There is more to applying for federal student aid than just filling out the FAFSA application. Students must meet the specific FAFSA requirements to determine if they are eligible to receive federal aid. In fact, you should check the requirements before even filling out the application.
The first requirement is to be a citizen or eligible noncitizen (with a Permanent Resident Card) of the United States. Students who live outside the United States will not receive federal student aid. You must also have a valid Social Security Number.
Awards such as the Federal Pell Grant will not cover students who do not demonstrate financial need.
You must have your high school diploma, or General Education Development certificate. Home schooling is a big part of education today, so those students should know that they must complete the home schooling before applying for aid.
You must be a regular student, enrolled part-time or full-time, seeking a certificate or degree. Not all programs are covered by FAFSA, so double check to be sure your program of interest is eligible.
Meeting the FAFSA requirements and receiving financial aid does not mean you should spend the semester slacking off. Therefore, it is required to keep your grades at a reasonable level to receive financial aid. Failure to do so could result in losing your award.
If you owe money for any federal student grants or loans, you may not eligible to receive aid. You do not want to apply for financial aid before paying off your other debts.
Male students between the ages of 18 and 25 must register with the Selective Service. These students are not required to register if they are already registered or on active duty with the U.S. Armed Forces. While this is only used for emergency purposes, it is still a requirement.
Students who are receiving any type of federal student aid, such as grants, loans and work-study, must not be convicted of selling or possessing illegal drugs. You may still receive aid if you fall into this category, but you must provide the necessary information on the Student Aid Eligibility Worksheet.
Some colleges have their own requirements for receiving student aid, so be sure to contact the financial aid office at your college to see if you meet their requirements.
You can find out more information on the FAFSA requirements and your eligibility by reading through the official Federal Student Aid website or packet if you are filling it out by paper. If you feel you do not meet all the requirements, contact the Federal Student Aid website or your school’s financial aid department. You may still be eligible or partially-eligible to receive federal student aid, even if you only meet a few requirements.