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Request to be considered an Independent Student

A Dependency Override Appeal is available for students who do not meet the federal criteria for independent status, but wish to have their circumstances reviewed. Students who are estranged from their parents due to special circumstances (e.g., child abuse, abandonment, family alcoholism or drug abuse, etc.) may qualify for this professional judgment treatment.

Reasons/Scenarios that warrant this type of Appeal

    • The student has been removed from the family home by the state
    • The student is in an abusive family environment (e.g., sexual, physical, or mental abuse or other forms of domestic violence)
    • The student has been abandoned by parents
    • The location of the parent or parents is unknown
    • The incarceration or institutionalization of both parents
    • Parent(s) are lacking the physical or mental capacity to raise the child
    • Both parent(s) hospitalized for an extended period
    • The student lives in an unsuitable household (e.g., child removed from the household and placed in foster care)
    • A married student’s spouse dies or student gets divorced

Documentation Required

    • A signed and dated statement (approximately 1 page) detailing:
    • Your current relationship with your parent(s)
    • Whether you were claimed on your parent(s) or someone else’s tax returns during the year your FAFSA information was based on. (Example: The 2017-2018 FAFSA is based on the 2015 tax year)
    • Your last contact with your parent(s)
    • Whether you have requested your parent to assist you in applying for financial aid
    • Make sure to include your ULV Student ID and the academic year for which you are submitting the appeal.
      Three Dependency Override Letters of Support. These letters should be from adults familiar with your case, such as a teacher, counselor, medical authority, member of the clergy, prison administrator, government agency, or court and should establish the usual circumstances.
      Submit evidence in support of your request such as signed letters, official documents such as a court order or police reports.

The following circumstances do not merit a dependency override, either alone or in combination:

  • Parents refuse to contribute to the student’s education;
  • Parents are unwilling to provide information on the application for verification;
  • Parents do not claim the student as a dependent for income tax purposes;
  • Student demonstrates total self-sufficiency.
  • What if I don’t have special circumstances, but my parents refuse to help me pay for college and won’t provide their information?
    Unfortunately, a parent’s refusal to assist a student with their college expenses is not sufficient to warrant a Dependency Override. Students in this situation will only be eligible for Unsubsidized Direct Loans unless their parents agree to provide their information on the FAFSA.
    Please talk to your Financial Aid Counselor if you have more questions or would like more information on your dependency status.