Selective Service Registration Compliance

Anyone required to register with Selective Service at any time must have done so in order to receive federal student aid. Generally, men between the ages of 18 through 25 are required to register with the Selective Service Systems. This requirement covers both U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and most other men residing in the U.S. Students may register with Selective Service by answering a question on the FAFSA or the student may register on-line at the Selective Service web site at: Students who have questions about the Selective Service registration requirement may contact the Selective Service at 1-847-688-6888.

Major exceptions to the registration requirement are included on the Statement of Registration Status. In addition to females or men who were born before 1960, there are certain other categories who are exempted from the registration requirement. These include:

  • males currently in the armed services and on active duty (does not apply to members of the Reserve and National Guard not on active duty);
  • males who are not yet 18 at the time they complete their FAFSA (an update is not required during the year, even if a student turns 18 after completing the application);
  • citizens of the Freely Associated States;
  • non-citizens who first entered the U.S. after they turned 26 (If a male immigrant can show proof that he first entered the U.S. when he was past registration age, he is clearly not required to register and no Selective Service Status Information Letter is needed. The student's entry documentation is sufficient to show whether he is exempt from the registration requirement.);
  • non-citizens who entered the U.S. as lawful non-immigrants on a valid visa and remained in the U.S. on the terms of that visa until after they turned 26.

These are certain less common situations where registration isn't necessary. If a student wasn't required to register prior to meeting one of the following criteria and continue to meet one of these for the entire time through age 25, they are exempted from the registration requirement. These are:

  1. Students who are unable to register due to being hospitalized, incarcerated, or institutionalized.
  2. Students who are enrolled in an officer procurement program at the Citadel, North Georgia College, Norwich University, or Virginia Military Institute.
  3. Students who are commissioned officers of the Public Health Service on active duty and members of the Reserve of the Public Health Service.
  4. Students who are commissioned officers of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

If one of these exceptional criteria applies to a student, the school must document the student's status. If the student is not clearly exempt from the requirement to register, the student must document the exemption by providing a Selective Service Status Information Letter.

Selective Service and Opportunity for Young Men

The maximum penalty for failing to register with Selective Service is a $250,000 fine and up to five years in prison. Failure to register will cause ineligibility for a number of federal and state benefits including:

A man must be registered to be eligible for jobs in the Executive Branch of the Federal government and the U.S. Postal Service. This applies only to men born after December 31, 1959.

Men who are not registered with Selective Service cannot obtain Federal student loans or grants. This includes Pell Grants, College Work-Study, Guaranteed Student/Plus Loans, and National Direct Student Loans.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services -USCIS- (formerly known as INS) makes registration with Selective Service a condition for U.S. citizenship, if the man first arrived in the U.S. before his 26th birthday and was required to register.

The Workforce Investment Act (formerly JTPA) offers important job-training opportunities. This program is only open to those men who register with Selective Service.

Most states have added additional penalties for those who fail to register with Selective Service.

As of May 16, 2002, 19 states, 2 territories, and the District of Columbia have enacted driver's license laws supporting Selective Service registration. They are Oklahoma, Delaware, Arkansas, Utah, Georgia, Hawaii, Alabama, Florida, Colorado, Texas, Louisiana, Illinois, Ohio, South Dakota, Mississippi, Idaho, Virginia, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Virgin Islands.