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Facts About Financial Aid Eligibility

Financial Aid General Eligibility Requirements

You must first complete the FAFSA to be considered for financial aid, including student loans. Students interested in scholarship assistance should also file the FAFSA.

To be eligible for most federal financial aid programs, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen.

  • Have a valid Social Security Number.

  • Be admitted into an eligible degree seeking or certificate program.

  • Have a high school diploma or a General Education Development (GED) Certificate, pass a test approved by the U.S. Department of Education, or meet other standards approved by the U.S. Department of Education.

  • Make Satisfactory Academic Progress.

  • Sign a Statement of Educational Purpose and a Certification Statement indicating that you are not in default on a student loan or owe an overpayment on a grant. Both statements are on the FAFSA.

  • Register with the Selective Service, if you are required to do so. You can register online at the http://www.sss.gov/regist.htm

Students are enrolled in degree seeking programs at Notre Dame College if:

  • They are an accepted student in the undergraduate program seeking a bachelor’s degree from Notre Dame College.

  • They are accepted into the Masters of Education Program. Students just seeking licensure or endorsement are not considered degree seeking.

  • They are accepted into the Master of Security Policy Studies program.

  • They are accepted into the undergraduate Teacher Certification/Licensure Program. These students are seeking certification or Licensure and already have a bachelor’s degree.

Dependency Status

You will be considered a dependent student unless you can answer "Yes" to at least one of the questions listed below.

For financial aid purposes, a student's dependency status determines whether the parents' information must be included on the FAFSA and who has primary responsibility for educational expenses.

  • If the student is dependent for financial aid purposes, both the student and the student's parent(s) must complete the FAFSA. The student and parents are jointly responsible for educational expenses.

  • If the student is independent for financial aid purposes, only the student completes the FAFSA. The student alone is responsible for paying educational expenses.

  • If the student is married, the student and his or her spouse complete the FAFSA.

Note: The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and U.S. Department of Education rules for determining dependency are different.

Dependency Criteria

A student is considered independent only if he or she can answer "yes" to any one of the following questions.  You may be asked to document your answers:

  1. Were you born before January 1, 1991?

  2. As of today, are you married? (Also answer “Yes” if you are separated but not divorced.)

  3. Will you be working on a master’s or doctorate program (such as an MA, MBA, MD, JD, PhD, EdD, graduate certificate, etc.)?

  4. Are you currently serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces for purposes other than training?

  5. Are you a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces?

  6. Do you have children who will receive more than half of their support from you beginning this July through next June? 

  7. Do you have dependents (other than your children or spouse) who live with you and who receive more than half of their support from you, now and through June 30, 2015?

  8. At any time since you turned age 13, were both your parents deceased, were you in foster care or were you a dependent or ward of the court?

  9. Are you or were you an emancipated minor as determined by a court in your state of legal residence?

  10. Are you or were you in legal guardianship as determined by a court in your state of legal residence?

  11. At any time on or after July 1, 2013, did your high school or school district homeless liaison determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless?

  12. At any time on or after July 1, 2013, did the director of an emergency shelter or transitional housing program funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless?

  13. At any time on or after July 1, 2013, did the director of a runaway or homeless youth basic center or transitional living program determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or were self-supporting and at risk of being homeless?

A student who answers "yes" to any one of the questions is independent and must complete only the student sections of the FAFSA.