The Federal government sets the criteria to determine the dependency status for financial aid applicants. There are two types of students – those dependent on their parents and those who are not (also called independent).
Many students request to have their dependency changed just because they move out of their parent's home.
By law, for financial aid purposes, a student is independent when he/she meets one or more of the following criteria:
If you do not meet one of the above criteria, you are not an independent student. However, if there are severe family problems, which constitute special circumstances, you may appeal this federal law.
To request independent status, you cannot submit your own FAFSA and you must complete the Dependency Status Appeal form via RaiderNet. The form can be found under 'Your Financial Aid'.
After you have submitted the form, please check 'Your Alerts' to see what documents are needed to complete your Dependency Status Appeal. Your appeal cannot be reviewed until all required items have been received. Documents may be turned in to the One Stop at Harriman or Oak Ridge, or to the following campus locations: Campbell, Cumberland, Fentress, Loudon, Morgan, or Scott. Failure to submit all required documents will result in a delay of processing. Documentation to support your reason for appeal must be from a third party. A third party cannot be a friend or family member and must verify the family situation.
It is very rare that an approval will be granted and can only be for your enrollment at RSCC. Please be as specific and complete as possible.
To renew a previous Dependency Status Appeal, complete the Dependency Status Appeal form in your RaiderNet account, and submit the documents requested. Necessary documents may be accessed via 'Your Alerts'. Students seeking to renew a Dependency Status Appeal, must provide a letter explaining their current living situation and describing any changes since the previous year.
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