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Surely they can't force a child to claim they are dependent when they are not getting help from their parents. If a person has moved out and has been living on their own, even if they are only 20, they are adults and may no longer have a relationship with their parents.

There has a way to show that someone is independent at any age.

You're mostly just wrong unless parental rights have been terminated and the student is a ward of the court. Otherwise to be considered independent for financial aid purposes :
An independent student is at least 24 years old as of January 1 of the academic year, is married, is a graduate or professional student, has a legal dependent other than a spouse, is a veteran of the US Armed Forces, or is an orphan or ward of the court (or was a ward of the court until age 18).


and the reason is parents gaming the system.


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