What is a self-supporting
or independent student?
A student typically
applies for financial aid as a dependent student, submitting the
income and asset information of his/her parents. However, if a student
meets one of the following Congressionally established
criteria, s/he can file for aid as an independent student at Hope
College (see the FAFSA for full definitions):
- At least 24 years
old at time of filing FAFSA or will turn 24 prior to
January 1 of the award year for which s/he is applying for aid;
- Married on the date
of application for aid (see section on becoming independent
by marriage below);
- Has legal dependents
other than a spouse;
- Orphan, ward of
the court, was in foster care, or adopted at or after the
age of 13;
- Veteran of the armed
- Is an emanicpated minor or an unaccompanied youth who is homeless.
circumstances make it impossible for a student who does not meet
the definition of self-supporting to obtain parental information.
In such cases, if well documented, the Office of Financial Aid may
authorize a dependency override. If such an override is granted the
student then reports only his/her income and asset information on
the aid application.
Examples of extraordinary
circumstances include documented cases of child abuse, incarceration
of the custodial parent, or documented long-term estrangement from
A dependency override
will not be granted based on a student's parents not claiming him/her
on their federal tax return nor if a student's parents are unwilling
to contribute to his/her educational expenses.
meeting the criteria above become eligible for higher loan limits
in the Federal Direct Loan program. The following chart shows
grade level maximums as of 2008-09.
|Junior & Senior
funds are available specifically for non-traditional students?
The Linn Gann Non-Traditional
Scholarship Fund, established in 1989 by Linn Gann,
a non-traditional student who graduated from Hope College in
The Mulder Non-Traditional
Scholarship Fund, established in 1992 by Larry
and Karen Mulder, both graduates of Hope College.
What are the eligibility criteria
for these two scholarship funds?
Applicant meets the
definition of a displaced homemaker or single parent and does
possess a bachelor’s degree
Demonstrates significant financial
need as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student
Aid (FAFSA) and the Supplemental Application for Financial Aid
Is defined as a non-traditional
student either by age (23 or older), or if there has been a lapse
of at least two years between his/her enrollment in high school
and his/her enrollment in a post-secondary institution.
Enrolled at least four
(4) hours during the semester(s) for which s/he is seeking assistance.
While typically targeted to degree-seeking students, exceptions
may be made for a student admitted to Hope College as a non-degree-seeking
student (categorized by the Admissions Office as a “Special”.)
If a non-degree seeking student is awarded funds under this program,
eligibility is limited to one year under this status.
If the applicant is a first-time
enrollee at Hope College there is no cumulative grade point average
requirement. However, if the applicant is a continuing student
at Hope, s/he must demonstrate a cumulative grade point average
of 2.5 or greater.
How do I apply for these scholarships?
If interested in applying for either of these scholarship, contact the Office
of Financial Aid.
What about loan assistance?
Click here for more information regarding Private
Educational Loan programs.
For a searchable database of assistance for adults, click
Students Becoming Independent by Marriage
When a dependent student's status changes because of marriage, the student's federal and State aid eligibility may increase. The student's eligibility for Hope Grant funds, however, cannot exceed the amount that the student previously received as a dependent student. Also, students cannot update the FAFSA for purposes of marriage once they have filed for an award year unless the Office of Financial Aid determines it is necessary to address an inequity or more accurately reflects the student's ability to pay.