If We Grant a Dependency Override For 2022-23, Must We Presume That Student To Be Independent For 2023-24?

Award Year: 2023-24 KA-36516 Helpfulness Rating 1,705 page views

This guidance is specific to the 2023-24 award year and later.

No, but you can choose to.

Based on Section 479A(c) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA), as amended, [20 USC 1087TT(c)], Dear Colleague Letter GEN-22-15 states that schools must: “Presume that any student who has obtained an adjustment for unusual circumstances and a final determination of independence to be independent for each subsequent award year at the same institution unless the student informs the institution that their circumstances have changed or the institution has conflicting information about the student’s independence.” According to guidance NASFAA received from the U.S. Department of Education (ED), the requirement starts with the 2023-24 award year going forward. In other words, if the determination for a dependency override is made for the 2023-24 award year, the school must presume the student to be independent for 2024-25 going forward (assuming no change in circumstances or conflicting information).

However, if a student is determined to be independent for the 2022-23 award year, the school may choose to presume the student to still be independent for 2023-24 going forward. The school may use an earlier determination (e.g., from 2022-23) but it is not required to do so. The 2023-24 FAFSA functionality will not carry forward a 2022-23 determination into 2023-24, so the school will have to figure out how to do this if it chooses to exercise this option.

Reference the guidance under "Dependency overrides" in Chapter 5 of the Application and Verification Guide (AVG) volume of the FSA Handbook.

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