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First of all, what does it mean to qualify for 0 EFC? Does it mean that any income I have, through internships or through taxable portions of other scholarships this year, is disregarded in determining my financial aid package?

I'm currently marked as a dependent on my parents' tax return. Their adjusted gross income was around $22,000 last year and my sibling does receive free lunch in high school. Would those two things help me meet the requirements to qualify for 0 EFC?

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The FAFSA considers both your income and your parents' income. With your parents' AGI of $22k, you are well on your way to a zero EFC. Try https://finaid.org/fafsa/

'Dependent' for FAFSA is not related to 'dependent' on your parents' tax return. For FAFSA, almost all students under 24 are considered dependent.

With a zero EFC in hand, you will still find different scholarship offers at different colleges. Some give full need scholarships, some don't. In-state schools treat you differently than out-of-state schools do. Try https://myintuition.org/

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