Independence Appeals

You may have unusual circumstances that affect how you’re able to fund your education. We are here to help.

Independence Appeals Considerations 

Unless a student can answer “Yes” to  the dependency questions on the aid application, parental information is required. However, if there are  unusual circumstances, we may be able to consider an Independence Appeal. If approved, the Financial Aid & Scholarships Office can perform a Dependency Override and parental data would not be required on the aid application. Appeals are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. 

What is  considered an unusual circumstance? 
Parent abandonment, an abusive family environment that threatens the student’s health or safety, incapacitated or incarcerated parents, human trafficking, the student not being able to locate their parents or being at risk of homelessness are all examples of what would be considered unusual circumstances. This is not an exhaustive list, and if you believe you have unusual circumstances that should be considered, please contact us

What is not considered an unusual circumstance? 
Parents who refuse to contribute towards educational expenses, parents who are unwilling to provide information on the aid application, parents who do not claim the student as a dependent for income tax purposes, or students who demonstrate total self-sufficiency are not considered unusual circumstances. 

What is Required? 
To be considered for a Dependency Override, students will be asked to complete an Independence Appeal request. Students will have an opportunity to provide a statement on the request, telling us about their unusual circumstances. In addition, we ask that students provide an additional letter of support, from a professional source familiar with their situation.  This may be a doctor, therapist, or clergy person. 

Students who indicate that they are at risk of homelessness on the aid application may receive an email from a counselor to set up an appointment for a discussion of their circumstances.


How to Apply 
To be considered for a Dependency Override, please contact us directly and we can work with you individually, based on your unique circumstances.