Some situations, such as a change in dependency status from dependent to independent or a change in a family’s financial circumstances, will require designated financial aid personnel to make a decision called professional judgement regarding your situation. These situations must be decided on a case by case basis.
Any one of the following will result in a student being considered independent for federal student aid programs:
- born before 01/01/1994 (for the 2017-2018 aid year)
- a ward of the court
- both parents deceased
- a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces
- legal dependents (other than a spouse) for which they provide more than 1/2 of support
- married at the time of filing
- emancipated minor
- homeless youth
- in legal guardianship while a minor
Students who do not meet the criteria of an Independent Student may ask for a dependency override. The US Department of Education feels that students under 24 years of age should be assisted by their parents in educational expenses. You cannot live with your parents and request a dependency override. The unwillingness of the family to pay or provide information is NOT a valid reason for requesting a dependency override. In ALL cases independence must have occurred out of necessity rather than choice. Examples of such situations are abandonment, parental drug abuse, parental mental incapacity, physical or emotional abuse, parental incarceration or severe estrangement. A Financial Aid Counselor will review your documents and notify you by letter of the decision. You will be asked to provide the following:
- a letter, on letterhead, from clergy, social worker, or a counselor indicating why there is an estrangement from parents
- a letter of explanation of the situation from the student and others familiar with the family circumstances income information including:
If a family’s financial circumstances have changed from the base year financial information on the FAFSA they may qualify for Special Circumstances and should contact the Financial Aid Office.
Special Circumstances may include:
You may be asked to provide:
- A 30% reduction in income due to changes in employment from last year to this year
- Excessive medical/dental expenses not covered by insurance
- Change in marital status due to divorce or separation
- Death of a primary wage earner
- Unusual debts (other than discretionary purchases)
- Private school tuition expenses for elementary or secondary education
Taking Classes at another SchoolConsortium
- Tax Return Transcript for the most recent tax year, layoff or termination notices, projected income information for the current year, Independent Verification Worksheet or Dependent Verification Worksheet and other income information in support of your request
- Copies of medical bills and evidence that payment arrangements have been made
- Copies of divorce decrees, W-2’s or other income information as required
- Death certificate of primary wage earner and W-2’s or other income information as required
- The Special Circumstances Form
Students may choose to take classes at another institution (the host school) while also attending Mountwest Community & Technical College (the home school). You must request approval to take credit as a transient student from the Financial Aid Office at Mountwest Community & Technical College. If your request is approved, you will receive a letter of approval to earn credits as a transient student. The Financial Aid Office at the home school must have a copy of the transient approval letter in order to request a consortium agreement from the host school (the institution from which you will take classes). The host school must confirm your enrollment before you can receive your financial aid from Mountwest Community & Technical College. The student will be responsible for making certain that the host school is paid.
Mountwest Community & Technical College participates in joint programs with other post-secondary schools. Students in these cooperative programs qualify for financial aid but may only receive aid from one school. In most cases, The Financial Aid Office at Mountwest Community & Technical College will process aid for students enrolled in cooperative programs. Students taking classes at another school must notify Mountwest Community & Technical College Student Services and they will determine which school processes financial aid. If Mountwest Community & Technical College processes financial aid, they will need verification of enrollment at the other school. The student will be responsible for making certain that the other school is paid.