If you can answer “Yes” to any of the following questions, you are considered an independent student on the 2021–22 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form, and you generally won’t need to provide your parents’ information:
- Were you born before January 1, 1998?
- As of today, are you married?
- At the beginning of the 2021–22 school year, will you be working on a master’s or doctorate program (such as an M.A., MBA, M.D., J.D., Ph.D., Ed.D., graduate certificate, etc.)?
- Are you currently serving on active duty in the U.S. armed forces for purposes other than training?
- Are you a veteran of the U.S. armed forces?
- Do you now have or will you have children who will receive more than half of their support from you between July 1, 2021, and June 30, 2022 [during the award year]?
- Do 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, 2022?
- At any time since you turned age 13, were both your parents deceased, were you in foster care or were you a dependent or ward of the court?
- If you are not sure if you were in foster care, check with your state child welfare agency.
- As determined by a court in your state of legal residence, are you or were you an emancipated minor?
- Does someone other than your parent or stepparent have legal guardianship of you, as determined by a court in your state of legal residence?
- At any time on or after July 1, 2020, did your high school or school district homeless liaison determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or were self-supporting and at risk of being homeless?
- At any time on or after July 1, 2020, did the director of an emergency shelter or transitional housing program funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or were self-supporting and at risk of being homeless?
- At any time on or after July 1, 2020, did the director of a runaway or homeless youth basic center or transitional living program determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or were self-supporting and at risk of being homeless?
However, if you can answer “No” to all of the above questions, you’re considered a dependent student and generally your parents must provide parental information on your FAFSA form.
If you have a special circumstance that prevents you from providing parental information, you may still be able to submit your FAFSA form. However, your FAFSA form will be considered incomplete. You must contact the financial office at your college or career school and provide them with documentation to verify your situation. Learn about what to do if your parents are unwilling to provide their information on your FAFSA form.
Note: Law school and health profession students may be required to provide parental information regardless of their dependency status.