Federal Eligibility Requirements

The federal government is the primary source of financial aid for college students. Students must meet the following requirements to be eligible for federal aid:  

  • Have financial need and demonstrate it through their financial aid application. (Some loans and scholarships are available to students without need.)
  • 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.
  • Be accepted for enrollment in a financial aid eligible degree or certificate program.
  • Enroll for coursework that is accepted for credit by your degree or certificate program.
  • Be enrolled at least half-time (six or more credit hours) to receive Federal Direct Loans.
  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-U.S. citizen with a valid Social Security number. Federal regulations limit financial assistance available to non-U.S. citizens.
  • Be registered with the U.S. Selective Service, if required.
  • Make Satisfactory Academic Progress toward a degree program.
  • Use aid only for educational purposes.
  • Not owe a refund on a federal grant or be in default on any federal educational loan.
  • Attend all classes for which you enroll. If you fail a class, fail to establish attendance, or do not attend or participate, your financial aid could be adjusted.