Two of the eligibility criteria from the FAFSA that are not related to income are citizenship and selective service.


You must be a citizen, a permanent resident, or and eligible non-citizen to complete the FAFSA.

If you are a citizen, permanent resident, or eligible non-citizen, but your parents are not, you can still complete the FAFSA. Simply use 000-00-0000 for your parent’s social security numbers to indicate that they do not have a social security number. When completing the FAFSA, the form may ask you to double check if this is correct – simply click yes if you are asked.

Permanent residents are non-citizens who are legally permitted both to live and work in the U.S.  The standard document is the Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551 since 1997) or Resident Alien Card (Form I-551 before 1997).  Both forms are referred to as  “green cards,” though they have changed color over the years.

Permanent residents may also present an Arrival/Departure Record (Form I-94) or the Departure Record (Form I-94A, which is used  at land border ports of entry) with the endorsement “Processed for  I-551.  Temporary Evidence of Lawful Admission for Permanent Residence.  Valid until ____________.  Employment Authorized.”  The  form will have an A-Number annotated on it and is acceptable if the expiration date has not passed.

For financial aid, eligible non-citizens other than permanent residents, evidence of the eligible non-citizen status typically is on the I-94 and is stamped with one of the following statuses:

  • “Refugee”
  • “Asylum Granted”
  • “Cuban-Haitian Entrant, Status Pending”
  • “Conditional Entrant” (valid only if issued before April 1, 1980)
  • Victims of human trafficking, T-visa (T-2, T-3, or T-4, etc.) holder
  • “Parolee” (You must be paroled into the United States for at least one year and you must be able to provide evidence from the USCIS that you are in the United States for other than a temporary purpose and that you intend to become a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.)