Dependent or independent for student aid?

The federal government set the guidelines for identifying you as independent or dependent on parentsWhy does the government claim I am a dependent of my parents?
From Kelly:
What does the income of my parents have to do with MY financial aid eligibility? I am 22 years old I work I pay my bills I do not live at home. Why am I still dependent on my parents for college aid? Correction: why am I still CONSIDERED a dependent of my parents?

TQR Answer: The federal government set the guidelines for identifying you as independent or dependent on parents. While there are many students who say this is unfair, as they have been supporting themselves for years, the federal government has not changed their criteria.

Your concern is valid, because if you are deemed "dependent" by the federal governments student assistance guidelines your parents income is taken into consideration when determining the amount of assistance YOU will get for college.

Some of the criteria the government uses includes:
Are you 23 years old or older?
Are you married?
Are you enrolled in a masters or doctorate program?
Do YOU have legal dependents other than a spouse?
Are you an orphan, homeless, or a ward of the court?
Are you a veteran of the military?

Can I get a loan and grant for college?
From catsangel777: I have a Pell Grant but can I get a student loan also, or any other loan and how do I pay that back? I heard that as long as I'm attending school, I don't have to pay it back all at one time. Can I pay in payments?

TQR Answer: Yes, you can get a student loan in addition to the Pell Grant. You won't have to pay back the Pell Grant, but you will have to pay back the student loan. How you are required to pay the loan back depends on several things, one of which is the type of loan you take out. For example, a Direct Stafford Loan could be either subsidized or unsubsidized based on the results of your EFC formula. If you receive a subsidized loan no interest will accrue while you are in school and you do not have to make a payment until after a 6 month grace period upon your completion of school. If you receive a unsubsidized loan, you have the option to pay the interest charges while you are in school or allow them to accrue and get added to the principal amount you owe. After graduation you will begin making payments. This type of loan also has a grace period.

The Quarter Roll is published to provide personal insights and opinions on everyday ways of saving and managing money, budgeting, and reducing debt. The Quarter Roll does not give professional accounting, legal, or investing counsel. The ideas, examples, and advice presented on this site are solely the opinion of the authors based on his or her personal experiences. All photos courtesy of The Quarter Roll, iStockphoto, or Dreamstime. All rights reserved. This site is best viewed when using Adobe Flash Player. free money magazine