You must be a citizen or a permanent resident of the U.S. to apply for Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The annual application helps the universities assess your eligibility for various academic loans or grants.
A citizen or a permanent resident who has lived in the United States for at least four years and has financial needs qualifies for FAFSA.
Student Aid Report
After application submission, the Department of Education issues the Student Aid Report. This report forms the basis for schools/universities to determine the financial aid available to you.
Eligible Non-Citizen to Citizen
Update your citizenship status with the Social Security Administration (SSA) if your status has changed to U.S. citizen from an eligible noncitizen. A failure to do so could delay your financial aid.
Social Security Administration Fails to Confirm Citizenship
If the Social Security Administration fails to confirm a student’s citizenship during FAFSA processing, the university would ask the student to provide documents proving citizenship.
Citizens and permanent residents who are unable to file the FAFSA form may request consideration for Social Security Numbers or driver’s licenses as a temporary form of identification for college financial aid.
Dependents And FAFSA
Being a dependent may disqualify you from federal aid. You are a dependent if you are living with your parents and they provide financial support. If you are not living with your parents, you are considered an adult and thus not a dependent.
Married students applying for FAFSA must provide a Form 1040 from their marriage license. A Form 1065 from their tax return will also suffice.
Citizenship Status and Documentation
The Office of Student Financial Assistance (OSFA) would require your proof of eligible non-citizenship status if the Department of Education fails to confirm your status. Such students should appear in-person at the OSFA office with proof of their Department of Homeland Security (DHS) eligible citizenship status or U.S. citizenship.
Form I-551, I-151, or I-551C, also known as a green card, confirms your residency status.
Renew Student Status
Renew your student status if it expired before filing out the FAFSA form. An expired student visa status will disqualify you from FAFSA eligibility.
Some visas, including J-1/J-2 and F-1/F-2 student visas, are excluded from FAFSA eligibility.
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