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What are the basic conditions an applicant must meet to be considered independent?
The basic conditions are:
has not resided and will not reside with parents for more than six weeks; and
has not and will not receive financial assistance or support valued in excess of $750 from parents; and
has not and will not be claimed as a dependent by either parent for purposes of either federal or state income tax.
What are the special conditions to qualify as an independent student, and what proof do I need to send?
Condition: You are a ward of the court (not including status as an inmate).
Documentation: Copy of a court order making you a ward of the court or appointing a guardian other than your parents.
Condition: You are receiving public assistance under your own budget and not as a dependent of your parents.
Documentation: Budget statement or other documentation from a social service official showing receipt of public assistance other than food stamps or unemployment insurance. NOTE: Housing Assistance/Budget Letter must be in student’s name.
Condition: There has been an involuntary dissolution of your family resulting in relinquishment of your parents’ responsibility and control.
Documentation: A sworn and signed statement from a person other than yourself or your parents (such as a member of the clergy, a social worker, a legal aid representative, or an official at the facility or institution which has accepted responsibility for your control or care) relating to your family circumstances. The statement must include the specific reasons for relinquishment of parental responsibility and control (such as abandonment by the parents, mental and/or physical abuse by the parents, or parents being neither citizens nor residents of the United States), your relationship to the person making the statement, and how that person has direct knowledge of your family circumstances.
Condition: Both parents are deceased.
Documentation: Copies of death certificates for both parents.
Condition: Both parents have been certified as having a total and permanent disability, or have been declared incompetent by judicial action.
Documentation: Medical certification and court orders. Documentation for both parents is required.
I may not be remembering correctly, but I don't think I had to use my parent's income after age 21, although that might have been because I was in law school at that age.
CUNY Dependent/Independent wrote:
NEW YORK STATE FINANCIAL INDEPENDENCE
Age: Under 22 As Of June 30, 2017
The student must meet the basic criterion for independent status plus one of the following special conditions:
The student’s parents are deceased or are totally and permanently disabled or have been declared incompetent by judicial action.
The student is a ward of the court. This does not include incarcerated students.
The student is receiving public assistance under his/her own name. This does not include food stamps or unemployment insurance.
The student has been rendered financially independent due to the involuntary dissolution of his/her family resulting in the relinquishment of his/her parents responsibility and control.
If the student answers all the independent questions on the TAP application “no”, and is under the age of 22 he/she must document that one of these special conditions has been met. HESC will send the student a Financial Independence Supplement when they receive and process the student’s TAP application. This form is sent automatically.
Waiver Of Special Conditions:
The student does not have to meet the special conditions if he/she:
Was married on or before December 31, 2016
Is enrolled as a graduate student in the 2016-2017 academic year.
Received TAP as an independent student in the prior award year (2016-2017).
Age: 22 To 34
Students are not automatically considered to be independent for the purposes of the TAP program until they are 35 years old.
In the meantime, they must meet all of the following conditions to be considered independent.
Did not and will not live in the parents home or a building owned or leased by the parents in 2016, 2017 or 2018, even if he/she paid rent.
Is not or will not be listed as a dependent of the parent on the 2016 or 2017 tax return.
Did not and will not receive more than $750 in financial assistance (loans, gifts, etc.) from either or both parents in 2016, 2017 or 2018.
If the student answers yes to any of the questions on the TAP application, and is under the age of 35, he/she must provide parent financial information to be considered for TAP.
Age: 35 +
Student is automatically independent.