How Do I Get Classified As An Independent Student When Filing The FAFSA?: JR’s Daily Two-Minute Financial Aid Tip


This is episode 19, and today we are answering the question, How Do I Get Classified As An Independent Student When Filing The FAFSA?

Now when people file the FAFSA, they are classified into one of two categories: independent, or dependent. Dependents need their parents tax information to complete the FAFSA. In addition, the government assumes that the parents of dependent students will aid financially in paying for their child’s education, whether this is financially a reality.  Now it is always better from a financial aid standpoint to be classified as an independent student, and here are the reasons such a classification

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  • 1) A student is 24 years of age or older by December 31 of the award year;
  • 2) A Student is an orphan (both parents deceased), ward of the court, or was a ward of the court until the age of 18
  • 3) A Student is a veteran of the US military;
  • 4) A student has a bachelors and is entering graduate or professional student;
  • 5) A Student is a married person;
  • 6) A Student has legal dependents other than a spouse such as children
  • 7) a student that a  financial aid administrator has determined to be independent due to other unusual circumstances. Listen to episode 15 for details on that.

Now while some of these factors are ones you cannot control, such as how fast you age. But for one that you can, here’s a quick tip, Want to get more aid and become independent, GET MARRIED. While this may seem an extreme solution, couples that are in college, and have already been engaged do themselves no favors by waiting until after college to get married. If your relationship is stable and you want to get married anyway, go to the courthouse and get it down. Your financial aid will be redetermined as an independent student, and you will likely receive more aid as well. Don’t worry, you can have the big show wedding later on, and be able to afford it hopefully because you won’t be paying on large student loans.

CLICK HERE TO SIGN-UP FOR JR’S FREE FINANCIAL AID TIPS NEWSLETTER!

Have a problem with financial aid or scholarships? go ahead and send JR a tweet @ CollegeCashMan. Thanks for listening to JR’s Two Minute Financial Aid Tips at www.collegemoneyman.com.

The College Money Man Podcast, and JR’s Two Minute Tips are available for subscription for FREE via iTunes, and Stitcher. New episodes of 2-Minute Tips are released everyday Monday thru Friday, and our weekly broadcast is released each Wednesday. Subscribe, like, and comment! Download and get your dose of financial aid help on the go.

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