Student Services Manual (SSM)

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Effective: 1/1/1984

Revised: 7/1/2012

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SSM 301–09: Independent Student Review

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Purpose

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To allow students seeking independent status for financial aid eligibility an opportunity to describe extenuating circumstances concerning their relationship with their parents

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Sources

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Higher Education Act 480(d)(7)
U.S. Department of Education DCL GEN 03–07
Federal Student Aid Handbook

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Policy

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A student who does not meet any of the other criteria for an independent student may still be determined to be independent on the basis of the financial aid administrator’s documented determination of unusual circumstances. Each such decision must be made on a case-by-case basis. The parents’ unwillingness to assist the student is not grounds for a dependency override, nor is the fact that the parents are unwilling to provide information on the application or information needed for verification. However, dependency status may be reviewed if special circumstances exist that make it impossible for a student to obtain parental information for completion of the financial aid application. Other situations, such as a parent’s abuse of the student, may also be taken into consideration by the aid administrator.

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Procedure

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  1. The student completes a Dependency Review Form.
  2. Financial aid counselors in Financial Aid and Scholarship Services evaluate the student’s situation.
  3. Using professional judgment, staff make appropriate adjustments to the student’s file.

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