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Providing Household Information on the FAFSA

Do you qualify as a dependent student and yet you are unable to provide parental information on the FAFSA?

If your parent is unwilling to provide information on your FAFSA, you can still complete the application and receive some non need-based aid eligibility.

Encourage your parent to work with you, and involve your institution’s financial aid office to address whatever concerns they may have. The best way to truly find out what you are eligible for and not limit your options, is to completely provide all requested information.

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There may be some extreme circumstances in which you are estranged from or unable to reach your parent. Speak with a financial aid representative to find out if you could potentially qualify for a special circumstances review. In extreme or unusual circumstances, a financial aid administrator may make a professional judgement to override the dependency status.

Are you or your parent divorced or separated?

When you complete the FAFSA, both the student and the parent (if student is a dependent) marital status information needs to be completed accurately as of the date that the application is completed. If the student is divorced or separated, only the student income needs to be included on the FAFSA. If the marital change was recent, and tax documents for the year being used were filed jointly, your institution’s financial aid office may need to collect your W-2’s in order to verify separation of income.

If a dependent student’s parents are single, separated, or divorced, then only the income of the student’s primary household will be included. If the parent has married or remarried, then the household income will include that of the parent’s spouse, if the parent is married as of the day the FAFSA was completed.

Spouse or parent not a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen?

You are a citizen or eligible non-citizen, qualified to receive Federal Student Aid, but your spouse or parent (for dependent students) is not. Will that cause difficulties?

The FAFSA application will be asking for their social security number and tax information. If they do not have a social security number, they can enter all zeros in that area instead. For taxes, they will simply enter their tax information if they were required to file. The fact that you spouse or parent may not be eligible to receive Federal Student aid based on citizenship requirements should not affect your eligibility.

What if a male student has not registered for the Selective Service?

In order for a male student to qualify for Federal Student Aid, he must be registered. If you are between the ages of 18 and 25, you can register easily as a part of the FAFSA application process. If you are over 25 years of age and did not register, you may not be eligible to receive aid. Check with your institution’s financial aid office in regards to your specific scenario.

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