An independent student is an individual who meets one of the following criteria:
If a student fails to meet the criterion outlined under independent, that student is dependent. Students who do not meet the automatic federal independency criteria, but claim to be independent, should read the following section on dependency status reviews. If a student fails to provide acceptable documentation to the financial aid office to prove his/her dependency, he or she will be considered dependent.
PRINT THIS PAGE SO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU NEED TO SUBMIT TO THE FINANCIAL AID OFFICE FOR RECONSIDERATION OF YOUR DEPENDENCY STATUS. THIS PAGE ALSO INDICATES WHO MAY QUALIFY FOR A DEPENDENCY STATUS CHANGE.
The federal processor utilizes parental information in the calculation of federal student aid eligibility if the applicant does not meet any of the independent criteria described above, as determined by Congress in the Higher Education Amendments of July 23, 1993. Federal regulations grant financial aid offices discretion under sections 480(d) and 479A of the Higher Education Amendments of July 23, 1993 in the determination of a student's independent student status. However, regulations are specific as to what qualifies warrants a dependency override. Please note that none of the following circumstances will qualify a student for a dependency override:
If you wish to have your file reviewed for dependency status, you should complete and forward to the Empire State College financial aid office the documentation of special circumstance dependency status form. You also should submit a letter from a reliable third-party source (doctor, VESID counselor, etc.) on their letterhead that explains in detail the unusual circumstance that exists in your situation that would warrant changing your dependency status. In addition to explaining your unusual circumstance in detail, the letter should indicate the length of time that you have been living independently and how you supported yourself in 2014, 2015 and (estimated) 2016. Submit the materials with your 2016-2017 FAFSA. Since you are claiming independence, do not complete the parental information on the FAFSA. If you fail to meet the independence criteria, you will be notified by the financial aid office that you must correct your FAFSA to add parental data in order for your eligibility to be determined.
Please submit the above-noted documentation two months prior to your expected date of enrollment. Questions regarding dependent status for TAP should be directed to the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation at 888-NYS-HESC.
Print the Documentation of Unusual Circumstance Dependency Status form.
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Student Financial Services home
Fax: 518-581-2782Mailing Address: Empire State CollegeFinancial Aid111 West Ave.Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
Questions? Contact the Student Information Center at 518-587-2100 or 800-847-3000.
Code: 010286Name: SUC Empire State College
Undergraduate: 0913Graduate: 5680 (for graduate students applying for Veteran Tuition Awards)
Students planning to attend 2016-2017 should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid for 2016-2017. Students wishing to get an early jump on applying for financial aid for 2017-2018 (enrollments beginning on or after May 15, 2017) can do so by submitting the 2017-2018 FAFSA.