Filling Out the FAFSA: I am Legally Emancipated

Legally emancipated students don't have to include their parents’ financial information on the FAFSA.
Aug 18, 2021

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The FAFSA can be difficult for non-traditional families to navigate. Students who are/were emancipated minors, as determined by a court, do not have to include their parents’ financial information on the FAFSA.

Any support received from friends or relatives should be reported on Worksheet B as income for the student.

Steps for filling out the FAFSA for emancipated minors

  1. Include your personal income and assets on the FAFSA.

  2. In Step 3 (Student), check “yes” for question 53 (As determined by a court in your legal state of residence, are you or were you an emancipated minor?).

  3. Skip all of Step 4 (Parent).

  4. Report any financial support received from legal guardians or foster parents on Worksheet B as personal income.

  5. Contact your university’s financial aid office and explain your situation; see if they have university-specific advice or protocols.

Advice from University Financial Aid Officers

Students who are deemed to be an emancipated minor (youth who has obtained a court order legally releasing you from control of your parent or guardian) have more access to financial aid. Emancipated minors are considered independent students for financial aid purposes, and students will potentially have to provide documentation of their status to the financial aid office at their school of choice.

— Amy Cable, former Director of Financial Aid at Mid-South Community College

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