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Dependent/Independent Status

Are you an independent or a dependent student?


When applying for financial aid, you are considered either dependent or independent. Students considered dependent on their parents are required to submit financial information about their family.

You are automatically considered independent if you are 24 or older as of December 31 within the academic year. If you are under 24, you will be considered independent if you are:

  • A graduate or professional student.
  • Married.
  • A student with legal dependents other than a spouse.
  • A veteran of U.S. Armed Forces.
  • An active duty member of the U.S. armed forces (not for training purposes)
  • An orphan, ward of court or in foster care at any time age 13 or older.
  • In legal guardianship or emancipated minor status as of the date of application (age 18 if a Minnesota resident or the age defined as being an adult in your state).
  • Determined to be an unaccompanied homeless youth anytime within the past year.
  • Classified by your financial aid administrator as independent because of unusual circumstances.


If you think you should be independent because of unusual circumstances, even though you normally would be considered dependent, talk to the financial aid administrator at the school you're attending or wish to attend. The aid administrator can change your status to independent if he or she believes your status warrants it. That decision is based on his or her judgment and is final.