College Maven Blog

Independent or Dependent Student

When it comes to financial aid it is important to understand how a student is determined to an “independent” or “dependent” student, according to the federal government.  The independent status allows the financial aid analysis to be done solely on the student finances and not the parents. If that were the case it may allow the student to receive significant federal financial aid. Determining independent status is not dependent on the student paying their own taxes or if the parents don’t claim the student on their taxes. In order for a student to be considered independent, he must fulfill one or more of these conditions:
  • Be born before January 1, 1992 (this is for the 2015-2016 year) (24 years old)
  • Be enrolled in a master’s or doctorate program as of Fall 2015
  • Be married as of the...

College Transition

After all the College Admissions and final acceptances are done then comes the really hard part of the college process - Transition.  Many students and parents don't realize or forget the difficulties associated with packing up and starting life in a brand new environment.  The stress leading up to the moment of being dropped off at the college, that has been identified as the best fit, is very intense. Even if the student is not impacted by the stress leading up to the point where the parents drop them off in a new environment, the stress at the college can be overwhelming.   As part of some of my college planning programs there is a deep discussion on the topic as well as a good reference book recommendation titled "The Naked Roommate" ( I highly...