Family & Household Status

It is Princeton's policy to review two parents' financial information for the purposes of determining University financial aid eligibility.  "Parents" include biological parents, adoptive parents, custodial parent and stepparent, and legal guardians.

If you live in your home with two parents, this will be your family and household unit to determine eligiblity for Princeton financial aid.

  • Both parents' information must be reported on the Princeton Financial Aid Application (PFAA)
  • This is the case whether your parents are married or unmarried as long as they live in the same residence.
  • One or both of your parents may work in a geographically distant location and may live in a separate home in that location for work purposes — you will still report both parents' information on the PFAA and FAFSA.

If your parents are not married and live in separate households, Princeton still requires information from two parents.

  • The parent with whom you live most of the time (in the past twelve months) is your custodial parent for Princeton's financial aid program.
  • Your custodial parent's information will be used on the PFAA.
  • Your other parent is your noncustodial parent for Princeton's financial aid. Your noncustodial parent must submit the noncustodial parent's form.
  • Noncustodial forms and tax documents may be uploaded to your financial aid portal, faxed, or mailed to our office.

Only in the case of certain extenuating circumstances may the noncustodial parent requirement be waived.

  • Students may receive consideration for a waiver by submitting the noncustodial parent waiver request form.
  • This form, along with the required substantiating statements, may be uploaded through the financial aid portal.

All U.S. citizens and eligible non-citizens are also required to complete the FAFSA. The FAFSA will ask a series of questions to identify the parental information that should be used on the form. The FAFSA will be used to determine eligibligy for federal financial aid funds.

If a Princeton student meets one of the criteria below, they can be considered an independent student for Princeton's financial aid purposes:

  • Student is over age 25 and has documentation of living as a self-supporting adult for at least two years.
  • Student is under 25 but married and/or has dependent children and has documentation of living as a self-supporting adult while married or with dependent children for at least two years.
  • Student is/was an orphan or ward of the court not later legally adopted or ever placed in legal guardianship.
  • Student is/was an orphan or ward of the court placed in legal guardianship within the last two years.
  • Student has been in legal guardianship for less than two years due to parental neglect, abandonment, and/or abuse documentation.
  • Student is a veteran of the United States Armed Forces and can provide a DD-214.

Please note that independent status on the FAFSA does not automatically qualify a student to be independent for Princeton's financial aid review. If you do not meet the above criteria, and can document that you have been living as a self-supporting adult for two years or have other extenuating circumstances that you think warrant being reviewed as an independent student, review the Student Dependency Override webpage for additional information. Parental unwillingness to pay for college or complete the aid application will not be considered for a dependency override