Basic Eligibility Criteria

To receive federal aid, the general eligibility requirements state that you must:

  • Demonstrate financial need;
  • Be a U.S. citizen or an eligible noncitizen;
  • Have a valid Social Security number (with the exception of students from the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, or the Republic of Palau);
  • Be registered with Selective Service, if you’re a male (you must register between the ages of 18 and 25);
  • Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a regular student in an eligible degree or certificate program;
  • Be enrolled at least half-time to be eligible for the FSEOG or Direct Loan Program funds;
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress;
  • Sign the certification statement on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) stating that:
    • You are not in default on a federal student loan and do not owe money on a federal student grant and
    • You will use federal student aid only for educational purposes; and
  • Show you’re qualified to pursue college education by:
    • Having a high school diploma or a recognized equivalent such as a General Educational Development (GED) certificate;
    • Completing a high school education in a homeschool setting approved under state law (or—if state law does not require a homeschooled student to obtain a completion credential—completing a high school education in a homeschool setting that qualifies as an exemption from compulsory attendance requirements under state law); or
    • If you were enrolled in college or career school prior to July 1, 2012, or if you are currently enrolled in an eligible career pathway program*, you may show you're qualified to obtain a higher education by
      • Passing an approved ability-to-benefit test* (if you don’t have a diploma or GED, a college can administer a test to determine whether you can benefit from the education offered at that school) or
      • Completing six credit hours or equivalent course work toward a degree or certificate (you may not receive aid while earning the six credit hours).