Know the qualifications to get federal financial aid.

Almost anyone can win a scholarship. But to get federal financial aid, you must meet specific criteria.

  • You must be a US citizen or eligible non-citizen.
  • You must have a valid social security number (unless you’re from the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia or the Republic of Palau).
  • You must be registered with Selective Service if you are a male and 18 to 25 years old.
  • You must have a high school diploma or General Education Diploma or pass an exam approved by the US Department of Education.
  • You must be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a regular student working toward a degree in an eligible program at an institution that participates in the federal student aid program.
  • You must not have been convicted of a drug offense that occurred while receiving federal financial aid.
  • You must not be in default on a federal student loan.
  • You must not owe a refund on a federal grant.
  • You must demonstrate outstanding financial need (except for an unsubsidized Stafford loan).

If you are eligible to get federal financial aid, check out how to fill out a FAFSA.

If you’re not eligible, you can still apply for scholarships, such as the essay contest sponsored by University Language Services. Good luck!