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Am I Indepedent or Depedent(FAFSA)

awright7awright7 Registered User Posts: 19 New Member
edited February 2010 in Financial Aid & Scholarships
I don't know what to do about my Fafsa. My mother is in a mental instution and I dont know her, while my father abandoned me at the age of eight and I have not met him or do not know him. Yet the problem is that they are saying since my grandmother never got legal custody I would have to file as depedent. How can I file as depedent when I dont know anything about my parents. What should I do, file as indepedent or depedent
Post edited by awright7 on

Replies to: Am I Indepedent or Depedent(FAFSA)

  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 63,510 Senior Member
    Are you saying you have NEVER known either of your parents.....not EVER?
  • CoolbrezzeCoolbrezze Registered User Posts: 5,403 Senior Member
    If your grandmother filed legal custody you will need to file dependent, though if no one has custody over you, that makes independent. If you live with your parent(s) or legal guardian(s) as long as you live there you will be dependent ( until a certain age, I think 23-24). But if you move out you will be independent ( change of residence- not talking about going away for college).
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 63,510 Senior Member
    If you live with your parent(s) or legal guardian(s) as long as you live there you will be dependent ( until a certain age, I think 23-24). But if you move out you will be independent ( change of residence- not talking about going away for college).

    The above quote is misinformation. Simply moving away from your parent home....change of residence...is NOT the test for financial aid independent status per FAFSA. If you HAVE parents and you move to another place of residence, you are almost always still considered a dependent for financial aid purposes...even if you are completely supporting yourself. In a very very few states, students alone can establish independent financial status for finaid purposes by supporting themselves...but they would also have to give evidence that they are EARNING enough money to support themselves.

    It sounds like the OP has an unusual situation although there really is not sufficient information for anyone here to make that determination. The OP should talk to her school counselor and also to the financial aid folks at her colleges. It is possible they can give her a dependency override IF she can demonstrate that she is really not supported by either parent and her grandmother does not have legal custody of her either.
  • Iron MaidenIron Maiden Registered User Posts: 1,976 Senior Member
    Agree with the above poster. Coolbrezze, the information you gave was incorrect. Please check your facts before posting.

    FYI, you do not file FAFSA as either dependent or independent. That determination is made for you.
  • awright7awright7 Registered User Posts: 19 New Member
    I've met my parents but as of now I dont know where my father is at and I know that my mother lives in south jersey in some mental instution, I've visited her before but I dont live with her I live with my grandmother and I have lived with her since i was 8 yet she never went to court and got legal custody of me.
  • sybbie719sybbie719 Super Moderator Posts: 20,835 Super Moderator
    You should definitely talk to your GC who will contact the schools for you to let you know how to proceed.

    You have a case where the school will determine whether or not to use professional judgement of give you a dependency override.
  • awright7awright7 Registered User Posts: 19 New Member
    Thank you I just spoke with my guidance and she said she is going to write me a letter and I also know that I am suppose to talk to the adminstration I just wanted to get feedback.
  • JustAMomOf4JustAMomOf4 Registered User Posts: 4,563 Senior Member
    awright7 - someone has to be responsible for you. Did you ask your grandmother if she is your legal guardian?
    If this slipped by for so many years - then take sybbie719's advice and go to your GC. You MIGHT have to file as a dependent but your school will probably change it to independent.
    It's kind of a moot point since your mother doesn't have any income.
    Most importantly, your grandmother is not expected to provide her financial status - even if she is your legal guardian.
    good luck.
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