The Free Application for Federal Student Aid--which is more commonly known as the FAFSA--is the form you fill out to get financial assistance from the federal government to pay for education. Aid is given in the form of grants and federal loans. Almost everyone can fill out the FAFSA and qualify for financial aid, but there are certain eligibility requirements you must meet.
According to the government's FAFSA Website, only U.S. citizens and eligible non-citizens may apply for federal student aid. You will need to provide your social security number or Permanent Resident Card number. The Department of Homeland Security provides an Arrival-Departure Record, and people with the status of refugee, asylum granted or parolee are eligible to complete the FAFSA. Citizens from the Marshall Islands, Micronesia or Palau don't have to provide a social security number to qualify.
FAFSA eligibility requirements include having graduated from high school with a diploma. A General Education Development (GED) Certificate is also acceptable. Applicants with neither a diploma nor a GED will have to pass a U.S. Department of Education exam.
Recipients of federal aid must register for at least six credits per term, be working toward a degree and maintain satisfactory academic performance. Most schools require you to complete 67 to 75 percent of credits attempted, with at least a 2.0 GPA.
According to the FAFSA website, most loans and grants are based on financial need. When filling out the FAFSA, make sure you have your tax information available. If you are under 23, you will probably need your parents' tax information as well. You can't be in default of a previous student loan or owe a repayment for a federal grant to meet eligibility requirements. The FAFSA will help determine your Expected Family Contribution (EFC), which is the amount you and/or your parents are expected to contribute to your education expenses each year. The amount of aid you receive each year is based on the cost of your tuition, number of credits and financial need.
Anyone with a drug-related conviction that incurred during a period of receiving federal aid isn't qualified for further assistance. Previous drug convictions prior to receiving financial aid don't automatically disqualify applicants. The FAFSA Website recommends applying anyway, because you might be eligible for school or state financial aid.
Males between 18 and 25 must have registered for Selective Service to be eligible for the FAFSA program. Register through the mail or online before filling out the FAFSA.