A regular student is one who is enrolled or accepted for enrollment at an institution for the purpose of obtaining a degree, certificate, or other recognized educational credential offered by the institution. Generally, to receive financial aid from federal programs you must be a regular student. Students who have not completed all Admissions requirements are admitted provisionally and are not considered a regular student until all requirements are met. Provisionally admitted students are NOT eligible for Title IV aid.
An eligible program is a course of study that leads to a degree or certificate and meets the U.S. Department of Education's requirements for an eligible program. (TCA’s are not approved programs). You must be enrolled in an eligible program in order to receive Title IV aid. A list of eligible programs is available in the Financial Aid Office.
The independent student definition created by Congress is strict and is considered controversial by many students and parents. However, Federal regulations related to the classification of a student's dependency status for financial aid must be followed by school financial aid administrators in determining one's eligibility for federal and state aid funds. Whether a student lives in his own home or apartment and/or claims himself as an exemption on his federal income tax return has nothing to do with a student being considered independent for financial aid purposes.
The only way a student can become independent for financial aid purposes (which means the custodial parents' income and asset information are not required on the FAFSA) is if the student meets at least one of the following guidelines:
If you do not meet any of these criteria for independent students, you are considered a dependent student and must provide your parents’ information on your FAFSA, or your FAFSA will be rejected.
If you have a special or unusual circumstance that you believe would deem you independent, please contact the Financial Aid Office.