Financial Aid: What is the Difference Between an Independent Student and a Dependent Student ?

Question: What is the difference between an Independent Student and a Dependent Student for the purposes of Financial Aid?

Answer:

(1) Dependent Student:
Dependent students are assumed to have parental support, and must report their financial information, in addition to their parents' income and assets - a student is automatically a dependent student if age 23 or younger.

(2) Independent Student: Independent students must report their own income and asset information (and, if married, their spouse's). An independent student must be 24 years of age or older by December 31 of the award year.

* Information provided by the US Department of Education regarding Independent and Dependent Student classification can be viewed by selecting the following link: Dependency Status - US Department of Education