OSFA - The Federal Family Education Loan Program

Resources for Undocumented Students

Many undocumented students are unsure of how to find free money for college.

When completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at fafsa.gov, students must select the option that indicates their citizenship status.

Select U.S. citizen if you are a citizen or U.S. national.

Select Eligible noncitizen if you are:

  • A U.S. permanent resident, with a Permanent Resident Card (I-551), or a conditional permanent resident with a Conditional Green Card (I-551C)
  • Other eligible noncitizen with an Arrival-Departure Record (I-94) from the Department of Homeland Security showing any one of the following designations: “Refugee,” “Asylum Granted,” “Parolee” (I-94 confirms that you were paroled for a minimum of one year and status has not expired), T-Visa holder (T-1, T-2, T-3, etc.), or “Cuban-Haitian Entrant”
  • The holder of a valid certification or eligibility letter from the Department of Health and Human Services showing a designation of “Victim of human trafficking”
  • A resident of the Republic of Palau (PW), the Republic of the Marshall Islands (MH), or the Federated States of Micronesia (FM)
  • A Canadian born Native American under terms of the Jay Treaty

Select “Neither citizen nor eligible noncitizen” if you are in the U.S. and have:

  • Been granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
  • A   F1 or F2 student visa
  • A   J1 or J2 exchange visitor visa
  • A   G series visa (pertaining to international organizations)
  • Other categories not included under U.S. citizen and eligible noncitizen
Undocumented students, including DACA students and Dreamers, are not eligible for federal student aid. However, you may be eligible for state or college financial aid. Most states and colleges use information collected on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA® ) to determine whether you are eligible for aid. If you have a Social Security number, you may complete the FAFSA, and we encourage you to do so at fafsa.gov. However, we first recommend that you check with your high school counselor or your college or career school financial aid office to see what types of financial aid you may be eligible to receive and whether completing the FAFSA is the way to apply for that aid.
While you may not be eligible for federal or state aid, funds may be available for international students through other avenues. It’s going to take time, hard work and effort, but if you pursue the opportunities outlined below, you should find sufficient monies to assist you in pursuing higher education here in the United States. You may also want to check with the schools you are interested in and find out if they have an international student office. If they do, contact their office to discuss additional resources to help pay for college. You may also want to talk to the Department Chair that oversees your program of study to determine if they have any other resources for you. For example, if you are interested in Nursing, you would talk to the Department Chair of the Nursing Department. Last, but not least, talk to a Financial Aid Officer to determine if they have other resources you may be eligible for.

Additional Resources for Undocumented Students

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