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FAFSA - changing to living off campus question (and siblings)


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1. One of our students is going to live in an apartment near campus next year.  Although he is paying his own housing/gas, we are still his safety net and help with tuition and other expenses.  When I went in to choose 'living off campus' during FAFSA renewal, it said that he qualified as an independent student, and it was optional to put our income.  Is that true?  Is that a disadvantage or advantage?  That leads to...


2. If he checks 'independant' he is asked how many in household and how many attending college in household.  There will be two in our household next year in college -- but, as an independent, that would be one for his household for both questions, correct?  


3. How does all this affect our next student -- who will live at home?  I thought FAFSA was once for the family, not each student.  


4. Is there a place (I haven't gotten very far in the renewal form & DH did this other years) for us to put an explanation regarding outstanding medical expenses for said student?


Thank you!  

P.S. I tried to find my own answer, looking at pages of the college board, googling WTM FAFSA conversations, and looking at FAFSA FAQ and found nothing to help me.  Of course, I do admit to getting sidetracked by Instant Pots discussions and the college board in general!

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It is not correct that living off campus qualifies a student as "independent".



The student has to be over 24, or married, or have dependent children, or a fulfill a few other conditions. Living off campus does not qualify.


Yes, I did see a note in a discussion that said that if independent was given as an option something was incorrect from the preceding information.  I must begin again.  I am checking the box to 'renew' and then changing housing only.  Let's see how it goes...

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