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Rowan College at Gloucester County and Cumberland County College merged on July 1, 2019 to form Rowan College of South Jersey (RCSJ).

Welcome to the RCSJ website (RCSJ.edu).  Please note visitors from CCCNJ.edu and RCGC.edu will be redirected to this new site.

Financial Aid at Gloucester

Financial Aid at Gloucester

Dependency Override Appeal

​Most students age 23 and younger are considered “dependent” when completing the FAFSA and must include their parents’ information. However, the U.S. Department of Education allows students who are experiencing unusual circumstances to apply for a Dependency Override through an appeal process. Unusual circumstances include abandonment by parents, an abusive family environment that threatens the student’s health or safety, or the student being unable to locate the parents. In such cases a Dependency Override might be warranted. This means a student who otherwise would have a “dependent” status (and must report their parents’ information on the FAFSA) may apply for financial aid as “independent” (and will not have to report his/her parents’ information on the FAFSA).​


Reasons for Dependency Override

  1. Your custodial parent has died and the other natural parent is still living. The student, however, has neither had contact with nor received any financial support from the living parent for a significant period of time.

  2. Your family situation is unattainable. The situation may result from physical, emotional, drug or alcohol abuse.


What Doesn't Qualify for Dependency Override

The following will not qualify a student as independent:

  1. Parents refuse to contribute to the student's education.

  2. Parents are unwilling to provide information on the FAFSA or for verification.

  3. Parents do not claim the student as a dependent for income tax purposes.

  4. Student demonstrates total self-sufficiency (i.e. lives on his/her own, pays all bills).


Appeal Requirements

Comprehensive instructions are included on the Dependency Override appeal cover letter. This form can be obtained in person at the Office of Financial Aid. All paperwork must be submitted to Financial Aid at one time as a single organized file. ​


For Reason #1 — Your Custodial Parent Has Died 

T​he other natural parent is still living. The student, however, has neither had contact with nor received any financial support from the living parent for a significant period of time.

  1. Verification documents

  2. Dependency Override appeal cover letter

  3. A letter, from you the student, explaining the situation in detail

  4. A copy of the original death certificate for the deceased custodial parent

  5. A letter (on official letterhead) from an objective third party which supports your claim that you have neither lived with nor received financial support from the non-custodial parent for a significant period of time

  6. Documentation of your income, if applicable

 

For Reason #2 – Your Family Situation is Unattainable 

The situation may result from physical, emotional, drug or alcohol abuse.

  1. Verification documents

  2. Dependency Override appeal cover letter

  3. A letter, from you the student, explaining the situation in detail

  4. A letter (on official letterhead), explaining the situation in detail, from a minister, social worker, high school guidance counselor, teacher, doctor, or another counseling professional

  5. One or more of the following:

    • A letter, preferably from someone other than a relative or a friend (i.e. the parents of a friend of the student, a neighbor, an employer) explaining their knowledge of the situation

    • Police reports

    • Court reports

    • Documentation from a social service agency

  6. Documentation of your income, if applicable


How it Works

  1. Students must complete the FAFSA and verification process before submitting an appeal. ​​

  2. Student file will first be verified according to FSA guidelines.

  3. Appeal will be reviewed by a committee. 

  4. Approval or denial letter will be mailed to student's home address.

  5. If approved the dependency override will be processed:

    • This will result in a new Student Aid Report (SAR) being sent to the student. It will include his/her revised eligibility.

    • The financial aid will be packaged to the student's account; check the "Financial Aid Awards" portion of the Portal.

  6. If denied the student must include his/her parent's information on FAFSA.

 

Denied Appeals

A student whose Dependency Override appeal is denied will have to report his/her parents' personal, tax and income information on the FAFSA. This is required as part of the verification process. No Title IV federal student aid can be packaged to the student's account until the file has been reviewed and verified, and this includes parents' information.

In the extreme circumstance that a parent refuses to report his/her information on the FAFSA, both the student and parent must provide a signed, written statement explaining so. At that point a dependent student is only eligible for a $1,000 unsubsidized Direct Loan per term. Stop by the Office of Financial Aid for more information on this particular situation.

Gloucester