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Eligibility Requirements

There are several requirements that you must meet in order to be eligible for financial aid. For most students, these do not pose any difficulty.

To be considered for financial aid, you must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen
  • Be accepted and enrolled in a degree program at least half-time (for undergraduates, that would be a minimum of six credits per term)
  • Classes taken for audit are not eligible for financial aid and do not count toward enrollment for purposes of financial aid
  • Classes previously passed and repeated more than once can not be counted toward enrollment for financial aid. This excludes classes designed to be taken more than once, ie; music composition
  • Demonstrate financial need (not necessary for unsubsidized Direct Loans)
  • Make satisfactory academic progress
  • Not be in default on a federal student loan
  • Not owe a refund on any federal financial aid grant
  • Have a high school diploma, General Education Development (GED) certificate or have completed a high school education in a homeschool setting approved under state law
  • Have a valid social security number
  • Submit documents to verify the accuracy of information reported on the FAFSA, if requested
  • Be registered with Selective Service (if required)*
  • Have no history of certain drug convictions

* Men who are 18 to 25 years of age must register with Selective Service to be eligible for federal financial aid.

Match Requirements

When you apply for financial aid from federal student aid programs, some of your information is verified with certain federal agencies, including the Social Security Administration (for verification of Social Security Numbers and U.S citizenship status). If the information does not match, the discrepancy must be resolved before you can receive federal student aid.

Information is also checked with the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) to verify that you are not in default on a federal student loan, have not received an overpayment on a federal grant, and have not borrowed more than the total limit allowed.

Maintaining Academic Eligibility

If you receive federal, state or University financial aid, you must maintain satisfactory academic progress throughout your program in order to maintain your eligibility. Go to the Forms and Publications section to read the full Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy. These are the minimum requirements of academic progress, some financial aid programs may have higher academic standards for continued eligibility.

Eligibility from Year to Year

After your initial application for Financial Aid, you will need to submit the Renewal FAFSA each year to continue to receive aid. If there is a change in your family's income, household size, and/or the number of family members in college, your financial aid eligibility will increase or decrease accordingly. (See Applying For Aid - Renewal FAFSA for more information.)

In addition, there are variations from year to year in the financial aid funds available from federal, state and/or University sources. These variations may require adjustments in aid awards.

Are you an Independent Student?

Click here for information on Independent Status.

International Students and Non-Citizens

Click here to see if you are eligible for financial aid.

Eligibility for Non-Degree and Program Fee Graduate Students

If you are a non-degree graduate student or a graduate student paying the program fee, you may be eligible for some loans. Visit the Non-Degree and Program Fee Students for details.