Special Conditions

Dependency Status

Your dependency status (i.e. dependent or independent)  for financial aid purposes is based on federal criteria on the FAFSA application for that aid year. You are an independent student for financial aid purposes if you meet any of the criteria for Independent Student status.

If none of the criteria applies to you, you are a dependent student for financial aid purposes. This means that your parents must provide their information on your FAFSA. By providing their information, it does not mean that they are obligated or responsible for your educational expenses. It does mean that their information will be used to determine your financial aid eligibility. You can view this video for more information about your dependency status.

The following conditions do not make you an independent for financial aid purposes:

  • You do not live with your parents

  • Parents do not/cannot contribute to your education

  • Parents do not claim you as a dependent for tax purposes

  • Parents do not provide any financial support to you

Unable to provide parent’s information:

In extreme circumstances (e.g., abuse, abandonment, etc.), you may be able to submit your FAFSA without your parent’s information. Madison College is able to make dependency overrides on a case-by-case basis for students with these documented circumstances. In order for the Financial Aid Office to make this determination you must:

  • Submit your FAFSA indicating that you are unable to provide information about your parents and that you have a special circumstance.

  • Submit a signed letter of explanation to the Financial Aid Office that describes the circumstances that led to you leaving your parent’s household and your means of support since you left their household.

  • Submit third party documentation on letterhead to the Financial Aid Office that details their first-hand knowledge of the family circumstances. Third parties could include, but are not limited to, guidance counselors, teachers, doctors, family counselors, clergy members, mental health professionals, officers of the court or law enforcement personnel. The letters must include the name of the individual, their job title and contact information.  

The Financial Aid Office’s decision about your dependency status will be communicated to you after review of the documentation submitted. This decision is final and cannot be appealed to Madison College or the Department of Education.  

Parent’s refuse to provide their information

If your parents no longer provide any support for you and refuse to file the FAFSA, you can only be considered for Unsubsidized Stafford loans only. You must:

  • Submit your FAFSA indicating that you are unable to provide information about your parents and that you do not have a special circumstance, but you still can’t provide parent information.
  • The FAFSA will be considered incomplete and you must contact the Financial Aid Office to discuss your status and submit a Documentation of Parental Non-Support form.

Questions? Visit askMadisonCollege to view frequently asked Financial Aid questions, submit a Financial Aid Category question, access the Financial Aid Tutorials for step-by-step instructions on related processes, or contact Madison College Financial Aid at (608) 246-6170.