International students are not eligible for federal or state funded financial aid administered by the Office of Financial Aid and therefore should not submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). An international student is a non-resident alien on a non-immigrant visa which permits full time study in the United States.
According to the U.S. Department of Education, a student must meet one of the following citizen or eligible non-citizen requirements in order to receive federal student aid:
- U.S. citizen
- U.S. national (includes natives of American Samoa or Swain’s Island)
- U.S. permanent resident who has I-551, I-151, or I-551C (Permanent Resident Card)
If you’re not in one of these categories, you must have an Arrival-Departure Record (I-94) from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) showing one of the following designations:
- Asylum Granted
- Cuban-Haitian Entrant, Status Pending
- Conditional Entrant (valid only if issued before April 1, 1908)
- Parolee (You must be paroled into the United States for at least one year and you must be able to provide evidence from the USCIS that you are in the United States for other than a temporary purpose and that you intend to become a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.)
- If you have only a Notice of Approval to Apply for Permanent Residence (I-171 or I-464), you’re not eligible for federal student financial aid. If you’re in the United States on certain visas, including an F1or F2 student visa, or a J1 or J2 exchange visitor visa, you’re not eligible for federal student financial aid. Also, people with G series visas (pertaining to international organizations) are not eligible for federal student financial aid.
For more information about other types of visas that are not acceptable, check with your school’s financial aid office. Citizens and eligible noncitizens may receive loans from the FFEL Program at participating foreign schools. Citizens of the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau are eligible only for Federal Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants or Federal Work-Study. These applicants should check with their schools’ financial aid office for more information.
Options Available for International Students
There are some options you may explore that do not require you to file a FAFSA and meet the citizenship eligibility status. Listed below is a list of resources for International Students who do not qualify for federal or state funded financial aid.
IEFA - www.iefa.org International Financial Aid and College Scholarship is the premier resource for financial aid, college scholarship and grant information international students wishing to study abroad. At this site, you will find the most comprehensive college scholarship search and grant listings plus international student loan programs and other information to promote study abroad.
eduPASS - www.edupass.org eduPASS presents information about financial aid for international students.
InternationalSTUDENT - www.internationalstudent.com InternationalSTUDENT is the premier international student and study abroad online portal for those who are looking to further their education overseas.
Clayton State Scholarships for International Students
International students are eligible for Clayton State Scholarships unless the guidelines indicate that applicants must be U.S. citizens.