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How to Complete FAFSA® Without Parents

How to Pay for College > How do I Apply? > Filling Out FAFSA® > How to Complete FAFSA® Without Parents

The FAFSA asks for detailed financial information for both yourself and your parents. It assumes that your parents will help you pay for college, even though this isn’t the case for every student. Unfortunately, most students are required to include their parents’ information whether their family is offering financial support or not. If your parents refuse to provide these details, there are a few options that you can explore.

Determine Whether You’re an Independent Student

If you’re classified as an independent student, you’re not required to provide your parents’ information on the FAFSA®. Establishing that you’re independent is the easiest way to maximize your FAFSA® benefits without information from your parents.

You may qualify as an independent student if:

  • You will be 24 years of age or older as of January 1 of the award year
  • You are married
  • You’re enrolling in a master’s or doctorate program
  • You are serving on active duty in the U.S. armed forces
  • You’re a veteran of the U.S. armed forces
  • You have or will have children that receive over half of their financial support from you
  • You have dependents other than your children or spouse who get more than half of their financial support from you
  • Both of your parents are deceased
  • You have been in foster care or a dependent ward of the court at any time since you turned 13
  • You are an emancipated minor
  • Someone other than a parent or stepparent has legal guardianship of you
  • It has been determined that you are an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or at risk of being homeless

If you meet any of the above criteria, you will qualify as independent on the FAFSA® and will not be required to provide any of your parents’ financial information.

FAFSA® is now open for 2020, file in less than 5 minutes!