Our daughter is attending graduate school and qualifies as an indpendent for FAFSA. For 2012 tax reporting she is still under 24 and qualifies as a dependent for us since we pay her living expenses (rent, food, utilities, gas, etc). Her loans are for school payments. Is there a problem with our claiming her as a dependent? We do not want to jepardize her loans.”============ Dependency on the FAFSA and dependency for the IRS are two wholly different things; Many families mistakenly believe that a student who claims herself on her federal tax return rather than being claimed by her parents is automatically allowed to apply for financial aid without providing parent information. However, this is not necessarily the case. Students who support themselves without help from their parents generally feel that they need, and should receive, more financial aid than students who receive financial help from their parents. Unfortunately, the federal government has strict guidelines for when a student can file financial aid forms without parent financial information. Your child must report your financial information UNLESS she is or will be 24 years old by Dec. 31 of the year in which she files the FAFSA; she is in graduate school.. If she meets at least one of those criteria, she qualifies as an independent student and can fill out the FAFSA without parent information. The federal government does not consider who claims a student on a tax return as a factor in determining financial aid. If the government did consider it, many families who have the resources to pay for college might work the system by having their children claim themselves on their taxes so that the parents' finances would not be included in the aid calculation. If you have decided within your family that it is best for your child to claim herself on her taxes, be aware that this will not affect her financial aid.