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What determines independent student status?

Dependent students must include parent information on the FAFSA. Independent students do not include parent information on the FAFSA. In general, for financial aid purposes, the federal government considers you a dependent of your parents unless you are at least 24 yrs old before January 1st of the aid year, you are a graduate student, you have legal dependents, such as children, you are married when you file the FAFSA, you are an orphan or ward of the court or you are a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces. As a dependent student, federal regulations require that your parent's financial information be reported on the FAFSA, except in unusual circumstances. You may discuss your unusual and unique circumstances with a financial aid counselor to determine if your dependency status is affected.

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