I’m 19 and paying my own way through college. If I claim to be independent, will I qualify for grants?

Question by Jared H: I’m 19 and paying my own way through college. If I claim to be independent, will I qualify for grants?
I go to a major University with a decent good job. I am paying for everything myself, although my parents still claim me. As a dependent, I don’t qualify for federal aid. If I say that I am independent on my FAFSA and stuff, would I then qualify because I have such a low income?
By federal aid, I mean grants mostly. I’ve already started with Stafford loans. I’m living on my own, also.
Also, I meant to just say a “decent” job. Not “decent good”

Best answer:

Answer by Mystic
It depends. In my city, they didnt qualify me as independent till its been 4 years since I graduated High School. As long as you are listed as living under your parents roof, the grants will depend on how much THEY make, regardless if you are getting zero support from them.

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2 thoughts on “I’m 19 and paying my own way through college. If I claim to be independent, will I qualify for grants?”

  1. The Department of Education has very specific rules when it comes to who is classified as dependent or independent and not a single one of them have anything to do with where you live, who pays (or doesn’t pay) for your schooling, or even who claims you (or doesn’t claim you) on their tax form.

    Here are 13 dependency status questions.
    http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/FOTWWebApp/fotw1011/WorksheetServlet?locale=en_US&wstype=WSDEP

    After you answer them, the website will tell you if you are dependent or not. Dependent students MUST report their parents income on their fafsa.

    You can’t “choose” or “claim” to be dependent or not. Either you are or you aren’t according to federal guidelines. Generally, until you are 24 years old, married, have kids you support, earn a bachelors degree or become a veteran you must report the folks income.

    Also, many people assume that by not reporting the parents income, you will automatically qualify for grants and this is simply not the case. Lots of folks don’t qualify for grants and they don’t report the folks income.

    And also… “I don’t qualify for federal aid” is simply not the case. Everyone qualifies for federal aid in the form of low interest loans “called Stafford loans” regardless of their parents income. So you CHOOSE not to take out loans. It’s not that you don’ qualify, because you DO.

    Good luck.

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