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It has been quite a while, but I do believe it may affect the amount you receive. I know I chose to live with my mother during the first couple of years because she made less, therefor I could receive more in grants. Once I became independent, the amount increased dramatically! Back then the age to do so even with living at home was 23, not sure if it is the same now. I do believe if you can prove that you are independent, say, proof of address different from your parents, you can qualify for the greater amount. It may need to be that way for a year so you establish residency for yourself?? Best bet is just to be honest and ask the financial aide advisor at your school. They were always very supportive at the two schools I attended.