About this resource
NOTE: Youth who have experienced Foster care may be eligible for foster specific funding. Check your state resources for Education & Training Voucher (ETV) or read more at the child welfare gateway: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/outofhome/independent/support/vouchers/
Federal Student Aid is responsible for managing the student financial assistance programs authorized under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965. These programs provide grants, loans, and work-study funds to students attending college or career school.
Federal Student Aid ensure students and their families can benefit from these programs by
- informing students and families about the availability of the federal student aid programs and the process for applying for and receiving aid from those programs;
- developing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form and processing approximately 20 million FAFSA submissions each year;
- accurately disbursing, reconciling, and accounting for all federal student aid funds that are delivered to students each year through more than 6,000 colleges and career schools;
- managing the outstanding federal student loan portfolio and securing repayment from federal student loan borrowers;
- offering free assistance to students, parents, and borrowers throughout the entire financial aid process; and
- providing oversight and monitoring of all program participants—schools, financial entities, and students—to ensure compliance with the laws, regulations, and policies governing the federal student aid programs.
We encourage you to visit the following resources to better understand Federal Student Aid’s role in funding education beyond high school.
- Strategic Planning and Reporting: Review our strategic plans and annual performance reports. Available only in English.
- Data Center: Access the latest data relating to our programs. Available only in English.
- Public Service Announcements: Download our public service announcements.
- Contracting Information: Learn how you can do business with us. Available only in English.
- Employment Opportunities: Explore career opportunities with us.
- Link to Us: Share our information and resources by linking to us.
- Contact Us: Find out how you can reach us for more information or to share feedback about your experience with federal student aid.
Am I eligible to receive financial aid?
To be eligible to receive federal student aid, you must:
- Be a citizen or eligible noncitizen of the United States.
- Have a valid Social Security Number. (Students from the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of Palau are exempt from this requirement.)
- Have a high school diploma or a General Education Development (GED) certificate, or have completed homeschooling. If you don’t, you may still be eligible for federal student aid if you were enrolled in college or career school prior to July 1, 2012. Go to https://studentaid.ed.gov/eligibility/basic-criteria for additional information.
- Be enrolled in an eligible program as a regular student seeking a degree or certificate.
- Maintain satisfactory academic progress.
- Not owe a refund on a federal student grant or be in default on a federal student loan.
- Register (or already be registered) with the Selective Service System, if you are a male and not currently on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces. (Students from the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Republic of Palau are exempt from registering; see https://sss.gov for more information.)
- Not have a conviction for the possession or sale of illegal drugs for an offense that occurred while you were receiving federal student aid (such as grants, work-study, or loans). If you have such a conviction, you must complete the Student Aid Eligibility Worksheet to determine if you are eligible for aid or partially eligible for aid.
Many types of federal student aid, such as the Federal Pell Grant or subsidized loans where the government pays the interest while you are in college, also require you to have financial need. Additionally, once you have a bachelor’s degree or a first professional degree, you are generally not eligible for Pell or Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG).
Other requirements may apply. Contact the financial aid office at your college for more information.