Circumstances that Will Not be Considered

  • Student is living at home (or with relatives) but paying rent
  • Student has ongoing arguments with parent(s) and due to this the parent(s) have refused to help the student
  • Student has chosen to leave parent(s) and put him or herself through college
  • Parent(s) have chosen not to help with the student’s college expense or provide financial information
  • Student lives with or has a step-parent who refuses to provide support or income information

Reason(s) to submit and appeal

  1. Your parent(s) have been permanently declared incompetent by judicial action:
    • Provide documentation, such as court orders or notarized affidavits.
    • Provide a Third Party Letter: Signed statement from a professional on letterhead who is not a family member, substantiating your claim of independence. This can be a priest, rabbi, counselor, social services professional, medical professional, law enforcement officer, officer of the court, etc. Third party letters not on letterhead will need to be notarized. All personal letters will need to be notarized.
  2. You are receiving public assistance:
    • Provide documentation proving receipt of public assistance.
    • Public assistance does not include food stamps, unemployment compensation, or aid as a dependent child under the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) Program.
  3. You are receiving Social Security income or supplemental Social Security income (SSI) under your name:
    • Provide evidence from Social Security officials.
    • This does not include Social Security Benefits you are receiving due to a death of a parent (survivor’s benefits) or any other benefits received under your parents’ names.
  4. You have been rendered financially independent due to the involuntary dissolution of your family, resulting in relinquishment of your parents’ responsibility and control. Examples include: abuse, abandonment, unfit environment, etc.:
    • Provide documentation of the dissolution of your family, such as court orders or notarized affidavits.
    • Provide a Third Party Letter: Signed statement from a professional on letterhead who is not a family member, substantiating your claim of independence. This can be a priest, rabbi, counselor, social services professional, medical professional, law enforcement officer, officer of the court, etc. Third party letters not on letterhead will need to be notarized. All personal letters will need to be notarized.
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To file an Appeal for 2020-2021: 

Appeals for Change in Dependency Status will only be reviewed once all of the below required documents have been submitted. 

  1. 2020-2021 Appeal for Change in Dependency Status (PDF)
  2. 2020-2021 Standard Verification—Independent Form (PDF)
  3.  Documentation or a Third Party Letter explaining why you are unable to reside with either of your biological parents. 
  4. 2018 Signed Federal Tax Return (or Tax Return Transcript) & W-2 forms.*  If you did not file taxes in 2018 please submit:  
    • 2020-2021 Clarification of Income Worksheet (PDF) to explain how you were able to support yourself.
    • Provide a copy of the IRS” Verification of Non-Filing Letter”. This document can be requested on the IRS Website.  If you are unable to obtain this from the IRS for any reason please provide a signed statement that addresses the following: 
      • Explain that you attempted to obtain the Verification of Non-filing (VNF) from the IRS or other tax authorities and were unable to obtain the required documentation
      • Explain that you have not and were not required to file a tax return during the requested tax year. 
      • List all sources of income earned from work and the amount of income from each source
      • Provide copies of any W-2 forms you received in the requested tax year. 
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