this definition alone has been eliminated and does not justify the decision in making a student independent for financial aid.
Contact us to discuss your personal extenuating circumstances with a financial aid counselor.