The law that created the Federal Student Aid (FSA) programs is based on the premise that the family has the primary responsibility to provide support for the students education. At the same time, the law provides several criteria that allow a student to be considered independent of the parents in determining aid eligibility.
For 2013-2014 the student is considered independent if s/he:
• was born before January 1, 1990;
• is married as of the date of the application;
• will be in a graduate or professional program of study at the start of the award year;
• is currently serving on active military duty for purposes other than training;
• is a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces;
• has one or more dependents other than a spouse;
• was an orphan, foster child, or ward/dependent of the court at any time since the age of 13;
• was an emancipated minor or under legal guardianship before reaching the age of majority in his state of residence;
• was determined officially at any time since July 1, 2012, to be an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or self-supporting and at risk of being homeless
Federal aid regulations allow a Financial Aid Counselor (or Administrator) to use professional judgment to determine a student independent for federal student aid purposes who does not meet any of the above definitions. This action is called a dependency override using professional judgment and is determined on a case-by-case basis from an appeal form and acceptable supporting documentation.
Special circumstances under these conditions can be considered for an appeal for a dependency override:
• Abusive family environments
• Incarceration or institutionalization of both parents
• An unsuitable household requiring legal intervention
• Severe estrangement from parents
• Parent mental incapacity
These circumstances do not qualify for a dependency override appeal:
• Parents refuse to contribute to the student’s education
• Parents are unwilling to provide information on the FAFSA or for verification
• Parents do not claim the student as a dependent for income tax purposes
• Students demonstrates total self-sufficiency
You must meet with a Financial Aid Counselor to discuss your special circumstances. If your situation qualifies, you will be given the Dependency Override Appeal form. Financial Aid Counselors are available on a drop-in basis only. View Office Hours for the current drop-in schedule.
RENEWAL OF A DEPENDENCY OVERRIDE
Students who have had an APPROVED Dependency Override at CSU, Sacramento in the prior aid year may submit a Dependency Override Renewal Request form for review. The Financial Aid Office will review your request and determine if the circumstances continue to exist for a dependency override.
If you have not been sent the Dependency Override Renewal Request form via email. You must meet with a Financial Aid Counselor to obtain the form.
The decision to approve or deny a dependency override is made by the Financial Aid Office at CSU, Sacramento and not the U.S. Department of Education. All dependency override decisions made by the Financial Aid Office are FINAL