If My Parents Refuse to Share Their Financial Information What can I do for FAFSA?

Featured Stories

Filter By Categories

If you’re in this situation, not all is lost - though you’ve lost out on the main ways to get more money for college.


Dependent students can still file the FAFSA if their parents refuse to share their financial information. After you have filled out the FAFSA sections that are relevant to your financial information, there will be an option on the FAFSA where you can select that you are unable to provide information about your parents.


The FAFSA will then ask you if you have a special circumstance preventing you from providing parental information. The acceptable circumstances are very limited. Special circumstances include if your parents are incarcerated, or you have left home due to an abusive family environment. It is not sufficient if your parents simply refuse to provide their information or do not intend to support you during school. If you do not have a qualifying special circumstance, you can still submit the FAFSA - but you should be aware of the consequences.


Failing to provide parental information will prevent you from receiving consideration for many forms of financial aid, because the government will not provide you with an EFC. As a dependent student without parent information on the FAFSA, the only federal aid you may be considered for are unsubsidized loans. These loans are not guaranteed, and the decision to provide these loans (and the amount) is at the discretion of each school. Your FAFSA can still be sent to the schools where you apply, but every school handles this situation differently.


What Should I Do if I Fill Out the FAFSA Without My Parents’ Financial Information?

If you do submit your FAFSA without your parents’ information, you should follow up as soon as you can with the financial aid offices of your potential colleges. You may be asked to provide supporting documentation about why you can’t complete that section of the form - for example, a written statement from your parents stating they refuse to provide information.


If My Parents Refuse to Share Their Financial Information am I an Independent Student?

Your parents refusal to share their financial information does not make you an independent student. To be considered an independent student, you will need to be: at least 24 years old, married, a graduate or professional student, a veteran, a member of the armed forces, an orphan, a ward of the court, someone with legal dependents other than a spouse, an emancipated minor, or someone who is homeless or at risk of becoming homeless (Federal Student Aid, 2018).

Sign up for updates

Popular Tags

Financial Aid and Scholarships* Cost of College* paying for college financial aid FAFSA grants and scholarships Student Loans* Saving for College* federal student loans college tuition 529 plan cost of attendance expected family contribution college financial planning financial aid award Salary and Career* private student loans taxes college savings plan room and board on-campus housing merit scholarships college expenses federal financial aid merit-based financial aid private universities public universities budgeting for college edmit hidden gems parent PLUS loan college applications college costs edmit team living expenses CSS profile education expenses financial need income application fees financial aid appeal off-campus housing career loan forgiveness affordable college college majors loan repayment student loan assistance work-study application fee waivers choosing a major degree programs edmit scholarship institutional aid SAT choosing a college in-state tuition net price prepaid tuition plans private scholarships repayment plans ACT budget college search college visits free tuition international students internships need-based financial aid need-blind colleges qualified higher education expenses retirement savings southern colleges standardized testing tuition discount tuition guarantee tuition payment plans 401k UGMA UTMA applying to college college ranking systems college spending credit score discretionary income education savings accounts fees full ride scholarship grants health insurance options investment ivy league schools liberal arts degree meal plans midwestern colleges need-aware colleges out-of-state tuition saving school-based scholarships state aid student loan debt western colleges 568 presidents group Inversant MEFA asset protection allowance best price campus life college advisor college credits college deposit college transfers concurrent enrollment cost by region cost by state crowdfunding dorms early decision educational expenses esports fee waivers financial literacy for-profit universities fraternities and sororities full tuition gap year graduate school home equity loan income share agreements line of credit lists medical expenses medical school military benefits new england colleges non-profit universities out-of-state students percent need met private college consultant small business state schools student bank accounts student organizations title IV schools travel expenses tuition decreases tuition increases tuition insurance tuition reciprocity undocumented students