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What is a dependent student?

Nicholas Rivera

in Student Loans

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Rodney Fox on June 12, 2018

For the purpose of the FAFSA, a dependent student is any person under the age of 24 years age. Students may be considered independent if they are at least 24 years of age the day they fill out the FAFSA documents or any of the following circumstances:

  • Will be enrolled in a masters or Doctoral program in the beginning of the school year
  • Married before or on the day of the filing of the FAFSA
  • Under 24 years of age, but is a father
  • Both parents deceased or was a ward of the court until the age of 18 years, or a foster child after age 13.
  • Currently on active duty in the Armed Forces of the united states (other than training)
  • Military veteran
  • Emancipated minor by a court judge.
  • "Homeless or at risk of homelessness as determined by the director of a HUD approved homeless shelter, transitional program, or high school liaison."



Adapted from the Student Loan Network. For more information, see Related Links, below.


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