Independents students are not being considered independent through FASFA

By: Tremaine Hampton

Although I’ve been on my own since I was 17 (I’m 22 now), I’ve never received a dime from financial aid through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA). Financial Aid is meant to help those that want to attend school but can’t afford it or need extra help. However due to an outdated rule, myself and many other students do not get to utilize this aid.

According to a financial aid rule on FASFA, a student is not allowed to file as an “independent” unless they are over the age of 24. This is meant to keep students from taking advantage of the system while still being supported by their parents. This severely hinders those students who aren’t supported by their parents.

While there is an appeal process, it is only available to those who have no contact with their parents at all. When I applied for myself, I was told that in order to be considered for the appeal process, I would have to bring notarized proof from at least 2 people (they recommended a counselor or a police officer) saying that I have no contact with my parents.

The problem with that is I do have contact with my mother and we’re on great terms but she in no way has supported me since I was 17. This is the case for a many independent students who are working and going to school. It almost seems like we’re being inconvenienced because of our independence.

In short, in order to provide a fair shot to all students, this outdated requirement needs to be looked into and revised because a student who wants to learn should always be allowed that opportunity.

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