You are considered an independent student if:
You are 24 years of age before January 1 of the award year.
You are married as of the day you complete the FAFSA.
You are working on a degree beyond a bachelor’s degree.
You have children who receive more than half of their support from you, or you have dependents (other than your children or spouse) that live with you and receive more than half of their support from you. Generally speaking, if the child meets that 50% support test, the child should be claimed as an exemption on your income tax return.
You are an orphan or ward of the court.
You are a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces.
If you do meet any of these requirements, then you are automatically a dependent student.