Financially Independent Students

You are considered financially independent if you are 25 or older, have established a domicile in Washington for one full year prior to the quarter you wish to attend, are here primarily for purposes other than education and were not claimed as a dependent by a parent, step-parent or court appointed guardian on a federal income tax return for the current and prior calendar year. You will also be asked to demonstrate you have been financially self-supporting for the current and prior calendar year, including the cost of your educational and living expenses.

For other living arrangements or circumstances, please contact your campus Residency Classification Officer.

Financially independent students must provide documentation that demonstrates independent payments of the majority of your expenses for the previous year and payment, or the ability to independently pay, the majority of your expenses for the current year, including the cost of education. Documents that may demonstrate independence include:

  • Your federal tax returns for the current and previous years (first page and signature page).
  • Your parent or legal guardian’s federal tax returns for the current and previous years (first page and signature page). Tax returns identify any dependents claimed during those tax years.
  • Year-to-date earnings (tax return for current and previous year, W-2 Wage and Tax Statement form).
  • Financial Aid grants, scholarships or loans in your name
  • Trust fund information if the trust was established before you entered high school and it is in your name. 
  • Annual earnings of your spouse if you are married (most recent federal tax return or W-2 Wage and Tax Statement form).
  • Sale of personal or real property.
  • GI Bill educational benefits if you are a veteran, spouse or dependent assigned educational benefits.

You must also demonstrate you have established a domicile in Washington. Some examples of the qualifying documents are:


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