FAFSA Eligibility and When to Apply

FAFSA Eligibility:

It would be best if you had financial need, be a citizen of the United States or an eligible foreign country and be enrolled in a degree- or certificate-granting program at your college or career school to qualify for our general eligibility requirements. You must also fulfil other criteria to be eligible for FAFSA student aid.


Basic Eligibility Criteria of FAFSA Student Aid:

  • Substantiate one’s need for need-based federal student funding.
  • A citizen of the United States and an eligible noncitizen.
  • Students from the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of Palau are exempt from this requirement.
  • Be registered or approved for registration as an average student in a degree or certificate program that qualifies.
  • One must be enrolled at least half-time to qualify for Direct Loan Program funding.
  • Keep up a respectable academic pace in college or a vocational program.
  • Sign up for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) certification section certifying that you will only utilise federal student aid and are not in arrears on any federal student loans or grants.

Students Whose Parents Died in Afghanistan or Iraq: You could be qualified for additional Federal Pell Grant funds or an Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant if your parent passed away due to military duty in Iraq or Afghanistan following the events of September 11, 2001.

Foreign nationals: You will often be regarded as an “eligible noncitizen” and be able to receive federal student assistance if you fulfil the other essential eligibility requirements if you hold a “green card” (also known as a permanent resident alien). See which immigration statuses qualify you as a noncitizen.

  • American citizen (including those from American Samoa or Swains Island) or a United States citizen with a “green card,” sometimes called a Form I-551, I-151, or I-551C. You can demonstrate this by presenting an Arrival-Departure Record (I-94) from U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS).


“Grant of Asylum,”

The “Cuban-Haitian Entrant”

“Conditional Entrant” or

You are the

  • Victim of human trafficking and have a T nonimmigrant status, or your parent is a T-1 nonimmigrant. The financial aid department of your college or career school may request to see your visa and a letter of certification from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
  • You are a “battered immigrant-qualified alien” who has experienced violence from your citizen or permanent resident spouse. You are a child of someone who has been identified as such under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).
  • You reside in the Republic of Palau, the Marshall Islands, and the Federated States of Micronesia. If so, you could only qualify for a few federal student aid categories.
  • Palau is a nation. If so, you could only qualify for a few federal student aid categories.
  • Federal Pell Grants.
  • Are exclusively available to Federated States of Micronesia residents and the Republic of the Marshall Islands.

College Students with Criminal Records: If you are incarcerated or are forced into an involuntary civil commitment after serving time for a sexual offence, it may impair your eligibility for federal student funding.

Intellectually Disabled Students: In some cases, the Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, and Federal Work-Study programs may provide money for students with intellectual impairments.


Homeless Students:

  • Government financial aid and homeless youth
  • Information from the FAFSA regarding dependence status (some homeless students may not be required to provide parent information)

What Should I Do If I Wish to Attend College?

  • This page is intended for professionals working with homeless students. Still, some links that provide information about services or offices that can help may interest students. It is titled “Identifying and Supporting Students Experiencing Homelessness from Pre-School to Post-Secondary Ages.”

Students in Foster Care Now or Previously:

We don’t have a particular financial aid program for students who are or have been in foster care. Nonetheless, if these children are eligible for federal student aid, they may be given funding for their education.

For students who are or have been in foster care, the following resources are provided:

  • For students who are or have been in foster care, the following resources are provided.
  • Education and Training Grants for Children Who Are Now and Formerly in Foster Care.
  • Information from the FAFSA form regarding dependence status (some students who are or have been in foster care may not be required to provide parent information).
  • Toolkit for Foster Care Transition.

Staying Eligible:

Continue to Meet the Basic Qualifications: Remember that you must still meet the fundamental requirements to be always eligible for federal student aid, not just when you initially submit your FAFSA and are granted support.

Achieve Sufficient Academic Advancement: To keep receiving federal student aid, you must continue to achieve sufficient academic progress. In other words, you must maintain your progress toward successfully finishing your degree or certificate in a time frame acceptable to your institution by maintaining strong grades and completing enough coursework (credits, hours, etc.).

For financial assistance, each school has an excellent academic progress policy. To find out what your school is, visit your school’s website or speak with someone in the financial aid office. The procedures at your institution will be specified.

  • What grade-point average (or comparable requirement) must you uphold?
  • How many credits should you have completed at the end of each year, for instance, to determine how swiftly you should be heading toward graduation?
  • How your good academic progress is impacted by unfinished assignments, withdrawals, retakes, changes in major, or transfers of credits from other institutions.
  • How frequently will your school assess your development?
  • According to your school’s evaluation, what will happen if you don’t improve academically enough?


For various circumstances, you might lose your eligibility for federal student aid. For example, you may have changed your major and no longer be enrolled in a program that qualifies you for financing, or you may no longer fulfil one of the fundamental qualifying requirements. We advise you to discuss these and any other conditions that make you ineligible with your financial assistance office.

Know More About FAFSA: