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Ray
Ray, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 29096
Experience:  29 years in civil, probate, real estate, elder law
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I am 19, single, and live independently; however federal law

Customer Question

I am 19, single, and live independently; however federal law is written so that I considered a dependent student until I am 24. I am not and have not been: a parent, a member of the armed forces, a ward of the state, or homeless. The only other way to be considered an independent student is to become emancipated. Unfortunately, Illinois state laws dictate that the age of majority is 18 and people that you must be between 16 and 18 years old to become emancipated. Is there some means by which I may gain emancipation or be declared independent by the state?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Ray replied 2 years ago.

RayAnswers :

Thanks for your question and good evening.This will seem like a radical idea here but getting married will emancipate you for FAFSA purposes.I have known folks--actually it emancipates you both by marrying.That might seem radical but it works.

RayAnswers :

The only other option is to relocate here to a more friendly state that allows for emancipation here.And I understand your frustration the FAFSA laws need to change they are oppressive and wrongfully penalize independence

RayAnswers :

Being considered an independent student is not merely a matter of being responsible for your own educational expenses. You must meet at least one of the following seven criteria to be declared an independent student for the purposes of the FAFSA:

Be 24 years of age or older by December 31 of the award year;
Be an orphan (both parents deceased), ward of the court, or was a ward of the court until the age of 18;
Be a veteran of the Armed Forces of the United States;
Be a graduate or professional student;
Be a married individual;----it's not unlike people that marry for immigration purposes.
Have legal dependents other than a spouse;
Be a student for whom a financial aid administrator makes a documented determination of independence by reason of other unusual circumstances.---ask you financial aid office what criteria they use for this category since you are living independently.

Customer :

Idaho has free education for residents; however there is not much information on how to be considered a resident, and their schools are not very good. Do you know which states have more reasonable independence/emancipation laws or better education laws?

RayAnswers :

Idaho --one year..

RayAnswers :

Residency for tuition purposes is governed by Idaho State Code. Under current Idaho State Code 33-2110A,

"... a student in a community college shall not be deemed a resident of the district, or of a county, or of the State of Idaho, unless such student shall have resided within said district, county, or state, for at least one (1) year continuously prior to the date of his/her first enrollment in said community college." Additionally, "residency may not be acquired while attending, and enrolled in a community college."

"Counties in Idaho are liable for the out-of-district tuition so long as the student is duly enrolled and attending the college. This liability shall be for six (6) semesters or the term of the curriculum for which the student is enrolled, whichever is lesser. Liability shall terminate if the student's domiciliary residence changes and that change occurs for twelve (12) months."

RayAnswers :

The problem here is that you are an adult in every state and past age to emancipate.You have two options here under FAFSA marriage or military service.If you join reserves you have to be called up to be an adult.

Customer :

Okay. Thank you for your time.

RayAnswers :

I have three kids and am a lawyer and believe and believe me I read this FAFSA stuff looking for loopholes for my kids.Now when and if you make graduate school here you will be fine.

RayAnswers :

And I put myself through school so I know how hard it is.

RayAnswers :

I wish you the best.You are a great person here.Don't give up on your education even if you pay as you go here.

Customer :

Actually, I just thought of something. My mom kicked me out of the house in January, but i did not establish a permanent residence until October. So even though I stayed in dorms, and went to Indiana for breaks, and got temporary residences with family, might I have been considered homeless for those 10 months or so, or at least the first 5 where I really hadn't made any arrangements? Or is marriage really essentially my only hope?

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