Dependent students can be declared independent by the financial aid office if there are unusual or extenuating circumstances that would warrant such a change.

Before the financial aid office will grant a dependency override the student must be able to provide third party testimony to justify the request for an override.

This applies to federal aid eligibility only.  To receive a dependency override for state aid students must contact HESC.

Extenuating Circumstances

Dependency overrides are most often granted in the case of parental abuse or abandonment where the parents can't be found or shouldn't be contacted.  They are not granted simply because the student is self-supporting, the parent's do not claim the student as a dependent for income tax purposes, the parents refuse to provide information on the FAFSA or the parents refuse to contribute to the student's education.

In very limited situations a student who cannot provide parental information and does not meet the criteria for a dependency override may receive Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loan funds at dependent undergraduate levels.  Talk to an aid counselor in the financial aid office to determine whether you are able to qualify for this exception.

Requesting an Override 

Each college has its own policies and procedures for granting dependency overrides.  At Buffalo State, students requesting a dependency override need to complete the Independence Appeal Form and supply all required documentation.

All decisions regarding such requests are at the discretion of the financial aid staff and cannot be appealed.  Students who have received overrides at other schools will be required to provide documentation to Buffalo State as well.  In some cases, students granted dependency overrides by other schools will have their requests denied at Buffalo State.