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Oct 22, 2003
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I am married and financially independent from my parents. Is there any way for me to declare myself independent so my parent's income won't be calculated in my loan determination???

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don't think it matters anyway.

Professional school applicants are automatically considered independent
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I was under the impression (from what I was told at various interviews) that your parents income must be reported even if you are independent.
Originally posted by wise146
I was under the impression (from what I was told at various interviews) that your parents income must be reported even if you are independent.

I believe so, but at interviews I thought they said that your parents income would have no bearing on federal loans, and would only be considered for private loans from the school if you needed them.
Your parents financial information is required for HPSL loans. no exceptions.
ShawnOne is right. Regardless of your dependent status on the FAFSA for the stafford loans, if you want to apply for the HPSL loan, you MUST include your parents information. Now, this is not as bad as it sounds. Let me explain.

If HPSL determines that because of your parents income, that your family contribution ought to be $XXXXX.XX towards your education, the HPSL will allow you to count your stafford loans as your family contribution. For example,

Joe Dentist wants to go to XYZ college where the annual budget costs (tuition, living, fees, etc.) are $60,000/yr. Joe applies for the Subsidized, Unsubsidized, and additional Unsubsidized loans and gets awarded $50,000/yr. That leaves him $10,000 short. Then he applies for the HPSL, which has a maximum award equal to annual tuition, fees, and reasonable living expenses (i.e. essentially what each school calls their "financial aid budget) which in Joe's case is $60,000. HPSL processes his application, and because of his parents income, determines that he must contribute $50,000 towards his education, but HPSL will award him the remaining $10,000. Fortunately, HPSL allows students to treat their Stafford loans (unsubsidized, subsidized, and addt'l unsubsidized) as if they were his personal contributions. Therefore, Joe doesn't need to come up with any money out of his own pocket, if he doesn't want to; and, he has the $60,000 he needs to attend XYZ college ($50,000 stafford loans + $10,000 HPSL = $60,000).

In this contrived situation, I assumed that HPSL intended to make the student pay almost 80% of his school costs. In reality, I think that is a doomsday scenario. I imagine that the amount of expected contributions from the student will not be as extreme as the amount I used in this example. However, for our own sakes, I think this example illustrates that most of us don't need to worry about "getting financed" or coming up with an amount of money that neither my parents or myself want to or have to spend on a dental education.

If you want to read the actual law governing the HPSL awards, PM me and I'll give you the link to their site.
Excellent post JavadiCavity.
I know personally that at UPenn they consider your parents income no matter if you're declared an independent or not. My parents (two doctors) and I were told that no matter what my OWN personal income and even if I declared independent, I wouldn't get a dime from the government because of my parents' income. So thinking that we could find the "financial loophole" by delcaring independence was false -- they will still look at your parents' income.
The FAFSA application for the STAFFORD Loans DOES NOT require parental information IF you qualify as an INDEPENDENT. However, the FAFSA application for the HPSL Loans DOES require parental information REGARDLESS of your dependent/independent status.

If you don't qualify, you'll have to find some other source of financing. Perhaps UPenn has some wierd policy, but it wouldn't make any sense as to why: unless they had their OWN financing available. However, the government loans aren't governed by the schools, they are governed by Federal Law. So schools must abide by that law. I'd double check with UPenn on the specifics. If you find out that it is the way you say, I'd love for you to post it so that everyone can see EXACTLY what and why UPenn's policy is the way it is.