You are forgetting about education credits. If someone is not their parent's dependent (whether the exemptions go away or not) then the parent cannot claim the education credit, and people under 24 cannot claim the American Opportunity Credit unless they have no living parent, are married, have children of their own, etc. In addition, there is a $500.00 credit for each adult dependent.
True, I was focused on the exemption itself and there are other things for which the definition of dependent is relevant.
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