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Can Students with Undocumented Parents Get Financial Aid?

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Yes. To qualify for federal student aid, the student must be a legal U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or eligible noncitizen. It does not matter if the student’s parents are undocumented, under-documented, or foreign citizens.

Some tips to keep in mind when filing the FAFSA, if the student’s parents are undocumented:
  • When filing the FAFSA, enter 000-00-0000 as the social security number. Do not enter a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) or a stolen social security number. (This will create issues with the application, because those numbers will fail to data match with the Social Security Administration.)
  • Undocumented parents will not be eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT), as they do not have valid social security numbers.
  • If the student’s FAFSA is selected for verification, the parents will be required to provide an IRS tax transcript by filing IRS Form 4506-T. Requesting an IRS tax transcript online will speed up the process.
Note: Photocopies of tax returns will not be accepted for the verification process for federal funds.

Students who are U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or eligible noncitizens are eligible for in-state tuition, regardless of the immigration status of their parents. 

Note that undocumented students are not eligible for federal student aid. However, some states do extend in-state tuition to undocumented students who graduated from a high school in that state.

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