(1) Definition The term “independent”, when used with respect to a student, means any individual who— (A) is 24 years of age or older by December 31 of the award year; (B) is an orphan, in foster care, or a ward of the court, or was an orphan, in foster care, or a ward of the court at any time when the individual was 13 years of age or older; (C) is, or was immediately prior to attaining the age of majority, an emancipated minor or in legal guardianship as determined by a court of competent jurisdiction in the individual’s State of legal residence; (D) is a veteran of the Armed Forces of the United States (as defined in subsection (c)(1)) or is currently serving on active duty in the Armed Forces for other than training purposes; (E) is a graduate or professional student; (F) is a married individual; (G) has legal dependents other than a spouse; (H) has been verified during the school year in which the application is submitted as either an unaccompanied youth who is a homeless child or youth (as such terms are defined in section 725 of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act [ 42 U.S.C. 11434a ]), or as unaccompanied, at risk of homelessness, and self-supporting, by— (i) a local educational agency homeless liaison, designated pursuant to section 722(g)(1)(J)(ii) of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act [ 42 U.S.C. 11432(g)(1)(J)(ii) ]; (ii) the director of a program funded under the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act [ 34 U.S.C. 11201 et seq.] or a designee of the director; (iii) the director of a program funded under subtitle B of title IV of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act [ 42 U.S.C. 11371 et seq.] (relating to emergency shelter grants) or a designee of the director; or (iv) a financial aid administrator; or (I) is a student for whom a financial aid administrator makes a documented determination of independence by reason of other unusual circumstances.