The federal government strictly defines who is considered an independent student for financial aid purposes, regardless of whether you are claimed on your parent's tax return. To be considered independent, you must be able to answer YES to at least one of the dependency questions on the FAFSA.
If you do not meet the definition of an independent student, you must provide parental information on your FAFSA. Be advised that students who fail to provide accurate and complete parental information are subject to lengthy delays and outright rejection of their applications.
Federal law assumes that your family has the primary responsibility for meeting your educational costs. If you cannot answer YES to at least one of the dependency questions on the FAFSA, you will be evaluated as a dependent student—meaning that your parents must provide income and asset information. If there are extraordinary circumstances that warrant a re-evaluation of your dependency status, please contact our office. However, your being approved for an override may result in your being eligible for less need-based aid.