What can I do if I am a dependant but my parents refuse to pay for college?
While there are many prospective college students who intend on furthering their education, there are some who are in the situation of still being a dependent, yet will receive no financial assistance from their parent or parents.
In some cases this lack of support is purely a financial factor. Yet in others, a parent may earn a substantial sum of money, but feel that their child should take the bull by the horns and pay their own way through school.
In either situation, it leave a student in a real dilemma and could quite possibly even deter some from making the attempt to attend the college or university of their choice or even to attend any type of higher education whatsoever.
How to Qualify for Student Financial Aid Without Help From Parents
In applying for student financial aid, there are a number of questions that are asked in order to determine whether the student is still considered a dependent or is an independent. In most instances if the student has not yet reached age 24, is unmarried, and/or is not in the military, then it is probable that they will be classified as a dependent. This is the case even if the student has moved out of the house and is no longer claimed as a dependent on their parent’s taxes.
There is still a way to be considered as an independent, though, and in so doing, you can qualify for student aid based on only the student’s income and record. By answering yes to any of the following questions, an individual can become classified as an independent which can open a lot of doors in terms of obtaining college funding.
These questions include:
- Are you at least 24 years old?
- As of today, are you married?
- At the beginning of the upcoming school year, will you be working on a master’s or doctorate program such as an MBA, MA, MD, JD, EdD, PhD, or graduate certificate?
- Are you currently serving on active duty in the United States Armed Forces for purposes other than training?
- Are you a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces?
- Do you have children who will receive more than half of their support from you between (two specific dates)?
- 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 (a certain time period)?
- 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?
- Are you, or were you an emancipated minor as determined by a court in your state of legal residence?
- Are you, or were you in legal guardianship as determined by a court in your state of legal residence?
- At any time or after (a specific date) did your high school or school district homeless liaison determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless?
- At any time on or after (a specific date) 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?
- At any time on or after (a specific date) did the director of a runaway or homeless youth basic center or transitional living program determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless?
If you can truly answer yes to just one of these questions, and once it has been determined that you are an independent, you can apply for student loans based on this status regardless of the income or financial situation of your parent or parents having an effect on your student aid qualification.