Federal Student Aid Programs Requirements

To receive aid from any of the federal student aid programs, you must meet all of the following criteria:

  • have financial need, except for some loan programs.
  • have a high school diploma or a General Education Development (GED) Certificate, pass a test approved by the U.S. Department of Education, or meet other standards your state establishes that are approved by the U.S. Department of Education, or complete a high school education in a home school setting that is treated as a home school or private school under state law.
  • be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a regular student working toward a degree or certificate in an eligible program. (You may not receive aid for correspondence or telecommunications courses unless they are part of an associate, bachelor's, or graduate degree program.)
  • not be enrolled simultaneously in elementary or secondary school.
  • meet the citizenship requirements. Click here for more info.
  • have a valid Social Security Number. If you don't have a Social Security Number, you can find out more about applying for one at www.ssa.gov
  • meet satisfactory academic progress standards set by the postsecondary school you are or will be attending.
  • sign a statement on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) certifying that you will use federal student aid only for educational purposes.
  • sign a statement on the FAFSA certifying that you are not in default on a federal student loan and that you do not owe money back on a federal student grant.
  • not borrow in excess of the annual or aggregate loan limits for Title IV loans.
  • not have property subject to a lien for a U.S. debt.
  • register with the Selective Service, if required.
    If you are a male 18 through 25 years of age and you have not yet registered with the Selective Service, you can give Selective Service permission to register you by checking a box on the FAFSA, or you can register right now online.
  • not have disqualifying drug convictions.

When you apply for aid from the SFA Programs, the U.S. Department of Education verifies some of your information with the following federal agencies: