Dependency Override Request Form

Unusual Circumstances

Most students entering Cornell are considered financially dependent on their parents. This means your parents must provide their financial information on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the CSS Profile. However, Cornell recognizes that you may face challenging family circumstances and need to request reconsideration of your dependency status. This review is performed on a case-by-case basis for students with unusual circumstances, when conditions exist which would prevent you from gaining access to parent information.

The following are examples of unusual circumstances that may be considered for a dependency override:

  • An abusive family environment
  • Abandonment and/or estrangement by parents
  • Incarceration or institutionalization of both parents
  • Parents cannot be located

The following circumstances would not be considered for a dependency override:

  • Parents refuse to contribute to the student's education
  • Parents are unwilling to provide information on the FAFSA or CSS Profile
  • Parents do not claim the student as a dependent for income tax purposes

Your request must be submitted with the Dependency Override Request Form and include adequate supporting documentation. This can be submitted to our office via Secure Document Upload. A member of our staff will promptly review your request and follow up with you to outline next steps.