Filling out the FAFSA: youth in Non-Related Legal Guardianships (NRLG)

Question: When filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), will a young adult living with a non-related legal guardian who is receiving extended benefits be able to claim independent status or will s/he be dependent due to the fact that the Non-Related Legal Guardian (NRLG) is getting benefits and supporting the youth at college?

Answer: A NRLG youth who is receiving extended benefits under AB 12 will continue to claim independent status.  Question #54 on the 2012/2013 FAFSA asks whether a youth was or is in legal guardianship.  The FAFSA instructions explain that applicants should answer “yes” if they can provide a copy of a court’s decision that as of today they are in legal guardianship or if they can provide a copy of a court’s decision that they were in legal guardianship immediately before reaching the age of being an adult in their state (18 in California).  A youth receiving extended benefits as a NRLG would continue to meet this definition.  A “yes” response to this question qualifies the applicant for independent status for purposes of financial aid.

2 thoughts on “Filling out the FAFSA: youth in Non-Related Legal Guardianships (NRLG)

  1. stan says:

    What if the guardianship was established in probate court, not dependency (children’s) court? Can that youth claim independent status on FAFSA?

  2. Jim Steere says:

    I’m guessing not. AB 12 is designed around dependency courts and foster children. I’m no attorney but again a guess, probate court is a different area of law.

    Good question though… I’d like to know for sure!

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