Is there any way I can become financially independent over the next two years and then transfer?

I’m a rising college freshman, and during the past year, after I had submitted all my college applications already, one day my parents suddenly announced that they won’t pay for any of my college expenses. They are extremely wealthy (EFC above 200k) so I didn’t get any need-based aid. This left me with no choice but to go to a school that gives full rides to national merit finalists. I am wondering if it would be possible for me to transfer to a different school after one or two years and get a full need based ride there. I know for that I’d need to file the FAFSA as an independent. Would that be possible? If so, what would I have to do to become an independent?

Edit: to be clear, I’m currently planning to stay at my full ride school for all four years, I just want to know if transferring would be an option

Not until you are 24, married, or have a child. What’s wrong with the school you are at?


Schools don’t give need based aid just because parents announce that they won’t pay. If that were true then all parents would just do that.

Why can’t you stay at your current school if you have a full ride there?


You can’t just become an independent student for financial aid purposes because your parents won’t pay. There are reasons on the financial aid form that define independent students.

Are you married?
Do you have a dependent child you support?
Were you ever in foster care? Or legal guardianship (not your parents)?
Are you an armed forces veteran?
Are you over age 24?
Do you have a bachelors degree?

There is one other I can’t think of…but if the answer is no to all of these questions…you are dependent for financial aid purposes.

Stay where you are. You are fortunate to have a full ride and don’t need to rely on parent support. Consider yourself lucky!

Even if you could file the FAFSA as independent (you can’t), there aren’t many schools that give full financial aid to students. You’d get a Pell grant of ~$6500, maybe an SEOG of $3000, and then whatever FA the school may be able to give you.

Be grateful you have a fully funded education.