Yes, your school will accept it as long as you have a document that shows that you were in legal guardianship when you reached the age of majority in your state. The document must have been issued by a court in the state where you resided at the time (informal guardianship, such as simply going to live with a relative, or signing a document in a lawyer's office, does not count even if you can document it). It doesn't matter whether you were independent in previous years--it is not uncommon for students to not want to discuss painful situations that led to legal guardianship, so this situation happens more often than you might think. However, one caution: independent students do qualify for a higher level of loans than a dependent would, and often are more eligible for grant aid because of lower income levels, BUT that's not always the case. Sometimes a student will actually qualify for more aid as a dependent, particularly if the parent was low income with several dependents. If you were eligible for a Pell grant in the past, being independent may not help you much. In fact, it can hurt you because an independent is no longer eligible for a Parent PLUS loan. If you're attending a high cost school, chances are there is going to be a gap between your aid and the bill. As a dependent, your parent could apply for a PLUS loan to cover that gap. The credit standards are much easier for a PLUS than they are for a private loan, so many parents who wouldn't be approved for a private loan do get approved for the PLUS. Also, in the event that the parent is denied for the PLUS loan, the student's unsubsidized loan can be increased to the independent level. Without a PLUS, a student can end up scrambling to find a high interest private loan--something that's very hard to do without a credit worthy co-signer. Often, access to the PLUS loan turns out to be much more valuable than a few more dollars in aid that you might get as an independent, so think carefully before taking this step.