When you apply for federal student aid, the government determines how much you and your family can afford to contribute toward the cost of attendance. This simple rule applies: the more money your family has, the more you can afford to pay.

Most college–bound students have very little of their own money. Luckily for the government, they can count on your parents to foot some of the bill. But in some circumstances (according to Section 2 of the FAFSA), a student's parents' income and assets will NOT be considered.

If you can answer yes to any of the following questions at the time you complete the FAFSA, you will not have to provide parental information.

  1. Were you born before January 1, 1984 (for 2008)?
  2. At the beginning of the 2007–2008 school year, will you be working on a master's or doctorate program (such as an MA, MBA, MD, JD, PhD, EdD, or graduate certificate, etc.)?
  3. As of today, are you married?
  4. Do you have children who receive more than half of their support from you?
  5. Do you have dependents other than your children/spouse who live with you and who receive more than half of their support from you, now and through June 30th?
  6. Are:
    1. both of your parents deceased, or
    2. are you (or were you until age 18) a ward/dependent of the court?
  7. Are you currently serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces for purposes other than training?
  8. Are you a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces?