Office of Financial Aid Office of Financial Aid

Dependency Student Override (DSO) Request

Your student dependency status is determined by the U.S. Department of Education based on your responses to the following questions on the 2014-15 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). If you answer yes to any of the questions, you are considered an independent student.

  • You were born before January 1, 1991.
  • You're married on the day you apply (even if you are separated but not divorced).
  • You are or will be enrolled in a master's or doctoral degree program (beyond a bachelor's degree) at the beginning of the 2014-15 academic year.
  • You are currently serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces for purposes other than training.
  • You're a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces. (A "veteran" includes students who attended a U.S. service academy and were released under a condition other than dishonorable.)
  • You have children who will receive more than half their support from you between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015.
  • You have legal dependents (other than your children or spouse) who live with you and who receive more than half their support from you now and through June 30, 2015.
  • At any time since you turned age 13, both your parents were deceased, you were in foster care or you were a dependent or ward of the court.
  • You are or were an emancipated minor as determined by a court in your state of legal residence.
  • You are or were in legal guardianship as determined by a court in your state of legal residence.
  • At any time on or after July 1, 2013, your high school or school district homeless liaison determined that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless.
  • At any time on or after July 1, 2013, the director of an emergency shelter or transitional housing program, funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, determined that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless.
  • At any time on or after July 1, 2013, the director of a runaway or homeless youth basic center or transitional living program determined that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or self-supporting and at risk of being homeless.

Special provisions in the federal regulations allow Financial Aid Administrators to make exceptions to the dependency policies under certain conditions. These conditions may include but are not limited to:

  • Abuse – physical or mental circumstances where police, Family Independence Agency (FIA) or court involvement is on record.
  • Alcohol or drug abuse by parents where police, FIA or court involvement is on record.
  • Abandonment by parents.

Examples of circumstances that would not qualify a student to be approved for independent status are:

  • Parent/student disagreements
  • Parents' refusal/inability to financially assist the student
  • Student demonstrating total self–sufficiency
  • Parents move out of the state
  • Parents unwilling to provide information on the FAFSA or documents for verification
  • Parents not claiming the student as a dependent for income tax purposes

How to appeal:

  • Complete the Dependency Student Override Request form available in the Forms Directory and submit appropriate documentation