There are 6 student categories:
- single dependant student living at home;
- single dependant student living away from home;
- single independent student living at home;
- single independent student living away from home;
- married or common-law student; and
- single parent.
A dependent student is considered to be financially dependent on their parent(s), step-parent(s), sponsor(s) or legal guardian(s).
You will be considered a dependant student if:
- you have never been married or in a common-law relationship (to be considered to be living common-law, you must have lived with your
partner for a period of at least 12 consecutive months); and
- you have never been a single parent with legal custody and financial responsibility for supporting a child(ren); and
- you are pursuing post-secondary education within 4 years (48 months) of leaving high school; and
- you have not been in the labour force full time for 2 years, excluding time spent as a full-time student. The 2 years need not be
consecutive; however, each year must be a period of 12 consecutive months.
An independent student is considered to be financial independent of their parent(s), step-parent(s), sponsor(s) or legal guardian(s).
You will be considered an independent student if:
- you are not married or living in a common-law relationship; and
- you are not a single parent; and
- you do not meet any of the other criteria for a dependant student.
Student category is determined by your status on the first day of the month in which your study period begins; it cannot be changed for the
remainder of that study period except in exceptional circumstances.
If your status changes during the fall semester, your new status will not be reflected in the need assessment or adjusted until the winter semester.
You may appeal to change your student category from dependant to independent, but only in exceptional situations where there is a family breakdown.
A written explanation from an unbiased, unrelated third party who has personal knowledge of the situation and who can state the reason(s) is required.
If you change your student category from married/common-law to independent student or single parent you may be requested to provide proof of this change
by an unbiased, unrelated third party.