Eligibility for Federal Student Aid
Most students are eligible to receive financial aid from the federal government to help pay for college or career school. Your age, race, or field of study won’t affect your eligibility for federal student aid. While your income is taken into consideration, it does not automatically prevent you from getting federal student aid.
To receive federal student aid, you’ll need to:
- Qualify to obtain a college or career school education, either by having a high school diploma or General Educational Development (GED) certificate, or by completing a high school education in a homeschool setting approved under state law,
- Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a regular student in an eligible degree or certificate program,
- Be registered with Selective Service, if you are a male (you must register between the ages of 18 and 25),
- Have a valid Social Security number unless you are from the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, or the Republic of Palau,
- Sign certifying statements on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) stating that
– you are not in default on a federal student loan and do not owe a refund on a federal grant and
– you will use federal student aid only for educational purposes, and
- Maintain satisfactory academic progress in college or career school.
In addition, you must
- Be a U.S. CITIZEN or U.S. NATIONAL
You are a U.S. citizen if you were born in the United States or certain U.S. territories, if you were born abroad to parents who are U.S. citizens, or if you have obtained citizenship status through naturalization. If you were born in American Samoa or Swains Island, then you are a U.S. national.
- Have a GREEN CARD
You are eligible if you have a Form I-551, I-151, or I-551C, also known as a green card, showing you are a U.S. permanent resident
- Have an ARRIVAL-DEPARTURE RECORD
Your Arrival-Departure Record (I-94) from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services must show one of the following:
-Cuban-Haitian Entrant (Status Pending)
-Conditional Entrant (valid only if issued before April 1, 1980)
- Have BATTERED IMMIGRANT STATUS
You are designated as a “battered immigrant-qualified alien” if you are a victim of abuse by your citizen or permanent resident spouse, or you are the child of a person designated as such under the Violence Against Women Act.
- Have a T-VISA
You are eligible if you have a T-visa or a parent with a T-1 visa.
Start filling out the FAFSA at www.fafsa.gov.
The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Federal Student Aid provides more than $150 billion every year in grants, loans, and work-study funds to students attending college or career school. Visit StudentAid.gov today to learn how to pay for your higher education.
Source: Office of Federal Student Aid, U.S. Department of Education, https://studentaid.gov/understand-aid/eligibility