FREQUENT QUESTIONS

Citizenship on the FAFSA

What if my parents and I are not U.S. citizens?

You can apply if you or your parents are permanent residents (holding a “green card”) or have certain types of visas. For the best info, check out this page on the federal government’s website StudentAid.gov. Or call the FAFSA hotline at 1-800-433-3243.

What if my parents are undocumented?

That’s OK, as long as you are documented. Your parents are protected because, by law, other federal agencies cannot see your FAFSA application. But you have to take special steps when you fill out the form. Call the FAFSA hotline to learn more. Or seek help from counselors with experience helping undocumented parents and students.

Is it safe to file the FAFSA if my parents are undocumented?

You can safely file the FAFSA on-line. Federal law protects the privacy of students and parents filing the FAFSA. When asked for their social security number, your parents should enter 000-00-0000. (Lots of parents do this for a variety of reasons. It’s common.) If they get an error message, keep trying. It will work. Finally, your parents will need to request and mail a “signature page” to process the form. Call the FAFSA hotline at 1-800-433-3243 to learn more.

What if I am undocumented?

You cannot receive federal money. This is true for all undocumented students, including those who have been granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status. But you may qualify for state or local grants and private money. The New York State Dream Act is among a growing number of opportunities for students. Check out the many resources we offer on this website or talk to the colleges you would like to attend for more info.

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