Petition for Dependency Override

Most traditional college students are considered financially dependent on their parents. This means your parents must provide information on the FAFSA. In unusual circumstances, a student who would normally be considered dependent can be considered independent. There is also no guarantee an approved appeal will result in more or different types of aid awarded to the student. Dependency Overrides are not automatically renewed each year. The student must complete a request form for each new year.

All students under the age of 24 as of December 31, 2021, who cannot answer yes to one of the 13 questions below are considered dependent for federal financial aid purposes. If, however, after answering all questions below with a “no” you believe that unusual circumstances have caused you to become independent, you may request a dependency override.

  1. Were you born before January 1, 1999? 
  2. As of today, are you married? If yes, are you separated but not divorced? 
  3. At the beginning of the school year 2022-2023, will you be working on a master’s or doctorate program? 
  4. Are you currently serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces for purposes other than training? 
  5. Are you a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces? 
  6. Do you have children who receive more than half of their support from you? 
  7. Do you have dependents (other than your children or spouse) who live with you and who receive more than half of their support from you, now and through June 30, 2023? 
  8. At any time since you turned age 13, were both your parents deceased, were you in foster care, or were you a dependent or ward of the court? 
  9. Are you or were you an emancipated minor as determined by a court in your state of legal residence? 
  10. Are you or were you in legal guardianship as determined by a court in your state of legal residence? 
  11. At any time on or after July 1, 2020, did your high school or school district homeless liaison determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless? 
  12. At any time on or after July 1, 2020, did the director of an emergency shelter or transitional housing program funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless? 
  13. At any time on or after July 1, 2020, did the director of a runaway or homeless youth basic center or transitional living programs determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or were self-supporting and at risk of being homeless? 

What is Not Considered

Students are not considered independent for financial aid purposes for any of the following reasons:

  • Parents refuse to contribute to the student’s education
  • Parents are unwilling to provide information on the FAFSA or for verification
  • Parents do not claim the student as a dependent for income tax pur­poses
  • Parents live away from student or in a foreign country
  • Student demonstrates total self-sufficiency 

Parental Refusal

In very limited situations, a student who cannot provide parental information and does not meet the criteria for a Dependency Override may receive Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan funds at dependent undergraduate levels. Speak to a financial aid counselor to determine whether you can qualify for this exception.

Examples of Situations Where Petitions may be Approved 

  • documented abandonment
  • parental drug abuse
  • parental mental incapacity
  • physical or emotional abuse
  • parental incarceration
  • severe estrangement

Next Step

If you believe that you have a compelling reason(s) to be considered independent, please complete the following steps:

  • Book an Appointment with a financial aid counselor (214) 333-5363 or for a change in circumstances to determine the additional documentation that is required.
  • After a counselor has determined that you may be eligible to request an independent student status, an application for a dependency override will be available within your financial aid checklist via MyDbu.
  • Allow 3-4 weeks for the Dependency Override to be processed.