Santa Clara University

Dependency Override

Your student dependency status is determined by the U.S. Department of Education based on your responses to the following questions on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

  • are you 24 old
  • are you working on a master's or doctorate degree or graduate certificate
  • are you married as of the date you complete the FAFSA
  • do you have children who receive more than half their support from you
  • do you have dependents other than your spouse or children who live with you and who receive more than half their support from you
  • did you have no living parents (biological or adoptive) when you were age 13, even if you are now adopted
  • are you or were you in foster care or a ward or dependent of the court at any time when you were 13 or older (even if you are not anymore)
  • are you an emancipated minor or are in legal guardianship as determined by the court in your state of legal residence
  • are you a self-supporting unaccompanied youth who is homeless or at risk of homelessness
  • are you a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces, or have you attended a service academy and were released under a condition other than dishonorable
  • are you currently servicing on active duty (other than training) in the U.S. Armed Forces

To appeal your dependency status, you must clearly demonstrate an adverse family situation in order for us to consider you independent for financial aid purposes. This is called a dependency override, and is considered on a case-by-case basis.

The following conditions do not qualify as unusual circumstances according to U.S. Department of Education guidelines:

  • parents refusing to contribute to the student's education
  • parents unwilling to provide information on the FAFSA or documents for verification
  • parents not claiming the student as a dependent for income tax purposes
  • student demonstrating total self–sufficiency

Select the appropriate form below that pertains to the academic year for which you are applying for financial aid:

Mailing Address
Santa Clara University
Financial Aid Office
500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA 95053

Fax 1-408-554-2154

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