Change Financial Aid Policies for Financially Independent Students

Petition Closed

Change Financial Aid Policies for Financially Independent Students

This petition had 90,503 supporters
Elexys Juric started this petition to United States Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and

My name is Elexys Juric. I’m 22 years old, and have just transferred to San Diego State University after paying my way through community college. I’m thrilled to be here, and about the doors a college degree will open for me. But I’m running into a problem with financial aid, and it threatens to put my bright future on hold indefinitely.

I’ve been supporting myself entirely for the past four years. I live with my grandparents, but neither they nor my parents provide me with any financial help. So filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) should be straightforward, right? I am fully financially independent, and should be able to apply on my own. But the rule for the FAFSA is that anyone under 24 is a dependent and must include their parents’ financial information on their application. Only in extreme cases like abuse or homelessness are people like myself able to claim full financial independence. I’ve explained my situation to my financial aid office, but they say there’s nothing they can do.

I need your help to convince the U.S. Department of Education, which is responsible for federal student aid, to change these arbitrary, inflexible rules, as they have put the future of hundreds of thousands of independent young adults on hold. Please sign my petition calling for a change in the FAFSA dependency requirements.

College loans exist to help students like me, who can’t afford a higher education on their own. Because I can’t qualify for federal loans as an independent, I currently have private, unsubsidized loans. These are worse because I’m responsible for paying the interest on them immediately, during school. So I have to dedicate even more of my time to working just to stay out of debt. This is true for hundreds of thousands of students across the country -- students who are estranged from their parents, have been disowned by them, and worse.

If anyone should be allowed financial aid, it’s those of us who are supporting ourselves.  We want to make it just as much as anyone else, if not more. Yes, I’m young, but I happen not to have the luxury of parents who can afford to help me with my education. My parents struggle with their own bills, and I’ve often had to loan them money so they could have food for the week or keep their electricity on.

Please join me in calling on the U.S. Department of Education to reform the FAFSA, so that self-supporting students don’t have to include their parents’ financial information on the loan application. Students come from all sorts of financial situations, and their home life should not hinder their pursuit of an education.

Petition Closed

This petition had 90,503 supporters

Share this petition