Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community polls, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

Claim myself Independent?

rubyheartrubyheart Posts: 2Registered User New Member
I'm 20-year old junior that will likely transfer a second time to a different school in a different state. When I told my parents about the situation, my father stressed that if I were to go through with it, I should claim myself as an independent.

Is it even legal to do so? He claims that once you turn 18 you have the right to do so and that they are not obligated to assist me in paying for school. If this is true how can i reach independent status?
Post edited by rubyheart on

Replies to: Claim myself Independent?

  • zuzusplacezuzusplace Posts: 311Registered User Member
    You are only considered independent if you are married, have dependents (ie children), or are over the age of 25. You can not "claim yourself" as dependent or independent. This is something that the federal government determines based on questions asked on the FAFSA.
  • sybbie719sybbie719 Posts: 16,804Super Moderator Senior Member
    You will not be considered an independent student for financial aid purposes and will be considered an out of state student if you intend on attending a public university in another state.

    the Federal government has strict guidelines as what consitutes an independent student. You must be one of the following:

    You must be atleast 24 years old
    You must have completed your first bachelors degree
    Marriage
    You must have a child for whom you provide more than 50% support
    You must have served in the military
    You must have been a ward of the court before your 18th birthday.

    in addition , states are very strict as to what consitutes residency in order to get in-state tuition. One can not become a resident for the purpose of getting instate tuition. Unless the state you are moving to has some sort of reciprocity agreement with the state you are moving to you will be considered a resident of the state where your parents reside.
  • rubyheartrubyheart Posts: 2Registered User New Member
    Wow. I really appreciate the comments.

    http://www.wwwebtax.com/miscellaneous/exemptions.htm

    Comparing it with what this site, my question has been answered.

    Thank you for the assistance.
  • mildredmildred Posts: 686Registered User Member
    I am quoting from the fin aid dot org web site. They have a user friendly little calculator for dependency status.


    Dependency Status

    This form is used to determine whether you are a dependent student or an independent student according to the Federal Need Analysis Methodology.

    This form applies to the July 1, 2007 - June 30, 2008 school year.


    http://www.finaid.org/calculators/dependency.phtml

    A dependent child does not have to live with you, so long as the child receives more than half of his/her support from you. The child may include a biological or adopted child, or a child for whom you are the legal guardian. Note that generally speaking, if the child meets the 50% support test, the child should be claimed as an exemption on your income tax return.



    A veteran is a student who participated in active service in the US Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, or Coast Guard and was released under a condition other than dishonorable. This includes a student who attended a US military academy but withdrew in good standing, as well as a student who is not a veteran now, but will be a veteran by June 30, 2008. If you are currently serving on active duty in the Armed Forces for other than training purposes, you also qualify as an independent student.



    rubyheart:
    I'm 20-year old junior that will likely transfer a second time to a different school in a different state. When I told my parents about the situation, my father stressed that if I were to go through with it, I should claim myself as an independent.

    I am not being mean, nor am I trying to be mean. But, maybe that is your dad's way of saying that you are on your own if you swap schools again.

    Also, why do you want to transfer as a junior? That might make your stay at University longer! Be careful with that and read through any and all transfer articulation agreements carefully.

    Some out of state schools have transfer articulation agreements only for Universities in which the transfer school is located in. You come in from out of state, and then you have a ton of electives which will not count for poo. I mean, that could happen, you know it? You could be a junior at a school you swap over to on paper. But, in terms of course completion you might really be a first semester sophomore! Dude! And, that, coupled with out of state tuition will be a total bummer.

    Remember, if you luck out with the odd pell grant and the like, you have a certain time frame to complete a BA or BS. The only way this time frame is waived (on occasion, this is a University by University type of rule) is if you have mad wicked LD issues and the like. So, think things through really carefully.
  • 3togo3togo Posts: 5,231Registered User Senior Member
    edited April 2007
    good comments so far ... FYI, being considered independent for tax purposes (post #4) and independent for purposes of paying for college (post #3) are two separate issues. I was not considered independent for college purposes but did file independent for tax purposes since I paid for over 50% of my expenses.
  • AF_TransferAF_Transfer Posts: 54Registered User Junior Member
    You will be dependent as far as college aid goes until you are 24....Unless you marry, join the military, or get pregnant.
  • sblake7sblake7 Posts: 1,691Registered User Senior Member
    "good comments so far ... FYI, being considered independent for tax purposes (post #4) and independent for purposes of paying for college (post #3) are two separate issues. I was not considered independent for college purposes but did file independent for tax purposes since I paid for over 50% of my expenses."

    Correct-- there are actually three different things that people often confuse, including some in this thread.

    1. Dependent/Independent student for FAFSA purposes (Mildred's link in post #5 above has the criteria, as does Sybbie in post #3), which is different than

    2. Dependent for IRS tax purposes (OP's link in post #4 above has that criteria), which is different than

    3. Household member, for FAFSA purposes.

    Totally different criteria for each.
  • swimcatsmomswimcatsmom Posts: 14,988Registered User Senior Member
    yep sblake and others are correct

    My 20 year old son is a dependant for financial aid purposes, not a dependant for tax purposes and is a household member for FAFSA purposes (though he has not lived at home for a couple of years).

    Rubyheart - your Dad is not obligated to pay for you to college - but that does not mean you can declare yourself independant - well you can declare yourself anything you want but it will not mean anything in financial aid terms. Sounds like your Dad is maybe frustrated with you changing schools again?
  • insombinsomb Posts: 39Registered User Junior Member
    I was just determined independent after sending all these documents in. It didn't really help in the long run anyways. I need a co-signer for my private loans since I'm not credit worthy (which have higher interest rates) and I'm not eligible for parent loans since I'm independent.

    Well... your dad is sort of right but... they keep an efc regaurdless of if he is helping or not unless your independent. There's a link the government has on how immoral it is for parents to not contribute and stuff... it's sort of like tips on how to talk your parents into paying. I can't remember it but it was off FAFSA.
  • NikkiiLNikkiiL Posts: 1,048Registered User Senior Member
    But do you realize how indebt parents can become trying to cater to a child's dream school??? I spoke with a collegue today who was rambling about some of his parents who were already $50k+ in debt just funding two years of their child's education....that is a LOT of money! It is easy for someone on the outside to say how immoral it is for parents not to help...but most of the students I have spoken with recently have no concept of adult responsibilties. They seem to think that money grows on trees. As a parent, student and Financial Aid Counselor....I have already told BOTH of my daughters that I will NOT be taking out PLUS Loans or private loans to fund their education. They can attend college where I work (which means FREE tuition) or they can find their own way to pay. All I will do is complete the Parent portion of the FAFSA. A Bachelor's Degree is pratically the same (for most career fields) regardless of the name on the Diploma. Realistically, I will still be paying for my own college degree when they enter college....there is no way I can afford to pay off 100k in student loans...and it is unrealistic for them to expect me to take on that kind of responsibility.
  • swimcatsmomswimcatsmom Posts: 14,988Registered User Senior Member
    I agree with Nikkil. We are helping our kids as far as we are able. But we are not going to go into debt. We told them well in advance that if they wanted anything but State schools they would have to find a way to fund the difference.
  • sblake7sblake7 Posts: 1,691Registered User Senior Member
    Agree with both Nikki and scm. Parents need to sit down with their high school kids and let them know up front the realities of college costs, and that while them may apply to and even be accepted to their pricey "dream" school, there's no guarantee (in most families, anyway) that the family can afford the school. The financial aid package offered will make or break the deal for many families, and those numbers won't be known until late in the game. Kids need to identify and apply to a financial safety school (one they know they can get into, and they know the family can afford).
  • HaberdasheryHaberdashery Posts: 307Registered User Junior Member
    i agree as well, as a student whose parents are not going to pay for my college tuition, i do know that there are ways and opportunities to receieve money from colleges and winning scholarships, i think that if parents can afford it and are willing to, then they should but if it's not a realistic option, there are ways...just have to seize upon them, lol

    and best of luck to the OP, i hope that u will find a way to go to ur dream school :)
  • renixrenix Posts: 682. Member
    I'm so excited, I'm finally independant this year!
Sign In or Register to comment.