Dependency Override

The Dependency Override request is for students who feel they should be considered independent from their parents for financial aid purposes but do not meet the federal criteria to be considered independent.

Common Reasons for Dependency Override

  • Abusive family environment that threatens your health or safety
  • Parental abandonment
  • Student is unable to locate their parents
  • Incarcerated parents

We cannot override dependency in cases where:

  • Parents refuse to contribute to the student's education.
  • Unwillingness of parents to provide information.
  • Students demonstrating total self-sufficiency.
  • Parents not claiming student as a dependent for tax purposes.


  1. Submit the Dependency Override Request form
  2. Submit a letter of explanation of extenuating circumstances. Include the following information:
    1.  Last date and nature of parent contact
    2. Location of your parents
    3. How you have provided financially for yourself
  3. Submit signed third-party letters from two or more people who have first-hand knowledge of the situation. The letters should be from people who are unrelated to you but are aware of your circumstances, such as a counselor, clergy, social agency official, court official, law enforcement official, ect.
  4. Submit documentation of how the student is financially supporting themselves (current paycheck stub, tax return, ect).
  5. Submit additional documentation, if applicable (police report, court documents, documentation of parental incarceration, ect).

Subsequent Year Requests

Any continuing student that was previously approved for a dependency override will need to inform the financial aid office in subsequent years that their circumstances are unchanged. In addition to submitting the FAFSA each year, students will need to also submit the following:

  1. Dependency Override Form
  2. Detailed explanation that extenuating circumstances have not changed from previous year.