Policy - Citizenship and Eligible Noncitizens Requirements

In order to be eligible for federal and most types of institutional financial aid, a student must be a U.S. citizen or national, a permanent resident or other eligible noncitizen, or a citizen of the Freely Associated States. In some cases the Department of Education requires GW to verify this status. Students will be notified on the Student Aid Report (SAR) and by this office if we require additional documentation.

If the status was incorrectly reported on the FAFSA (e.g. an eligible noncitizen listed themselves as a U.S. Citizen or vice versa) the student must submit a FAFSA correction at https://fafsa.ed.gov/ with the actual status and Alien Registration Number (if applicable).

U.S. Citizens

Students who indicated on the FAFSA that they are a U.S. Citizen but the Department of Education was not able to confirm the status are required to submit one of the below to prove citizenship:

  • U.S. Passport
  • Birth Certificate
  • Naturalization Certificate
  • Certificate of Citizenship

Eligible Noncitizens

Students who have the following are eligible to apply for both federal and institutional financial assistance.

  • US permanent resident status (form I-551, I-151, or I-551C, also knows as a green card)
  • An Arrival-Departure Record (I-94) showing one of the following: Refugee, Asylum Granted, Cuban-Haitian Entrant (status pending), Conditional Entrant (valid only if issued before April 1, 1980), or Parolee
  • Documentation of “battered immigrant-qualified alien” or you are the child of a person designated as such under the Violence Against Women Act
  • A T-visa or have a parent with a T-1 visa

DHS Secondary Confirmation

If the Department of Education was not able to confirm the student’s status, the Office of Student Financial Assistance must be provided proof of citizenship on eligible non-citizenship status (see examples of documents above). We will then send the information to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for verification. Once we receive authorization from USCIS to proceed, we will process the financial aid application.