Austin Community College District - Independent student One who is allowed to report only his or her own income information (and that of a spouse, if the student is married) when applying for federal student aid. Your dependency is determined by a series of questions on the FAFSA. Criteria used by the US Department of Education to determine a student’s dependency are age, marital status, financial dependents, homelessness, legal guardianship, veteran status, military status, orphan status, or ward of the court status. en