student sitting at computer

Financial Aid FAQs

Dependency Override

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. My parents have told me that they don't want to provide their information on my FAFSA or CA Dream Act Application; can I be considered an independent student?

The federal government and CA Student Aid Commission create the regulations for FAFSA and CA Dream Act Application dependent and independent status. Unfortunately, your parents would need to provide their information on the application unless you can answer "yes" to one of the Dependency Status questions in Section 2 of the financial aid application. Check with the financial aid office to see if you can complete the Board of Governor's Fee Waiver as an independent student.

Q. Can I get a dependency override because my parents won't help me pay for college; they say I have to pay for everything myself?

Unfortunately, students whose parents refuse support are not eligible for a dependency override; however the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 granted that such students may receive Unsubsidized Direct Loans only. Please contact the financial aid office to see what documentation you will need.

Q. I don't get along with my parents and we refuse to speak with each other; can I do a dependency appeal?

The federal government does not allow colleges to do a dependency override in this situation. You would need to provide documentation of extraordinary circumstances such as refugees, political asylums, incarcerated parents, physically abusive relationships, etc.

I want to petition for a dependency override but don't see the petition form on your website. Where do I get the form?

You will first have to come by or contact our office and speak to one of our Financial Aid professionals. Once he/she has determined that you are a potential candidate for a dependency override, you will be given a "Request for Dependency Review" form to complete.

Q. What documentation will I need to submit to petition for a dependency override?

In order for the Financial Aid Office to consider your request to review your dependency status, you will need to submit the following information/documentation to explain your family circumstances:

  1. A signed and dated personal statement that is written/typed on the "Request for Dependency Review" form. (*NOTE: This form is only available at the Financial Aid Office.) This statement should detail your current relationship with your parents, including whether or not your parents claimed you on their prior year's federal tax return(s), your last contact with your parents, and whether or not you have asked your parents to assist you in applying for financial aid.
  2. Copies of any court records, police reports, death certificates, etc... that would support your petition for a dependency override.
  3. Two written letters from third parties, such as clergy, teachers, counselors, and/or social workers, who know of your family circumstances. Other students and/or friends may or may not be appropriate as independent third parties.

Q. If my dependency override petition is approved, will it carry over to subsequent academic years at Foothill?

 No. Because a student's family circumstances, as well as federal and state regulations can change from one year to the next, it is required that you submit a new "Request for Dependency Review" each academic year.
ph default text

We're Here to Help!

Financial Aid Office


Building 8100, Room 8101

View Financial Aid Office Hours