Independent student status

As a youth in care, or a former youth in care, you are eligible to be considered for Independent Student Status. The Department of Education uses a set of criteria for determining if a student is considered Independent for financial aid purposes. If a person is considered Independent, this means that their parents’ financial information is NOT considered when determining the student’s financial aid, and therefore NOT required on the FAFSA. Independent status is grant to students who are orphans (both parents deceased) wards of the court or were in foster care at any time on or after their 13th birthday, even if they have subsequently been adopted. This also applies for youth in kinship guardianship. For a complete list of the criteria visit 's the Office of Federal Student Aid’s Dependency Status page. Make sure you answer YES to the question “At any time since you turned age 13, were both your parents deceased, were you in foster care or were you a dependent or ward of the court?” on your FAFSA application so you can be considered for independent status. You may need to provide documentation to the financial aid office to show proof of your independent status. Ask your caseworker for a letter stating your independent status on agency letterhead.