Financial Aid Dependencies & Overrides

All applicants for federal student aid are considered either dependent or independent. The FAFSA form asks a series of questions that determine whether you are a dependent or independent student for purposes of applying for federal student aid. If you are a dependent student, you must report parent information, as well as your own information, on your application.

Dependency Overrides can be considered when a student does not meet any of the Department of Education’s criteria for independent status but has an extenuating circumstance that prevents them from being able to obtain parent information for the FAFSA. Before the financial aid office can grant a dependency override the student must provide notarized, third party testimony to justify the request.

NOTE: Students seeking a dependency override for New York State aid will be sent an email from NYS Higher Education Services Corp (HESC) to request supporting documentation.

Students seeking a Dependency Override for federal aid must complete the Unusual Circumstance (Dependency Override) form

Students must also provide:

  • A written, signed statement from the student that explains how and when the circumstances began. Please provide as many details as possible as this statement will be used as the basis for the application.
  • A signed statement from a professional who has knowledge of the student’s circumstances. This statement must be on letterhead and include the professional’s title. Examples of a professional include but are not limited to school guidance counselor, mental health professional, clergy member, medical doctor, attorney, etc.
  • Any additional piece(s) of supporting documentation including legal documents, police reports, statements from other family members, etc. Any statement from a family member or 3rd party must be notarized.