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What can I do? I am an independent student, who the universities I apply to refuse to recognize as independent?

I grew up in a home where multiple felonies were routinely committed, it was extraordinarily unusual given that I am white. But it is what it is, and at the age of 16 - I left for sanity and safety's sake. Ever since then every University I have tried to attend has refused to allow my application for independent status - the latest instance came as a shock (they originally showed no indication that they wouldn't) - suddenly they audited me, froze my funds (including my veteran's benefits) and are now billing me hefty interest on those frozen funds (including, again my veteran's benefits that I was unaware could even legally be frozen). I'm not a mean person, and I understand that for most whites it's true - they are not independent. But the hell I grew up in is the reason I am, and will be

Loveland, OH -

Attorney Answers (4)

Todd Bruce Kotler

Todd Bruce Kotler

Education Law Attorney - Massillon, OH
Answered

This student may wish to talk to a debtor's rights attorney. For more immediate relief this student should speak to and write whoever made this decision concerning the "independent" status and become familiarized with the financial aid department's definition of "independent". It sounds as if the student is running into a formula or regulatory problem. Find out what the appeals process is.


Good Luck

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Deborah Zaccaro Hoffman

Deborah Zaccaro Hoffman

Family Law Attorney - Cleveland, OH
Answered

This link from the FAFSA bureaucrats may be if assistance. You should try the steps it suggests. There is no process in Ohio to petition a court to become emancipated.

For informational purposes only; not intended to, and does not, constitute legal advice or a legal opinion.
Deborah Gwen Roher

Deborah Gwen Roher

Bankruptcy Attorney - Fall River, MA
Answered

It is certainly worth your while, given the amount of money at stake, to consult a lawyer familiar with financial aid regulations and/or dealing with bureaucracies. Toning down your racist attitude wouldn't hurt either.

Disclaimer: exchange of information on this site does not create an attorney-client relationship.
Christine C McCall

Christine C McCall

Administrative Law Lawyer - Pasadena, CA
Answered

If you are talking about state schools, they are subject to legislative definitions and have no discretion. The definitions have nothing to do with assumptions by the school or anyone else about your color, background, or the circumstances of your early family life.

It is your responsibility to research and understand your state's standards for defining persons/students not under the control of parents. If you do not qualify for the existing definition, you can (for a very small fee) bring a petition in court and have yourself declared emancipated. There may be tax status issues at work here or even custody orders or support orders that can be at issue and complicate matters. But, in the end, there is a way to affirmatively and legally claim the status of independence. Your post does not recite that you have undertaken any of those measures. Get with the legal program and quit relying on the easy assertion that you are special because you are a white person with a background that YOU believe is a badge typical of other races.

You need to do what it takes to get this solved, as spelled out here, because you have a specific need for the enhanced vision and judgment that higher education will inevitably cause.

No legal advice here. READ THIS BEFORE you contact me! My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended... more

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