Independency Status requirements should be less strict. sign now

Im going to paint a scenario for you all; I want you to try to imagine yourself in this persons shoes. Next school year you will be a freshman in college. Youre a senior in high school and your mother you and you sit down to complete your first EVER FAFSA. Youre excited about going to college especially since you and your mother cant seem to get along for more than a weekFast forward to the second semester of your Freshman year in college and it comes time again for your FAFSA to be completed again for the next school yearTheres one thing different about this time around, you and your mother arent talking because you are on bad terms. You had a disagreement and she says that this was the FINAL straw. She says, Since you dont want to listen to me, FINE! Youre on your own! Dont ask me for anything, dont bother to come back here, and dont bother to call! Now you REALLY dont care about what shes saying because youve heard it all before, but by this time, you start to worry. You worry about your education. You realize since youve spent most of your life with you mother, this is the ONLY person who may claim you as a dependent and leaving that the ONLY person who can fill out your FAFSA. You cant go to school without it, unless you have 16,000, that is.Independence Status requirements for FAFSA should be less strict.

What is Independent Status?
A. and (Bowling Green University and FastWebs website) defines independent status if:
1. You were born January 1, 1984
2. You are a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces
3. You are a ward of the court or if both parents are deceased
4. You have legal dependents other than your spouse
5. You are married
6. You will be a graduate student the upcoming school semester
B. The definition varies little from school to school, but if you dont apply to one of these based on these six characteristics, you are still considered a dependent of whomever youre caretaker or guardian is considered to be.
At first glance, these requirements may seem reasonable to the eye, but there are holes in this rule.
Have you ever heard of one of your friends or anybody make the excuse that College isnt for me, or I dont have the money to go to school, or ever known of someone who went into the labor force directly out of high school because they felt like it was the only opportunity for them? I know people involved in all these situations and most of them avoid college because their parents themselves arent responsible enough to fill out the FASFA, or their kids arent number one priorities in their lives, or maybe in some cases the person was raised in an environment where you dont question the parent. I know some of those, they are afraid in some cases to approach their caregivers or guardians.

In most colleges the independent status clause doesnt address these issues. The people whom I just described are exactly what term reads, INDEPENDENT. These students shouldnt be left out because of their own situations and this SHOULD be addressed.

If the parents refuse to fill out a FAFSA application of a college eligible student.

This is one of the biggest reasons why I believe many students have problems trying to petition to be an independent filer.

i. Now the University of Rhode Island like other schools, insist that they try to understand that there are other circumstances that a student has that could exclude them from the list I mentioned to you, but blatantly state that personal problems within the family will not be considered!

ii. On SIUs Financial Aid website they have a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)section. One question asks I do not receive any support from my parents. Does this mean I am an independent student for financial aid purposes? SIU responds to the question by saying No, just because you do not receive monetary support for [typo in the article *from] your parents you cannot be considered independent for financial aid purposes unless you can answer yes to one of the seven questions in step three on the FAFSA.

iii. SIU doesnt even acknowledge any reason of unusual circumstance on their financial aid website!

iv. By including this exception into the exclusive guidelines of Independent Filing, this will help avoid those who are being forgotten about sort of speak. More high school students will be able to consider college an option for them. More people will have the opportunity to succeed at a career. More of the less fortunate will have a chance at success.

IV. I have just explained what Independent Status is and another exception I believe should be included into the guidelines of being accepted as an independent, now I will I will talk about how I believe many can spread the concern to help change the current guidelines that are set.

A. When something affects the community or society in a negative way or a law is in place that we dont agree with, what do we do?

a.) We make sure are voices are heard.
i. We protest against a bill we dont approve of
ii. We approach those responsible and in control of the action
iii. We rally to get support and make sure we explain where we are coming from and this is what we need to do.

B. Those that are being affected by this need to be able to give their personal testimonies.

a.) Without people getting together to spark the communitys attention, it will remain unnoticed by many, and unaddressed by the government and legal systems who put forward these requirements.

V. Independency status requirements should be less strict. Even though my thesis is vague or isnt specific, I have given you numerous reasons to believe that this is true. Ive explained to you what independent status is, Ive explain one more exception that I believe should be included in the guidelines, and then how I believe many can help spread the concern and maybe change the current guidelines that are set. I hope the next time you get your FAFSA accepted that youre reminded by how many people who arent able to attend a University because they cant get theirs approved.

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Charlene MeyerBy:
Culture and SocietyIn:
Petition target:
Department of Education


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