For financial aid purposes, the term “independent student” is limited in scope.
To determine whether you meet the definition of “Independent Student” for financial aid purposes, you should view the Dependency Status Worksheet.
Questions in the Dependency Status Worksheet are used to determine (according to federal law) whether you are a dependent or an independent student for purposes of calculating an award.
If you cannot answer YES to any of the questions in the Dependency Worksheet, but you have unusual circumstances (ex. parents are incarcerated, left your parents home due to abuse, estranged from parents because of their alcohol/drug abuse, etc), then you may submit a "Petition to Apply for Financial Aid as an Independent Student." The petition will be reviewed by a financial aid administrator who will decide whether or not to grant the dependency override. The financial aid administrator's decision is final and is not appealable to the U.S. Department of Education.