To be eligible for Title IV aid, a student must be a U.S. citizen, or eligible non-citizen as qualified through the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) within the DHS. Eligible statuses are:
- U.S. citizen or national
- U.S. permanent resident
- Citizens of the Freely Associated States: The Federated States of Micronesia and the Republics of Palau and the Marshall Islands
- Other eligible noncitizens
If a parent wants to take out a PLUS loan for a dependent undergraduate student, both the parent and the student must be U.S. citizens or nationals, or eligible noncitizens.
When students complete their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) the Central Processing System (CPS) will match the student’s information to validate the student’s name, date of birth (DOB), U.S. Citizenship status, Social Security number (SSN), and possible date of death.
For proof of citizenship, a student will need to provide a copy of one of the following:
- U.S. Birth Certificate
- Certificate of Birth Abroad
- Certificate of Citizenship
- U.S. Passport
- Certificate of Naturalization
Older versions of the Certificates of Naturalization and Citizenship instruct the holder not to photocopy the document. The USCIS has advised that these documents may be photocopied for lawful purposes, such as documenting eligibility for Title IV aid.
If the student is an eligible noncitizen, they will need to provide at least one of the following:
- I-94 or I-94A stamped “Processed for I-551”
- I-151 Receipt Card
- I-151 Resident Alien Card
- Machine Readable Immigration Visa (MRIV)
- Foreign Passport stamped “Processed for I-551”
This list is not inclusive of all documents that may resolve a DHS match for eligibility.
Should DHS not confirm eligibility at Primary Verification, CPS will attempt automated Secondary Confirmation from DHS. The Automated Secondary Confirmation process may take as little as 5 days but no longer than 15 business days. If the student does not pass automated Secondary Confirmation and still wants Title IV aid, the Financial Aid Office will initiate the paper Secondary Confirmation process to resolve the discrepancy.
Secondary Confirmation performed by the Financial Aid Office requires the student to provide proof of their immigration status and the Financial Aid Office then completes the G-845 form and submits the form to USCIS with the appropriate immigration documents from the student.