How Qualifying For Financial Aid Works

Wrapping Up: More Options for Financial Aid

High school students should start applying for financial aid as early as possible.
High school students should start applying for financial aid as early as possible.
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If you've read through the previous sections and still have questions about your eligibility, here are a few more options to consider.

  • Veterans: Under the GI bill, veterans, their spouses and dependents may be eligible for comprehensive educational benefits, including full payment of tuition, fees, a housing stipend, and a stipend for books and supplies.
  • Convicted Criminals: If you've been convicted of a felony, federal grants and loans may still available to you -- unless you have a drug conviction. Even if you have a drug conviction, however, you may still be eligible if you complete a program of rehabilitation or if you didn't receive your conviction while you were receiving federal funds.
  • Eligible Noncitizens: A non-U.S. Citizen may be eligible for federal aid if he or she is: a U.S. national; a U.S. permanent resident with a permanent resident card; or a U.S. permanent resident with an arrival/departure card designation of "refugee," "asylum-granted," "U.S.-Haitian entrant," "conditional entrant," victims of human trafficking, T-visa holders and their dependents, and "parolees." Citizens of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of Palau are only eligible for certain types of federal aid [source: Department of Education].
  • Special Circumstances: Many families and individuals have special circumstances that need to be considered.

It's extremely important to discuss any special circumstances with your financial aid advisor. Not only can your FAA help you navigate the application process; he or she also has some flexibility when there are special circumstances to make judgment calls that could increase the amount of aid received.

Plenty of college financial aid is available for those motivated enough to look. Whether you're angling for a grant, scholarship, loan or work-study program, plan early. Apply for all of the aid you can in order to improve your odds. Be sure to see the Lots More Information section below for more great links on financial aid and how to qualify for it.

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More Great Links


  • "32 Weird Scholarships Almost Anyone Can Get." 8.20.2007. (01.16.10)
  • "FAQs: Eligibility." Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). (01.15.10)
  • "Federal Student Aid Programs." Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). (01.16.10)
  • "Other Types of Aid." Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). (01.16.10)
  • "The EFC Formula 2010-2011." US Department of Education. (01.16.10)
  • "Funding Education Beyond High School: The Guide to Federal Student Aid 2009-2010." US Department of Education. (01.16.10)>
  • "How to Win a Merit Scholarship." (01.16.10.)