A dependency override allows a student who traditionally meets the dependent status requirements for financial aid purposes an opportunity to request an appeal based on special circumstances.
Students who are eligible for a dependency override appeal generally face parental relationship challenges such as estrangement, abusive family environment, abandonment, or extended incarceration.
Financial Aid Eligibility
If you do not have a special circumstance under the dependency override appeal criteria or meet any of the conditions to be considered an Independent student for financial aid purposes, your parents must provide their information on your FAFSA. This is required even if you do not live with or receive any financial support from your parents. You must include your parent’s information even if they do not claim you on their taxes as a dependent.
If you are not considered an Independent student, then your parent or legal guardian must provide their information on your FAFSA. When they provide their information, they are not obligated or responsible for your educational expenses. The information they provide will only be used to determine your financial aid eligibility.
If a parent is unable to provide their information, Madison College can make dependency overrides on a case-by-case basis with documentation.
The appeal will require you to submit a signed letter of explanation fully describing the circumstances of your situation, with provided documentation from a third-party/non-family source (i.e., clergy, counselor, doctor, etc.) that supports your situation. Supporting documentation should be a letter prepared by a third-party source detailing first-hand knowledge of your circumstances. An approved third party can be, but not excluded guidance counselors, clergy members, mental health professionals, officers of the court, or law enforcement personnel. The letter must include the name of the individual, their job title, and contact information and be on official letterhead.
The Financial Aid Office's decision about your dependency status will be communicated to you after a review of the documentation is submitted. This decision is final and cannot be appealed to Madison College or the Department of Education.
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 schedule a time to submit a Documentation of Parental Non-support form at the Financial Aid Office. Your FAFSA will be considered incomplete until this is done.