A student has to be a citizen or eligible noncitizen to receive SFA aid. In this chapter, we discuss
what citizenship statuses meet this requirement, and how a student documents his or her citizen-
A student must be a citizen or eligible noncitizen to be eligible for
aid from the SFA Programs. The general requirement for eligible
noncitizens is that they be in the U.S. for other than a temporary
purpose. The specific eligible statuses are:
• A U.S. citizen or national.
• A U.S. permanent resident.
• Citizens of certain Pacific Islands (the Freely Associated States).
• Other eligible noncitizens.
The Department performs matches through the application
process to verify the student’s status. In addition, there are procedures
for a school to follow to confirm a noncitizen’s status through INS if
the CPS matches don’t confirm that status.
Students who are eligible because they are citizens of certain
Pacific Islands can only receive aid from some of the SFA programs
(see “Citizens of the Freely Associated States,” page 49). Students in
the other categories are eligible for any type of aid through the SFA
Programs if they’re attending an eligible school in the United States. If
attending foreign schools that participate in the FFEL Program, these
individuals may receive FFELs. If a parent wants to take out a Federal
PLUS Loan for a dependent undergraduate student, both the parent
and the student must be U.S. citizens or nationals, permanent
residents, or eligible noncitizens.2
Sec. 484(a)(5), 34 CFR 668.32(d),
668.33, and Subpart I of Part 668.
2 Note that the Department doesn’t check a parent’s citizenship status as part of the application process. Parents who are permanent residents or
other eligible noncitizens should provide documentation of that status to the school.
Vol. 1—Student Eligibility, 2000-2001
U.S. CITIZEN OR NATIONAL
The term “U.S. citizen” includes citizens of the 50 states, the District
of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U