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Who is Eligible for Federal Financial Aid?

It’s nice to know that federal financial aid in the form of federal grants; federal loans and work-study programs are readily available to help you finance the Cost Of Attendance (COA) at your chosen college. However, there are certain eligibility restrictions for federal financial aid that you should be aware of before you consider making a financial aid application.

Who is eligible for federal financial aid?

It’s reassuring to know that every U.S Citizen or U.S national is eligible for federal financial aid. After all, why shouldn’t we all have an equal right to education? So apart from U.S nationals, who else is eligible for financial aid that is federally supported?

The following list details the groups of people that would qualify for federal financial aid:

  • U.S Citizens
  • U.S nationals
  • U.S permanent residents who have an Alien Registration Receipt Card
  • If you are not in one of the above categories you must have an Arrival-Departure Record that shows you are one of the following:
  • Refugee
  • Asylum granted
  • Cuban-Haitian Entrant, Status Pending
  • Conditional Entrant – only valid if issued before April 1 1980

Who does not qualify for federal financial aid?

It’s also useful to make it clear at this point who will not qualify for federal financial aid:

  • If you only have a Notice of Approval to Apply for Permanent Residence, you will not be eligible. Only when you receive an Alien Registration Receipt will you be able to apply for financial aid.
  • If you are in the United States on certain visas such as student visas or exchange visitor visas you will not qualify.

Of course, this is not an exhaustive list, merely an outline of eligibility for federal financial aid. If you feel that you need further information to be able to ensure that you qualify, the best source of information will be available from the financial aid offices of the colleges you are either currently studying at or wish to apply to. If you contact them they will be able to look at your personal situation and identify if you are eligible or not. There is also a plethora of information available online too. It may be useful to conduct some further research if you doubt your eligibility for federal financial aid in any way.