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Eligibility

Eligibility Requirements for Federal Student Aid:

General eligibility requirements are that you must:

  • demonstrate financial need (for most programs);
  • be a U.S. citizen or an eligible noncitizen;
  • have a valid Social Security number (with the exception of students from the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, or the Republic of Palau);
  • be registered with Selective Service, if you’re a male (you must register between the ages of 18 and 25);
  • be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a regular student in an eligible degree or certificate program;
  • be enrolled at least half-time to be eligible for Direct Loan Program funds;
  • maintain satisfactory academic progress in college or career school;
  • sign statements on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSASM) stating that you are not in default on a federal student loan and do not owe money on a federal student grant and you will use federal student aid only for educational purposes; and
  • show you’re qualified to obtain a college or career school education by having a high school diploma or a recognized equivalent such as a General Educational Development (GED) certificate or completing a high school education in a homeschool setting approved under state law.

Citizenship Status

If you fall in one of the categories below, you are considered an "eligible noncitizen."

  • U.S. national (includes natives of American Samoa or Swains Island) or
  • U.S. permanent resident with a Form I-551, I-151, or I-551C (Permanent Resident Card, Resident Alien Card, or Alien Registration Receipt Card), also known as a green card.

You have an Arrival-Departure Record (I-94) from U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) showing

  • “Refugee,”
  • “Asylum Granted,”
  • “Cuban-Haitian Entrant (Status Pending),”
  • “Conditional Entrant” (valid only if issued before April 1, 1980), or
  • “Parolee” (you must be paroled for at least one year, and you must be able to provide evidence from the USCIS that you are not in the United States for a temporary purpose and that you intend to become a U.S. citizen or permanent resident).

Drug Convictions

Students who have been convicted of selling or possessing illegal drugs while receiving federal student aid (Pell, SEOG, or FWS) are not eligible for further federal student aid until the student completes an approved drug rehabilitation program or by passing tow unannounced drug tests by an approved drug rehabilitation program.

If you a student is convicted of a drug offense after he or she submits the FAFSA, the student may lose eligibility for federal student aid and might be liable for returning any financial aid the student received during a period of ineligibility.