Financial Aid Eligibility | Step 4

Step #4 of the FAFSA Online Guide to the FAFSA Form tutorial follows. If you have not read through steps 1-3, we suggest you start with step #1. If you are ready to file your FAFSA form or Renewal FAFSA form online, then please click here.

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Estimate Your Eligibility for Financial Aid

The next section of the FAFSA asks a series of questions to help determine your eligibility for aid based on FAFSA financial aid qualifications.

FAFSA Form Help: FAFSA Student Demographics

US citizens and eligible non-citizens (permanent resident, asylum, etc.) are eligible to receive federal financial aid. International students typically are not eligible to receive federal aid. Students who are legal citizens/eligible non-citizens but whose parents are illegal immigrants may qualify for financial aid. These students will likely need the assistance of a financial aid officer.

Selective Service: Yes, that's the draft. It is a requirement that males 18 years old or older be registered for the draft. No Selective Service registration equals no financial aid. Women are not required to register for the draft.

High School completion status: To qualify for federal student aid, you must have completed high school or an equivalent educational course.

Grade Level, Degree Pursued, First Bachelor's Degree: Most non-loan federal financial aid for undergraduates is restricted to students pursuing their first degree. If you have already got one undergraduate degree and you are going for a second, you will qualify for substantially less federal financial aid. This does NOT apply to graduate students; that's handled differently.

Highest level of education for parents: Highest level of education is important to determine eligibility for "First in the Family To College" type scholarships.

After the basic FAFSA qualification steps, you will be asked to choose which colleges and universities you would like to have your FAFSA results sent to.

FAFSA School Codes: The Department of Education's FAFSA school code list has been improved significantly from previous years' versions, but you must use the entire school name, rather than nicknames and alternate names. For example, a student attending or planning to attend MassBay Community College would not find their school in the search. Typing in Massachusetts Bay Community College (its canonical, legal name) would bring that school up.

When you are filling out the FAFSA, we recommend having our Federal School Code Finder handy as a supplement to the Department of Education's school code tool.

Once you have chosen one or more colleges, you will be asked about your housing and living plans at school, as shown below:

FAFSA Form Help: FAFSA School Selection and Federal School Code

You will choose a housing plan - on campus, off campus, or with parents. The housing plan you choose plays a small role in computing the cost of college, as living with a parent is calculated to have a dramatically lower cost of attendance than living on campus. You will likely get slightly less financial aid if you choose living with a parent.

After school selection comes a series of questions to determine dependency, covered on the next page.

>> Continue to Step 5: Dependent Status