Financial Aid Independent Status for the FAFSA

When you fill out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), it is important that you clarify your status as an independent foster or former foster youth in order to avoid including your parent’s or guardian’s income as part of your financial status.

  • What it means: Not including your parent’s or guardian’s income as part of your income may qualify you for more financial aid
  • Who qualifies: Foster youth who were in care at any time after the age of 13 and students who are or were in a legal guardianship at any point are considered “independent” for the purposes of financial aid
  • What to do: If you qualify, make sure to answer yes to question 53 (foster youth) or question 55 (youth in guardianship) on the FAFSA to get this benefit