Filling Out the FAFSA: One of My Parents has Died

Do not report your deceased parent’s income when submitting the FAFSA.
Anna Helhoski
By Anna Helhoski 

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Students with deceased parents may need to submit death certificates or other proof to their college, and the financial aid application process may be emotionally difficult for grieving students.

For the FAFSA, do not report your deceased parent’s income.

If your deceased parent was your custodial parent and you are not financially dependent on your non-custodial parent, you may be eligible for a dependency override.

If your parent has died after you have submitted the FAFSA, contact your school immediately and let them know.

Steps for filling out the FAFSA if you have a deceased parent

  1. Submit financial information for your remaining parent, including their income and assets.

  2. Do not submit your deceased parent’s financial information, even if they died within the past year and you have their tax returns and financial documents.

  3. If your parent died after you submitted your FAFSA, submit a correction updating your information. Contact your university’s financial aid office and explain your situation; see if they have university-specific advice or protocols. They are likely to ask you to submit a death certificate.

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