Dependent students are required to report parent information on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®). If you’re not sure whether you are a dependent student, go to StudentAid.gov/apply-for-aid/fafsa/filling-out/dependency.
For reporting purposes, “parent” means your legal (biological or adoptive) parent or stepparent, or a person that the state has determined to be your legal parent.
Use this guide to figure out which parent’s information to include (depending on your family situation).
Question 1: Are your parents married to each other?
If yes, then report information for both parents on the FAFSA.
If no, then answer question 2.
Question 2: Do your parents live together?
If yes, then report information for both parents on the FAFSA, even if they were never married, are divorced, or are separated.
If no, then answer question 3.
Question 3: Did you live with one parent more than the other over the past 12 months?
If yes, then report information on the FAFSA for the parent you lived with more. Also, if this parent remarried, you will need to report information for your stepparent on the FAFSA.
If no, then report information on the FAFSA for the parent who provided more financial support over the past 12 months or in the last year you received support. Also, if this parent remarried, you will need to report information for your stepparent on the FAFSA.
The following people are not your parents unless they have legally adopted you:
- Widowed Stepparent
- Foster Parents
- Legal Guardians
- Older Brothers or Sisters
- Aunts or Uncles
If you’re not sure whom to report as a parent, you can visit StudentAid.ed.gov/apply-for-aid/fafsa/filling-out/parent-info or call 800-4-FED-AID (800-433-3243).
Federal Student Aid
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