The GI Bill® is not impacted by the FAFSA. If you receive grants or loans through FAFSA you will still receive the same amount of the GI Bill® as if you did not. Many undergraduate students are eligible for federal grants and we highly recommend that undergraduate students file a FAFSA. If you are a graduate student and think that you might want to use loans, you should also complete a FAFSA.
Select “Dependent Status”
You must file under the dependent status if you are an undergraduate student and you do not fall into one of the categories listed under independent status.
- If you are a member of the Guard or Reserves, but have not previously deployed, you must file as a dependent student if you don’t meet one of the independent status qualifications.
Select “Independent Status”
If you meet one of the conditions below, you should file under the independent status and are not required to give parental information.
- You are a veteran of the United States Armed Services.
- You currently serve on active duty in the armed services for purposes other than training.
- You are at least 24 years old.
- You are married.
- You are enrolled in a graduate or professional degree program.
- When you were age 13 or older, both your parents were deceased, you were in foster care, or you were a ward of the court.
- You are/were an emancipated minor.
Many undergraduate student veterans are starting school within a year or two of leaving active duty. This likely means your income is significantly less than what is reported on the FAFSA. If this is your situation, you must complete a “Special Circumstances Appeal” to be sure you get the most beneficial aid possible from the FAFSA.
If you receive scholarships:
Some scholarships may reduce the amount of the tuition payment the GI Bill® sends. If your scholarship or grant is only allowed to pay tuition, the GI Bill® cannot pay that tuition a second time. For graduate and professional students, we assume the scholarship or grant is meant for tuition only. If you are a graduate or professional student and your scholarship is meant to pay for costs beyond tuition, you must submit documentation from the scholarship provider to our office to be eligible to receive the scholarship on top of the GI Bill®.
If you have a Teaching, Graduate or Research Assistantship:
Teaching, Graduate, and Research Assistantship appointments often come with a tuition waiver or offset. These amounts must be deducted from what the GI Bill® pays. For example, if your tuition costs $10,000 and your fees cost $700, a Teaching Appointment might cover the full cost of the $10,000 tuition. The GI Bill® will then pay the $700 along with the standard Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) and book stipend amounts. If your assistantship covers half of your tuition, then the GI Bill® will pay the other half.