The primary responsibility to pay for college-related expenses, according to the U.S. Department of Education, resides with the student and, if applicable, the student's parent(s). The U.S. Department of Education determines whether a student is considered "dependent" or "independent" upon his or her parent's (parents') for financial purposes.
If a student is considered dependent, the parent(s) must provide their financial information on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. A student considered independent is under no obligation to provide his or her parent's (parents') financial information, according to federal statue.
The U.S. Department of Education determines if a student is considered dependent or independent for financial purposes according to their answer to the following questions. If a student can answer "yes" to one or more of these questions on the FAFSA form, a student can be considered as independent for financial aid purposes.
Watch our video to help you determine whether you are an independent or dependent applicant.