Parental assets typically include the value of checking and savings accounts, investments, the total value of 529 college savings and/or prepaid tuition plans, real estate/business/farm equity, and retirement accounts.
Student assets may include checking and savings accounts, investments, trusts, uniform gifts (or transfers) to minors, real estate/business/farm equity in the student’s name, and 529 plans in which they are the beneficiary (excluding plans reported in the parental assets).
Determining Your Family and Household Status
Both parents' information must be reported on the Princeton Financial Aid Application (PFAA) and Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
If you live in your home with two parents, this will be your family and household unit for financial aid.
This is the case whether your parents are married or unmarried as long as they live together.
This is also the case if you live with a parent and a stepparent.
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.
The parent with whom you live most of the time is your custodial parent for financial aid.
Your custodial parent's information will be used on the PFAA and the FAFSA.
Your other parent is your noncustodial parent for financial aid.
Your noncustodial parent must submit the noncustodial parent's form. There are three versions:
This form, along with the required substantiating statements, may be uploaded after you submit the PFAA.
It is Princeton's policy to require information from the applicant's parent(s) for the purposes of determining University financial aid eligibility. Princeton applicants are considered financially dependent upon their parent(s), unless they meet one of the criteria below:
Applicant is over age 25 and has documentation of living as a self-supporting adult for at least two years.
Applicant 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.
Applicant is/was an orphan or ward of the court not later legally adopted or ever placed in legal guardianship.
Applicant is/was an orphan or ward of the court placed in legal guardianship within the last two years.
Applicant has been in legal guardianship for less than two years due to parental neglect, abandonment, and/or abuse documentation.
Applicant is a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces and can provide a DD-214.
A dependency override grants an applicant, who does not meet the above criteria and would otherwise be considered dependent, independent status for financial aid purposes only. Parental unwillingness to pay for college or complete the aid application will not be considered for a dependency override.
If you think you would qualify for a dependency override, submit the PFAA by selecting the self-supporting student option and provide a brief explanation on the form of your situation. Once you are admitted, the Undergraduate Financial Aid Office will reach out and provide you with the dependency override request form to be considered for an override.