Appeal for Independent Status

Students classified as dependent may petition to be reclassified as independent for purposes of determining financial aid eligibility based on specific adverse family situations. Adverse situations include circumstances where all financial and emotional contact with your parents has been severed. Students may request an appeal by logging in to MyAid Verify and clicking on the “Request” button, and selecting the “ Professional Judgment: Unusual Circumstance Appeal.” option. You will be required to provide a statement explaining your situation in addition to the supporting documentation listed below. The last day to submit a Professional Judgment: Unusual Circumstance Appeal for the current academic year is May 1, 2024. Please allow 4-6 weeks for your appeal to be reviewed.

Please contact the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office at (831)459-2963 for additional information or if you have questions.

Circumstances we generally consider

Documents required for evaluation

  • Estrangement from parents
  • An unsafe home environment
  • Physical or emotional abuse
  • Abandonment
  • Parents incarcerated, deported, or forcefully removed from household









Please provide a detailed statement that includes the following: 

  • An explanation of the extraordinary family circumstance that supports your petition for independent status.
  • Your past relationship with both of your parents.
  • Your present relationship with both of your parents.
  • The date you last had contact with your parents or the date you were last supported/left your parents' household

In addition, please upload letters from two professional third parties who:

  • Know your situation (e.g. a member of the clergy, a counselor, a psychotherapist, etc.). These persons cannot be family members or have a personal relationship with you.