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    Financial Aid for Green Card Holders

    By Kayla Korzekwinski

    Kayla Korzekwinski is a Scholarships360 content writer. She earned her BA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she studied Advertising/PR, Rhetorical Communication, and Anthropology. Kayla has worked on communications for non-profits and student organizations. She loves to write and come up with new ways to express ideas.

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    Reviewed by Annie Trout

    Annie has spent the past 18+ years educating students about college admissions opportunities and coaching them through building a financial aid package. She has worked in college access and college admissions for the Tennessee Higher Education Commission/Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation, Middle Tennessee State University, and Austin Peay State University.

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    Edited by Maria Geiger

    Maria Geiger is Director of Content at Scholarships360. She is a former online educational technology instructor and adjunct writing instructor. In addition to education reform, Maria’s interests include viewpoint diversity, blended/flipped learning, digital communication, and integrating media/web tools into the curriculum to better facilitate student engagement. Maria earned both a B.A. and an M.A. in English Literature from Monmouth University, an M. Ed. in Education from Monmouth University, and a Virtual Online Teaching Certificate (VOLT) from the University of Pennsylvania.

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    Updated: September 26th, 2023
    Financial Aid for Green Card Holders

    Permanent residents of the United States are eligible for financial aid and student loans from the Department of Education as long as they complete the FAFSA with the necessary information. Continue reading to learn more about financial aid for green card holders!

    Related: Top scholarships for immigrants

    Green card holders are eligible for federal aid

    If you have a green card, you are eligible to permanently live and work in the United States.

    Students with green cards are considered eligible noncitizens and can receive all forms of federal financial aid.

    Additionally, the citizenship status of a student’s parents does not affect their eligibility for financial aid. Only the student must be an eligible noncitizen. Therefore, the parent does not need to be a permanent resident.  

    Also see: Search, compare, and apply for private loans

    How to receive financial aid

    Students with green cards who are interested in receiving federal financial aid must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). As a green card holder, you will have to include your 8- or 9-digit Alien Registration Number on the form. 

    When applying for federal student aid, most students will want to create an FSA ID. Creating and using your FSA ID is the easiest and fastest way to complete the FAFSA and receive your results. Permanent residents will use their SSN when creating their FSA ID and use their ARN when asked within the FAFSA application. 

    See also: FAFSA for international students

    Other eligible groups

    Other than permanent residents, there are other citizenship statuses that may qualify as an “eligible noncitizen” for federal student aid. The Department of Education has included students who are US Nationals from natives of American Samoa or Swains Island, or a person whose Arrival-Departure Record has one of the following designations from USCIS:

    • Refugee
    • Asylum granted
    • Cuban-Haitian entrant
    • Conditional entrant (Granted before April 1,1980)
    •  You or your parent hold a T nonimmigrant status
    • Parolee

    Additionally, citizens of the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, or the Republic of Palau can also receive some types of federal financial aid.  

    Also see: Navigating different types of student loans

    Be sure documents are up-to-date

    Check to make sure your green card hasn’t expired as you prepare to complete your financial aid applications. If it has expired and is eligible for renewal, you should be eligible for federal aid after completing the renewal process. However, if you aren’t eligible for renewal, it’s important to talk to your college about your financial aid opportunities. 

    Related: Scholarships for international students

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    Frequently asked questions about financial aid for green card holders

    Can you get financial aid if you have a green card?

    Usually, if you have a green card, you will be considered as an “eligible noncitizen” and therefore eligible for financial aid.

    Do green card holders get free education?

    Noncitizen green card holders are eligible to apply for government-sponsored financial aid. What they pay for their education is determined by their individual financial situation. They are also able to attend in-state or resident tuition rates at public colleges and universities.

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