Eligibility for most types of financial aid is based on the idea that students and their parents are primarily responsible for paying for education. If the directions on your financial aid application instruct you to provide parents’ information, then for financial aid purposes, you are dependent on your parents.
In very unusual cases, the we may be able to assist a student who would be dependent, but does not or cannot have contact with the parents.The following are examples of such situations:
- The student’s physical and/or emotional welfare is jeopardized by contact with the parents
- The parents abandoned the student
- Parental incapacitation (e.g., coma)
- Parent incarceration
- Parent drug and/or alcohol abuse
If you have one of these situations, you may request an independent override. Requests are submitted each academic year and include a request form along with at least two forms of supporting documentation. Examples of documentation are written, notarized, signed and dated letters on official letterhead from a third party professional, such as teachers, counselors, minister, psychologist, social worker, law enforcement, doctors. If the statements are NOT on business letterhead, the author’s business card must be attached.
Examples of situations that do NOT qualify for dependency override include:
- Student self-sufficiency
- Parents refuse to contribute to educational cost
- Parents unwilling to provide information
- Parents do not claim student on taxes
- Parents live in another country