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How Does a Noncitizen Fill Out the FAFSA® Form?

How to Pay for College > What Aid do I Qualify for? > Aid for Non-U.S. Citizens > How Does a Noncitizen Fill Out the FAFSA® Form?

Eligible non-citizens can fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) by using the Alien Registration Number (ARN) in place of the Social Security Number (SSN). Eligible noncitizens are U.S. Nationals or permanent residents, or those covered by other provisions of immigration law. If you do not have documentation showing that you meet the criteria for an eligible noncitizen, then you are ineligible for federal student assistance and will not be able to complete the FAFSA® online.

Who is an Eligible Noncitizen?

To complete the FAFSA® as an eligible noncitizen, you will need documentation showing that you are one of the following:

  • A U.S. permanent resident with a “Green Card”, officially called the Permanent Resident Card.
  • A conditional permanent resident with an I-551C.
  • Granted an I-94 from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) with status as a Refugee, Asylum Seeker, Indefinite Parole, Humanitarian Parole or Cuban-Haitian Entrant.
  • A citizen of Palau, the Marshall Islands or Micronesia.

If you formerly held one of these statuses but you are now a citizen of the United States, it’s important to call the Social Security Administration (SSA) with that information as soon as possible to avoid delays in processing your FAFSA®.

FAFSA® is now open for 2020, file in less than 5 minutes!


Eligible Noncitizen with Undocumented Parents

Even if you are an eligible noncitizen, your parents may be undocumented. That makes completing the FAFSA® more challenging because you may not know how to answer the questions related to them or their income. Here are two specific considerations.