Unless the criteria forindependent statuson the FAFSA is met, students under the age of 23 will be counted as a dependent of
their parent or guardian. If you do not meet the criteria, but still believe you should
have independent status, you can apply for a dependency override appeal.
Professional judgment decisions are made on a case-by-case basis and will give you
independent status for one year. Decisions at other institutions are not accepted,
but may be considered as part of your appeal at DVC.
You will be required to submit a dependency override appeal and any additional documentation
See the lists below to get a better idea of what does and does not qualify.
Circumstances that do not qualify for a dependency override appeal:
Parents refuse to contribute to the student’s education
Parents are unwilling to provide information on the financial aid application or for
Parents do not claim the student as a dependent for income tax purposes
Student demonstrates total self-sufficiency (ex: living outside of the parent's home)
Disagreements between student and parent(s), may cause the parent(s) to unwillingly
Abusive family environments
Incarceration or institutionalization of both parents
An unsuitable household requiring legal intervention
Severe estrangement from parents
Parent mental incapacity
Death of a biological / adoptive parent
How to apply for dependency override
To be considered for independent status you must complete the following steps:
Submit yourFAFSA for the applicable aid year online and bypass parent income information.
Submit a typed letter detailing the special circumstances that explain the reason
for your request and discusses your relationship with your parents.
Submit two statements from professionals (teacher counselor, clergy, social worker)
familiar with your situation that further outlines and verifies the special circumstances.
The statements must include address and telephone numbers from the professionals and
should be on letterhead.
Submit a signed copy of your most recent aid year's federal income tax return and
all W2s, OR paystubs and W2s if you earned income but did not file.
Typically we begin to process dependency override appeals in May for the next aid
year. Processing time will take several weeks. You will be sent a notification of
the result to your InSite email account.
Renewal of Dependency Override
If you had an APPROVED dependency override at DVC in the prior aid year, you may submit
a dependency override appeal form again to determine if your circumstances still qualify
you for an override.
The information listed on this page is not inclusive of all policy and procedures.
Full documentation is a requirement for this process. You must meet with a financial
aid counselor to discuss your special circumstances, obtain the override appeal and
submit the appeal with required documentation. Appeals are reviewed on a case-by-case
basis. Appeals can take up to 4 weeks for processing.
The decision to approve or deny a dependency override is made by the Financial Aid
Office at DVC, not the U.S. Department of Education, and is not appealable to an outside
All financial aid students are required to check their DVC student email account through
InSite on a regular basis in order to receive notifications, file status updates,
announcements, and further instructions from the Financial Aid Office. Follow the
link for instructions on how to check your financial aid status through InSite.
Financial Aid school codes:
DVC FAFSA Federal School Code: 001191
DVC CA DREAM Act Application School Code: 00119100