Office of Financial Aid

Family Status

Dependency Status

For the purposes of distributing Oberlin College financial aid, prospective students' dependency status will be determined according to the Federal Student Aid definitions. All students are considered to be dependent unless they answer "yes" to one of the dependency questions listed on the current FAFSA.

Each student's dependency for financial aid purposes will be determined upon entering the College and will not change over the course of enrollment at Oberlin. However, a student may qualify for additional Federal Student Aid or state aid because he or she has become independent according to the Federal Student Aid guidelines.

In general, independent students are not required to supply information about their parents when applying for financial assistance.

Oberlin will consider appeals for independent status from students who do not meet the Federal Student Aid definitions. However, a parent's unwillingness to pay for educational expenses is not legitimate grounds for an appeal. Oberlin reserves the right to expect a contribution from the parents of independent students in situations where it is determined to be appropriate.

Other Family Members in College 

Oberlin College uses an Institutional Needs Analysis to calculate financial need. This calculation takes into consideration whether a student has siblings enrolled at four-year colleges. It does not, however, take into consideration siblings enrolled in graduate school or two-year community colleges or parents enrolled in college. The Office of Financial Aid reserves the right to request a Sibling Enrollment Verification from your sibling's institution.