What are the eligibility requirements of FAFSA?
Not everyone can file for FAFSA student aid. There are a number of requirements you will need to fulfill in order to be eligible for FAFSA-related aid, although most of them are met by the majority of people. You should still inform yourself regarding what your requirements are, in order to make sure you comply. Check yourself against the following list to be certain you comply with all of them:
- You need to be a high school graduate or be the owner of a GED. Alternatively, you have the option of completing a high school education in a home-schooling environment, but it needs to be one approved under your state’s regulations.
- You need to be a citizen or an eligible non-citizen. Eligible non-citizen includes U.S. nationals, permanent residents of the United States, and individuals with Arrival-Departure records. If you are an eligible non-citizen, you will need to show proof of eligibility, with either an I-151, I-551, I-551C resident card, or showing proof of an Arrival-Departure record.
- You need to have a social security number, with exceptions for citizens of: Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, or Palau.
- You need to be maintaining what the government calls “satisfactory academic progress”, meaning you are on track to getting a degree from your institution of choice. Each institution has its own standards, so make sure you check with yours.
- You need to be registered with selective service if you are male. (Alternatively, you can be on active duty in the military) Like with a social security number, citizens of Micronesia, Marshall Islands and Palau are exempt from this requirement.
- You need to have not gotten into trouble with a past federal loan or grant. You cannot be in default on a loan, or owe any money to the government for a past education grant. You also cannot have been convicted of a felony or possession of drugs during the period of having a past federal loan.
- Most importantly, you are not eligible if you cannot demonstrate financial need, which is defined as the difference between the cost of attendance at an institution and your family’s EFC. Do not worry, however; many students believe they do not qualify under this regard, but end up being eligible.
Those are the major eligibility requirements to apply for FAFSA. Any further questions or special circumstances you feel apply to you should be directed to the U.S. government. If you have met all the above, you will qualify for FAFSA grants. Good luck in school, and make sure to keep your grades up!