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College Counseling

How do I know my household size on the FAFSA or scholarship application?


Your household size is the number of people living in your home who are dependent on the primary unit for 51% or more of their finances. For example, if your grandparent lives with you but does not have an income, he or she would count in the household size. If your brother is employed and moves home while he is building his first house, he does not count in your household size. If your parents are not involved in financially supporting you and you live with another family member who does not have legal guardianship, but who does support you financially, you will want to complete a dependency verification form. If your parents/guardians cover your living costs but cannot contribute to financially supporting the costs of your tuition and living expenses, you are not an independent student. Their income must be counted on the FAFSA; your EFC should reflect your financial need. If the parents are separated, but live together, they must select “Married or Remarried” when filing the FAFSA. If the student’s legal parents are divorced or separated, and do not live together, the parent with whom the student primarily lives (often called the custodial parent) should complete the FAFSA. Additional information is available at Also consult the financial aid offices at the colleges and universities to which you are applying. They are experts and are very willing to help.