Unusual Circumstances / Dependency Override Request

Additional Flexibility for Assisting Students with Unusual Circumstances

The FAFSA Simplification Act provides a clearer directive for FAAs to assist applicants with unusual circumstances to adjust dependency status on the FAFSA form to reflect students' situations more accurately. Like other types of professional judgments, institutions must make students aware of their ability to request an adjustment for unusual circumstances by publicly posting the option on their website. For the 2023-24 Award Year, applicants must still indicate an unusual circumstance and request a determination of independence with their school to allow us to process their FAFSA form.

Starting with the 2024-25 Award Year, both initial and renewal applicants who indicate they have an unusual circumstance on their FAFSA form will submit their application under a provisional independent status. This will allow such applicants to receive a Student Aid Index (SAI) with an estimate of their Federal student aid eligibility, subject to a final determination by their school.

Requesting a reconsideration of your dependent status through Dependency Override.

Your eligibility for financial aid is determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which currently uses financial information from yourself and your parents, if you do not meet any of the established independent statuses. We recognize that students can experience unusual circumstances in their households that may require additional consideration.

When these situations occur, it is possible to re-evaluate a student’s aid eligibility based on their current circumstances through the Dependency Override process. All Dependency Override applications are required to have a detailed letter of explanation and supporting documentation. There must be unusual circumstances in the household to be considered for a Dependency Override.

Unusual circumstances do not include:

  • Parents refuse to contribute to the student’s education.
  • Parents will not provide information for the FAFSA or verification.
  • Parents do not claim the student as a dependent for income tax purposes.
  • Student demonstrates total self-sufficiency.

Documentation Required for Dependency Override

In each case, you must complete our Petition for Dependency Override Form and provide the documentation listed on the form before we can review your request.

Please use the Financial Aid Office's Secure Document Upload Form to submit your complete Petition for Dependency Override PDF form and additional documentation.