One of the more important questions about financial aid is whether you’re considered a dependent or independent student. Here are the criteria the federal government uses in making this decision. Am I “Dependent” or “Independent”?
Most students who are entering college straight from high school are considered dependent students. For the current academic year, you’re a dependent student unless at least one of the following applies to you:
You were born before January 1, 1981.
You’re enrolled in a master’s or doctorate program
You have children or other dependents who receive more than half their support
Both of your parents are deceased or you are or were a ward/dependent of the court until age 18.