Can Green Card holders get money from FAFSA®?

Can Green Card holders get federal financial aid?? It depends…

Some schools offer financial aid to students who hold a green card but are not US citizens. Here is a breakdown of how financial aid works for green card holders:

  • Students must be able to provide proof of Green Card with one of the following forms: I-551, I-151, or I-551C.
  • If a student’s Green Card has expired, it must be renewed immediately, or they will risk losing their financial aid. For help with renewal or replacement, students must visit the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Green Card holders must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) to be eligible.

Filing FASFA® is the first step in determining eligibility for financial aid. After filing FASFA®, students should reach out to their state’s department of education. The state department of education will provide students with information for assistance programs and applications for financial aid, specifically for Green Card holders.

It’s also recommended that students contact their school’s financial aid office for information regarding institutional scholarships, grants, and work-study programs they can apply to cover costs of tuition.

Scholarships for Green Card Holders

Many private institutions offer scholarships for Green Card holders. Creating an online profile for scholarship databases like SmartScholar is a great first step to starting the search process.

If you’re not eligible for FAFSA® funds through your school, scholarships can be a huge help, and many organizations are looking to help Green Card holders make their dream of higher education come true. 

A simple Google search will allow you to see how many scholarship opportunities are available to you.


If you need help applying for financial aid, reach out to the team at Frank. We can help you file your FAFSA® quickly and even walk you through the complicated parts of the process if needed.