FAFSA Checklist

Before completing the 2021-2022 FAFSA, please review these questions to determine if you are a dependent or independent student for financial aid purposes only.

For 2021-2022 FAFSA Applicants:

  1. Were you born before January 1, 1998?
  2. During the school year 2021-2022, will you be working on a Master’s or doctorate program (such as a MA, MBA, MD, JD, PhD, EdD, or graduate certificate, etc.)?
  3. As of today, are you married? (Answer “YES” if you are separated but not divorced.)
  4. Do you have children who receive more than half of their support from you between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022?
  5. Do you have dependents (other than your children or spouse) who live with you and who receive more than half or their support from you, now and through June 30, 2022?
  6. At any time since you turned 13, were both your parents deceased, were you in foster care or were you a dependent or ward of the court?
  7. Are you a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces?
  8. Are you currently serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Services for purposes other than training?
  9. Are you or were you an emancipated minor as determined by a court in your state of legal residence? (Copy of court decision may be requested)
  10. Are you or were you in legal guardianship as determined by a court in your state of legal residence? (Copy of court decision may be requested)
    For questions 11 through 13, use the following instructions; ("Unaccompanied" means you are not living in the physical custody of your parents or guardian, "Youth" means that you are 21 years of age or younger, "Homeless" means lacking a fixed, regular or adequate housing, which includes living shelters, motels, cars, etc.)
  11. At any time on or after July 1, 2020, 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, 2020 did the Director of an emergency shelter or transitional housing program (funded by Federal Government) determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless?
  13. At any time on or after July 1, 2020, 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?

NOTE: If you answered “YES” to at least one of these questions, you are considered an independent student.

If you answered “NO” to all questions, you are considered a dependent student; therefore, you need your parent’s information to complete the FAFSA.

Gather these documents to complete the FAFSA:

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  •     Records relating to any unusual family financial circumstances. This can include anything that changed from last year or anything that separates your family from a "typical" family in terms of unusual marital situations, living situations, separations, etc. Examples include: high non-reimbursed medical and/or dental expenses, unusually high dependent care costs (e.g., for a special needs child or an elderly parent), death, divorce, salary reductions, job loss and private K-12 tuition. You do not report this on the FAFSA but could submit it to the College after your FAFSA is processed.

  •    Title IV Institution Codes for each school you are applying to. You can find this code in the school’s Admissions material or web sites or you can use FinAid's Title IV School Code Database. The Middlesex Community College code is 009936.


  •    When filling out and submitting your FAFSA electronically, you’ll need an FSA ID to sign the form. If you don’t have one, you can create a FSA ID online. If you are applying as a dependent student. one parent is required to sign as well. Your parent will need to create a separate FSA ID to electronically sign your FAFSA.


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  •    When completing the income sections of the FAFSA, use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. If you've already filed your federal income tax returns, it will pre-fill the answers to some of the more difficult FAFSA questions by transferring the necessary data directly from federal income tax returns.


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Last Modified: 9/29/21