I live in my own apartment, not with my parents. Why do I need to include my parents’ income on my FAFSA?
The Department of Education has set guidelines for independence. To be considered independent and not include parents’ income a student must be:
- Born before Jan. 1, 1986 (for 2009/2010 academic year) or
- Be married
- Have a child who receives half of their support from the student
- Be a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces
- Currently serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces for purposes other than training
- Be an orphan or ward of the court at any time since you turned 13
- Be working on a masters or doctorate program.
- Be an emancipated minor as determined by a court in your state of legal residence
- In legal guardianship as determined by a court in your state of legal residence
- Determined by your high school or school district as an unaccompanied youth who was homeless
- Determined by the director of an emergency shelter or transitional housing program as an unaccompanied youth who was homeless
- Determined by the director of a runaway or homeless shelter as an unaccompanied youth who was homeless
Thus, if a student is living in a separate residence from their parents, it does not make them independent. Therefore parent information must be provided.