Often unmarried students who are under the age of 24 are required to provide parental data on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). They are referred to as dependent students. However, a dependent student who meets the definition of an unaccompanied and is homeless or is self-supporting and at risk of being homeless may be deemed an independent student (for federal student aid purposes only) by the Office of Financial Aid through the Unaccompanied Homeless Verification process. A student who is verified as being unaccompanied and homeless is exempt from providing parental data on their FAFSA.
On this page:
- Unaccompanied Homeless Policy
- Unaccompanied Homeless Verification Process
- Supporting Documentation
- FAFSA Filing Instructions
- Renewal of Unaccompanied Homeless Verification
Unaccompanied Homeless Policy
Annually, and on a case-by-case basis, students who are (1) unaccompanied and (2) are homeless or self-supporting and at risk of being homeless may be deemed an independent student by the Office of Financial Aid through the Unaccompanied Homeless Verification process.
Unaccompanied Homeless Verification Process
Students must complete and return the Unaccompanied Homeless Verification Form and supporting documentation to RaiderConnect by March 30, 2024 for the 2023-24 aid year. The submission of an Unaccompanied Homeless Verification Form does not guarantee the applicant will be deemed an independent student. Forms will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and all information will be kept confidential. See our Important Dates page for processing timelines for Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Verification Forms and other financial aid documents.
Upon receipt of an Unaccompanied Homeless Verification Form, the Office of Financial Aid will review the student’s circumstance and supporting documentation. Students who meet the definition of an unaccompanied homeless youth will be deemed an independent student for the aid year.
Students are required to submit supporting documentation. The supporting documentation will vary based upon the student’s circumstances. The Office of Financial Aid requests the following documentation:
- A signed statement from a third-party professional that verifies the student meets the definition of being unaccompanied and homeless or self-supporting and at risk of being homeless. This person should know and understand the student’s current circumstances.
Examples of a third-party professional relationship include your:
- Current/former teacher
- Counselor (school or wellness)
- Members of clergy
- Social worker
Third Party Professional Letters should document the following:
- A signed statement from a third-party professional should be on letterhead of the business or organization that they represent. If letterhead is not obtainable, the person’s name, title, phone number, business/organization, address should be included.
- The student’s name as appears in our records
- The relationship between the professional and the student should be stated
- The verification of the student currently meeting the definition of being unaccompanied and homeless or self-supporting and at risk of being homeless
The Office of Financial Aid reserves the right to contact third-party professionals who provide supporting documentation.
FAFSA Filing Instructions
Students must file their FAFSA and list Wright State University (school code 003078) as a school of choice. Students are encouraged to file online at fafsa.gov. When filing your FAFSA online, if you indicate "No" to all of the "Dependency Determination" questions, your "Dependency Status Results" will state you are considered a dependent student.
If you have a special circumstance, you should select "I am unable to provide parental information". Under "Special Circumstances", select "I have a special circumstance and I am unable to provide parental information". Next, select "I am unable to provide parental information and acknowledge that my FAFSA will be submitted without calculating an EFC".
- Unaccompanied—when a student is not living in the physical custody of a parent or guardian.
- Homeless—lacking fixed, regular, and adequate housing. For example, temporarily living with other people because he/she has nowhere else to go; living in substandard housing; living in emergency or transitional shelters (FEMA trailers after disasters); living in motels, camping grounds, cars, parks, abandoned buildings, bus or train stations, or any public place not designed for humans to live; or living in the school dormitory if the student would otherwise be homeless.
- Self-supporting—when a student pays for his/her own living expenses, including, fixed, regular, and adequate housing.
- At risk of being homeless—when a student’s housing may cease to be fixed, regular, and adequate, for example, a student who is being evicted and has been unable to find fixed, regular, and adequate housing.
- Fixed housing—stationary, permanent, and not subject to change.
- Regular housing—used on a predictable, routine, or consistent basis.
- Adequate housing—sufficient for meeting both the physical and psychological needs typically met in the home.
- Parent—a student’s biological or adoptive parent. A student’s stepparent, foster parent or legal guardian is not considered a parent unless they have adopted the student.
Renewal of Unaccompanied Homeless Verification
Dependency overrides for students with unusual circumstances occur on an annual basis. If Wright State University verified a student as homeless or at risk of being homeless in a prior aid year, then the student may renew their Independent Status for a subsequent year, provided their unusual circumstances have not changed. Students who qualify to do a Renewal of Unaccompanied and Homeless Verification are assigned the form in WINGS Express. Upon receipt of a Renewal of Unaccompanied and Homeless Verification form, the Office of Financial Aid will verify that the student has affirmed that his/her unusual circumstances persist and permit a dependency override for the new aid year.