In terms of admissions, it's hard to say, because each school has its own priorities, but in general, it would make no difference. It could give you a slight advantage if you can show that you've been an amazing student in spite of considerable obstacles. But it could also be a slight disadvantage because...
Best answer: In terms of admissions, it's hard to say, because each school has its own priorities, but in general, it would make no difference. It could give you a slight advantage if you can show that you've been an amazing student in spite of considerable obstacles. But it could also be a slight disadvantage because you're apt to have high financial need, and a student who can pay is always going to be more interesting to Admissions than one who is going to need a lot of support. But, in general, Admissions staff see applicants with all kinds of family situations, so just the fact of being emancipated wouldn't affect their decision much one way or the other. In terms of financial aid, an emancipated minor would be considered an independent student. As such, no parent information would be reported on the FAFSA and your aid would be determined solely by your own income, assets and household. Whether that would result in more aid or not depends on your personal situation. As an independent, you would be offered a higher loan amount than a dependent ($9,500 vs. $5,500 for a first year student). Typically, independent students are also more eligible for grants, since their income tends to be lower than it would be if parents were included. But not always. An independent whose income is high enough to support himself and has no dependents may actually be less eligible for grant aid than a dependent whose parent has low income and several dependents. Also, while an independent student may receive a higher level of loans, he also loses eligibility for the Parent PLUS loan. With the PLUS, a parent can borrow up to the entire cost of attendance, which ensures that the student will be able to cover any gap in his costs that aren't covered by other aid. Without the PLUS, the student has very limited aid, which can be a big problem at more expensive schools because it means you would have to find a private student loan to cover the gap. Most students need a co-signer for a private loan, and emancipated minors often have trouble finding someone to co-sign. So, having access to the PLUS loan as a dependent can be more valuable than the few thousand dollars of extra aid you might get as an independent. As for scholarships, it's possible that it would help in the sense that many donors want to help students with high financial need, and emancipated students generally have low income. But it would be just one factor in a donor's decision. You would still be competing with many other applicants who also have financial need, so you would still need to offer other things like good grades and quality extracurriculars. Keep in mind that being an emancipated minor isn't the same as living apart from your parents or not being claimed on your parent's tax return. Emancipation is a fairly rare situation because it has to be done by a court before you turn 18 and it involves severing the legal relationship between the parent and the child without the appointment of a legal guardian. Courts are generally very reluctant to do this, and will only do so if there is no other alternative, such as foster care or legal guardianship. No court will emancipate someone because he wants to improve his/her chances for college financial aid--you would need to prove that there is some compelling reason, such as a history of serious abuse, and show that you have a way to support yourself before a court will even consider it. Because many students don't understand what an emancipated minor is, most schools will require proof of your status if you check off that box on the FAFSA and that is the only reason you would be considered independent. So, if you are actually emancipated, be prepared for the school to ask you to provide a copy of the court document that proves it.
3 weeks ago