Hello, I am a Junior in highschool, and I'll be filling out FAFSA the following year, I'll also be applying early decision to one or two schools in the fall (Amherst and Reed likely). My issues is this; My mother is deceased, and my father despises me (long family history). I am nearly entirely independent, I have my own very part time job (<10 hrs a week) to pay for food/clothes/phone bill, etc., the only reason I still live in my fathers house is because he tried kicking me out when my mother was still around and he got in trouble for it because I am a minor, since then he has decided to wait until I am 18 to kick me out. I will be turning 18 in April, and after that I will find a place to say (probably with a friend who has offered to take me in), I will be fine, and completely independent, my father will oppose all contact with me and I will likely never speak to him again (we haven't spoken at all in nearly a year as it is). I'm sure you've already gauged where I'm going with this, I won't be able to get my fathers W-2 form, or any other info at that, yet I don't believe I will qualify to apply independent. My net family income is terribly low, <$25,000, and no investments or anything, yet there are 5 kids living in the house, 9 kids total, so I can guess my fathers earnings relatively accurately to fill out the FAFSA if necessary.. but I feel as though guessing without any papers would be wrong, and would I have to send in proof in income or anything? So what can I do? Do I qualify for a dependence override from colleges I will apply to? I am in what you would call extenuating circumstances, my father is very abusive, and my mother committed suicide a little over a year ago because she couldn't handle it anymore.. however, none of it is documented, because me and my older siblings have covered it up to keep my younger siblings from getting placed in foster homes (again, long story, but my older siblings and I decided it would be best for the kids to be in one home rather than be split up). It's a hard situation, and I'm not quite sure what to do, I feel I've made it too far to quit now and give up (I'm a 4.0 student with the toughest schedule in the largest high school in Oregon, top of my class of over 750 kids, over 3,000 in the school total). Should I get emancipated before I turn 18? Would that qualify me for applying independent?
Sorry for the long post, thank you if you read it, and I'd appreciate any advice, any at all (: I can provide additional information if necessary.