Dependency Status Override

What Is a Dependency Status Override?

The Dependency Status Override appeal is applicable to students currently experiencing a severe family situation that prevents them from being able to obtain parental information of any kind to report on the FAFSA.

Applicable Circumstances

Circumstances such as physical or emotional abuse, severe estrangement, abandonment, parental drug or alcohol abuse, mental incapacity, or another such situation beyond the student’s control are what constitute severe situations warranting consideration for this appeal. For this type of appeal the student must be able to document a complete breakdown of the relationship with both parents.

Another applicable circumstance is that the student is a non-U.S. citizen (who is otherwise eligible to receive federal financial aid), and the student’s parents currently reside in a foreign country and the student is unable to obtain parental information because of long-standing political policy or civil unrest in that country that prevents mail or funds from passing between you and your parents.

Which Circumstances Are Not Applicable?

  1. Parents refuse to contribute to the student’s education. (A student in this situation may be considered for a parent refusal appeal if other criteria are met.)
  2. Parents are unwilling to provide information on the FAFSA or for verification.
  3. Parents do not claim the student as a dependent for income tax purposes.
  4. Student demonstrates total self-sufficiency.
  5. Student does not live with the parent(s) and is considered dependent.

Learn About the Appeal Process

If you have questions about whether you may be considered for a special circumstance appeal, refer to our Special Circumstance Appeal Process webpage and schedule an appointment with your financial aid adviser.


The Office of Financial Aid recognizes the sensitive nature of the information provided by a student for the dependency status override process. Therefore, all of the information provided by a student for this process will be used solely to determine dependency status and eligibility for federal student financial aid. All information and documentation will be kept by the Office of Financial Aid in the strictest confidence pursuant to federal and state laws, regulations, and university guidelines.

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