Are non-citizens eligible for financial aid?

A non-citizen who is in the U.S. as a permanent resident is eligible for federal student aid assistance. A non-citizen (which can include F1, F2, or M1 student visas, B1 or B2 visitor visas, J1 or J2 exchange visitor visas, G, H, or L series visas,  or I-171 or I-464 status) in the U.S. on a temporary visa is not eligible for federal aid, but could be eligible for assistance through college scholarships or employment postings.

If you fall in one of the categories below, you are considered an “eligible non-citizen.” (The documentation you need to provide is bolded.)

1. You are a

  • U.S. national (includes natives of American Samoa or Swains Island) (Naturalization Certificate)
  • U.S. permanent resident with a Form I-551, I-151, or I-551C (Permanent Resident Card, Resident Alien Card, or Alien Registration Receipt Card, also known as a green card).

2. You have an Arrival-Departure Record (I-94) from U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) showing

  • “Refugee”
  • “Asylum Granted”
  • “Cuban-Haitian Entrant (Status Pending)”
  • “Conditional Entrant” (valid only if issued before April 1, 1980), or
  • “Parolee” (you must be paroled for at least one year, and you must be able to provide evidence from the USCIS that you are not in the United States for a temporary purpose and that you intend to become a U.S. citizen or permanent resident)

3. You hold a T-visa (for victims of human trafficking) or your parent holds a T-1 visa. Your college or career school’s financial aid office will ask to see your visa and/or certification letter from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

4. You are a “battered immigrant-qualified alien” who is a victim of abuse by your citizen or permanent resident spouse, or you are the child of a person designated as such under the Violence Against Women Act.

5. You are a citizen of the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, or the Republic of Palau. If this is the case, you are eligible only for Federal Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, or Federal Work-Study. Check with your college or career school financial aid office for more information.

For more information, access the following video: Are non-US citizens eligible for federal financial aid?

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Topic Information
  • Topic #: 8202-102
  • Date Created: 9/14/2011
  • Last Modified Since: 5/7/2014
  • Viewed: 858
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