2 months ago
Paying for College

FAFSA as someone who's been kicked out

I recently have been experiencing housing instability after getting kicked out of my parents house at 17. And while technically this is illegal, there are some circumstantial things that make staying homeless a better situation than taking legal action. I was wondering if there's a way to calculate financial aid as an independent student on both a part time and under the table income?

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3 answers

2 months ago

Hi @cino, there's a few things you can do in your situation. Here's a snippet from the following blog article: https://blog.collegevine.com/what-does-it-mean-to-be-independent-on-the-fafsa/

In order to be considered independent on the FAFSA, you must meet at least one of the following criteria:

You are an emancipated minor. If you are a legally emancipated minor, you are completely self-sufficient and have no contact and/or receive no support from your parents. Though the situation is slightly different, you are also considered independent if you have a legal guardian as determined by a court.

You are 24 years of age or older (or will be by December 31st). If you will be 24 years or older by December 31st of the school year for which you are applying for financial aid, you are not required to report parental information on the FAFSA, because at this point you are considered financially independent.

You have a dependent of your own. If you have children who receive more than half of their support for you, or a dependent (not including a spouse) who lives with you and receives more than half of their support from you, you are considered independent.

You are married. If you are married (or separated, but not divorced), you are considered an independent on the FAFSA.

You are a graduate student. If you are attending graduate school (working toward your MA, MFA, MD, Ph.D., or any other graduate degree), you are an independent.

You are on active duty in the military or a veteran. If you are on active duty in the U.S. armed forces for purposes other than training, or you are a U.S. veteran, you are considered an independent.

You are in foster care, an orphan, and/or a ward of the state. If at any time since you turned 13 years old both of your parents were deceased, you were in foster care, or you were a dependent of the court, you are an independent. Additionally, if you are an emancipated minor or have a legal guardian, you are also considered independent.

You are homeless. If you are an unaccompanied youth who is homeless or self-supporting and at risk of becoming homeless, you are an independent.

Frequently Ask Questions around this topic are:

If I don’t live with my parents, and I pay for my own school, am I considered an independent?

No. Even if you live alone and pay for your school and all other expenses, you are still considered a dependent, unless you have taken legal action to become emancipated from your parents in the eyes of the law, come from an abusive household, or are an orphan, ward of the state, or in foster care.

If my parents are not contributing to the cost of my education, am I considered independent?

No. As stated above, even if you are paying for your education, you are still considered a dependent unless there has been other legal action to set you apart from your parents as an independent.

What if I cannot contact my parents for their information? Or what if my parents refuse to provide the information necessary for the FAFSA?

There are several situations in which the FAFSA [will accept][https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa/filling-out/parent-info#special-circumstances] your form without your parents’ information, even if you are considered a dependent. They are as follows:

Your parents are incarcerated.

You have left home due to an abusive environment.

You do not know where your parents are, cannot contact them, and have not been adopted.

You are older than 21 but younger than 24, are unaccompanied, and are either homeless or self-supporting and at risk of becoming homeless.

In these situations, your FAFSA will be accepted but considered incomplete. Submit it and then immediately contact the financial aid office at the colleges at which you are applying for financial aid. They will tell you what your next steps should be.

For more information, you can read the rest of the blog article or this other one on financial independence: https://blog.collegevine.com/can-i-apply-to-college-as-a-financial-independent/

a month ago

I'm sorry that I do not have an answer about FASFA, but I genuinely hope you find a home soon. ❤️

2 months ago

Your cost of attendance (COA) at the school determines how much financial aid you qualify for. Then they calculate what is called the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Your EFC is subtracted from your COA to determine your financial need and therefore how much need-based aid you are eligible for.

Follow the links below for more information.

1) https://studentaid.gov/complete-aid-process/how-calculated

2) https://studentaid.gov/apply-for-aid/fafsa/filling-out/dependency

3) https://collegefinance.com/financial-aid/will-you-get-more-financial-aid-as-an-independent-student


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