Independent Student Law and Legal Definition

Pursuant to 20 USCS § 1087vv (d) (1), [Title 20. Education; Chapter 28. Higher Education Resources And Student Assistance; Student Assistance; Need Analysis] the term independent, when used with respect to a student, means “any individual who--

(A) is 24 years of age or older by December 31 of the award year;

(B) is an orphan, in foster care, or a ward of the court, at any time when the individual is 13 years of age or older;

(C) is an emancipated minor or is in legal guardianship as determined by a court of competent jurisdiction in the individual's State of legal residence;

(D) is a veteran of the Armed Forces of the United States (as defined in subsection (c)(1)) or is currently serving on active duty in the Armed Forces for other than training purposes;

(E) is a graduate or professional student;

(F) is a married individual;

(G) has legal dependents other than a spouse;

(H) has been verified during the school year in which the application is submitted as either an unaccompanied youth who is a homeless child or youth (as such terms are defined in section 725 of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act [42 USCS § 11434a]), or as unaccompanied, at risk of homelessness, and self-supporting, by--

(i) a local educational agency homeless liaison, designated pursuant to section 722(g)(1)(J)(ii) of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act [42 USCS § 11432(g)(1)(J)(ii)];

(ii) the director of a program funded under the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act [42 USCS §§ 5701 et seq.] or a designee of the director;

(iii) the director of a program funded under subtitle B of title IV of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act [42 USCS §§ 11371 et seq.] (relating to emergency shelter grants) or a designee of the director; or

(iv) a financial aid administrator; or

(I) is a student for whom a financial aid administrator makes a documented determination of independence by reason of other unusual circumstances.

(2) Simplifying the dependency override process. A financial aid administrator may make a determination of independence under paragraph (1) (I) based upon a documented determination of independence that was previously made by another financial aid administrator under such paragraph in the same award year.”