Dependency Status

Your financial aid eligibility and the amount of aid you receive to attend Madison College is affected by your dependency status. Your dependency status for financial aid purposes is determined by federal regulations based on what you enter on your FAFSA. The U.S. Department of Education's Federal Student Aid office provides helpful information regarding dependency status, such as which parent(s) to report on your FAFSA (if applicable) and this informational video.

  • Independent Status

    You are considered an independent student if you meet any of the criteria for Independent Status based on the federal guidelines. If none of the criteria applies to you, you are a dependent student for financial aid purposes. Here are some examples of conditions that do not make you an independent student 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.
  • Dependent Status

    If you do not meet any of the criteria for independent status, then you are considered 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.

  • Unable to Provide Parents' 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.
    • Contact the Financial Aid Office and ask to complete a Dependency Override Appeal. The appeal will require you to submit a signed letter of explanation fully describing the circumstances with your parents and all documentation that supports your situation.
      • Supporting documentation should be from a third-party on letterhead, detailing their first-hand knowledge of the family circumstances. Third-parties could include, but are not limited to, guidance 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.


  • Parents Refuse to Provide Information

    If your parents no longer provide any support for you and refuse to provide information for the FAFSA, you can only be considered for a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan. In this situation, you must:

    • Submit your FAFSA indicating that you are unable to provide information about your parents and that you do not have an extreme circumstance, but you still can't provide parent information.
    • Contact the Financial Aid Office to discuss your status and submit a Documentation of Parental Non-support form. Your FAFSA will be considered incomplete until this is done.