Federal regulations require certain students to provide their parent's financial data and signatures on the FAFSA form.
Independent students do not have to include their parent's financial information on their FAFSA. Unsure of whether you qualify as independent? Review the FAFSA Dependency Status Checklist below.
Note: All programs offered by AACC are considered undergraduate programs, including AACC Physician Assistant certificate program. No AACC student can achieve independent status based on the pursuit of a graduate/professional degree program (M.S., Ph.D. etc.).
If the FAFSA Dependency Status Checklist below indicates that you must provide parent data, then you must provide parent data unless you are able to document unusual family circumstances. FAFSA regulations never require parents to help pay for education, but they often insist on considering their financial resources when evaluating your financial need. If you were most recently supported by legal guardians, relatives or friends, you cannot list their data on your FAFSA.
Note: We can't make students independent simply because their parents can't afford to help. The standard financial need formula already evaluates each family's financial resources and determines the family's ability to contribute toward the student's educational expenses. If the financial resources are low enough, the student will show high financial need. We also can't make students independent simply because their parents stop claiming them as tax exemptions or choose not to help pay for college.
If you have unusual family circumstances that weren't already listed on the checklist, you can appeal to our office for Independent Status. Unusual family circumstances include but are not limited to:
If you have other circumstances that you think might qualify, discuss them with us.
For Federal Student Aid (FSA) purposes, a parent includes a biological or adoptive parent, or someone married to a biological or adoptive parent.
The following may NOT be considered as "parents:"
For information visit the USDOE Federal Student Aid page on Dependency Status.
If you think you might be eligible to appeal for independent status, contact our office to discuss your situation. If we think you might qualify for an override, we will ask you to submit a Dependency Appeal form. Our policies and federal student privacy laws (FERPA) ensure that all your information will be kept strictly confidential. We will NOT contact your parents or share any information with them.
Do not automatically assume that dependent students receive less aid. If your parents have high income or assets, you may show less financial need because of their resources, but some students show less financial need as independent students because the formula stops considering the cost of supporting your parents in the family household. If you have any questions about dependency status, please contact us.