Dear Dr. Don,

I have a 19-year-old daughter attending college. Last year, through student loans and jobs worked during school, she provided almost all of her own income. If I do not claim her as a dependent anymore, will that help her qualify for grants to help pay for next year’s school? Does this situation change if she stays with us for the summer break?

— Scott Separate

Dear Scott,

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, website has a test, “Will I need my parents’ information?” for whether a student needs to include his or her parents’ information on the form. I don’t know all her particulars, but it certainly looks like she’ll need your information.

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The standard for aid is different than the Internal Revenue Service, or IRS, standard for a qualifying relative or qualifying child for income tax purposes. You can learn more about the tax requirements in IRS Publication 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction and Filing Information.

So enjoy your daughter’s company this summer knowing that it’s not changing her aid picture by having her around. My 20-year-old college girl is spending her summer on the West Coast working in a co-op position. I only get to visit.

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