Most students are eligible to receive financial aid from the federal government to help pay for college or career school.
Your age, race or field of study won't affect your eligibility for federal student aid. While your income is taken into consideration, it does not automatically prevent you from getting federal student aid.
Learn more below or check out this eligibility infographic.
Federal student aid eligibility criteria
To receive federal student aid, you must meet the following eligibility criteria:
- Qualify to obtain a college or career school education, either by having a high school diploma or General Educational Development (GED) certificate, or by completing a high school education in a homeschool setting approved under state law
- Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a regular student in an eligible degree or certificate program
- Be registered with the Selective Service, if you are male (you must register between the ages of 18 and 25)
- Have a valid Social Security number unless you are from the Republic of Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, or the Republic of Palau
- If you do not have a valid social security number, visit ssa.gov to apply or learn more.
- Sign certifying statements on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) stating that:
- You are not in default on a federal student loan and do not owe a refund on a federal grand
- You will use federal student aid only for educational purposes
- Maintain satisfactory academic progress in college or career school
In addition, you must meet one of the following criteria:
- Be a U.S. Citizen or U.S. National—You are a U.S. citizen if you were born in the United States or certain U.S. territories, if you were born abroad to parents who are U.S. citizens, or if you have obtained citizenship status through naturalization. If you were born in American Samoa or Swains Island, then you are a U.S. national. OR
- Have Green Card—You are eligible if you have a Form I-551, I-151, or I-551C, also known as a green card, showing you are a U.S. permanent resident. OR
- Have an Arrival-Departure Record—Your Arrival-Departure Record (I-94) from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services must show one of the following:
- Asylum Granted
- Cuban-Haitian Entrant (Status Pending)
- Conditional Entrant (valid only if issued before April 1, 1980)
- Parolee OR
- Have Battered Immigrant Status—You are designated as a "battered immigrant-qualified alien" if you are a victim of abuse by your citizen or permanent resident spouse, or you are the child of a person designated as such under the Violence Against Women Act. OR
- Have a T-visa—You are eligible if you have a T-visa or a parent with a T-visa.
Are you eligible? File your FAFSA!
The time to file your FAFSA—Free Application for Federal Student Aid—is NOW.
The WSU school code for all campuses is 003800. Learn more about the FAFSA.
Not eligible to file a FAFSA? Complete a WASFA—Washington Application for State Financial Aid.
When you accept financial aid, you also accept responsibility for making satisfactory academic progress (SAP).
Learn about satisfying SAP and academic deficiency requirements, and remember that you are responsible for understanding these requirements.