The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) calculates each family's ability to pay for college. The formula is designed to create a "level playing field" for all families in order to provide maximum funds to the neediest families.
The Financial Aid Office recognizes that each student is unique and may have circumstances that will not allow for the student to provide parent information. If you have unusual circumstances that prevent your parents from providing their information on the FAFSA you may complete the Independent Status Request form and submit it to the Financial Aid Office.
The following types of circumstances below, singly or in combination, do not qualify as unusual circumstances:
- Parents refuse to contribute to the student's education
- Parents are unwilling to provide information on the FAFSA or for verification
- Parents do not claim the student as a dependent for income tax purposes
- Student demonstrates total self-sufficiency
Planning for educational expenses is important to your success. Submitting a request does not guarantee that your dependency status will be changed and therefore, you may still be required to provide parent information. Allow sufficient time and plan accordingly as additional information or documents may be requested upon review.
Unusual circumstances for financial aid purposes do not carry over from one academic year to the next, therefore you will need to complete the Independent Status Request form for each academic year for which you are applying.
Any determination made by Shasta College on your behalf is specific to your attendance at Shasta College. Along with the Independent Status Request forms, you must submit documentation to verify your circumstances.
You will receive a determination in writing from the Director of Financial Aid notifying you of the outcome of your request
The Financial Aid Office is required by federal law to consider a student independent if they fit into one or more of the six specific categories listed below:
- Is 24 years of age or older by December 31 of the award year
- Is an orphan or ward of the court, or was a ward of the court until the individual reached age 18
- Is a veteran of the Armed Forces of the United States
- Is a graduate or professional student
- Is a married individual
- Has legal dependents other than a spouse
- Is a student for whom a financial aid administrator makes documented determination of independence by reason of other unusual circumstances.
Section 480 (d) of the Higher Education Act, as amended
We may be able to reconsider your dependency status if unusual circumstances exist that make it impossible for you to have contact with your parents. Examples of unusual circumstances are: a parent is in prison or is hospitalized; an estranged family situation; your parents live out of the country and you are unable to maintain reasonable contact with them.
If your family situation involves an unusual circumstance such as those described above and documentation is provided, you may request a review of your dependency status.
In order to consider your Independent Status Request form, we need additional information and documentation regarding your family circumstances. You must completed ALL of the attached forms:
- Independent Status Request form
- Student Income & Expense form
- Two (2) Affidavits In Lieu of Parents' Information from a third party who is at least 25 years of age and who has known the student a minimum of three (3) years (e.g. other adult relatives, clergy, teachers, counselors, or social workers who will verify your situation)
Providing a thorough explanation and documentation will assist in the review and determination of your circumstances. Submit appropriate forms and pertinent documents to the Financial Aid Office.
Unaccompanied Homeless Youth:
A student up to 21 years old or still enrolled in high school, not living in the physical custody of a parent or guardian, is not living in fixed, regular, or adequate housing as of the date the FAFSA is signed should not complete a Independent Status Request form; instead request a letter of verification of unaccompanied homeless youth from one of the following agencies:
- Shasta Union High School District Homeless Liaison, Michael O'Leary
- Tehama County Department of Education Homeless Liaison, Jo Kee
- Good News Rescue Mission, Pastor Dave Honey 241-5754
- Anderson Union High School Homeless Liaison, Brant Schriner 365-6054 x 1011
This form is for students who have not previously been approved for Independent Status at Shasta College.
The Renewal form is for students who WERE APPROVED for
Independent Status DURING 2013-14