The following questions, listed on the FAFSA, help the US Department of Education, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and Student Financial Services determine whether you are required to provide parent information on the FAFSA:
- Were you born before January 1, 1989 (1990 if completing the 2013-14 FAFSA)?
- Will you be working toward a master’s degree?
- Are you married as of the day you complete the FAFSA? (Answer “yes” if you are separated but not divorced.)
- Are you a veteran of the US Armed Forces?
- Do you have legal dependents other than a spouse?
- Are you currently serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces for purposes other than training?
- At any time since you turned age 13, were both your parents deceased, were you in foster care, or were you a ward of the court?
- Are you or were you an emancipated minor as determined by a court in your state of legal residence?
- Are you or were you in legal guardianship as determined by a court in your state of legal residence?
- At any time on or after July 1, 2011, did you receive a determination that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or at risk of being homeless (at any time after July 1, 2011, if completing the 2013-14 FAFSA)?
If you answer “yes” on the FAFSA to any of these questions, you are considered independent, and only your income and resources are considered when determining need for financial aid.
If you answer “no” to all of these questions, you are considered to be dependent, and your parents’ income and resources are considered when determining need for financial aid.