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Do You Need to Register for the Selective Service to Receive FAFSA?

Do I Need to Register for Selective Service to Receive FAFSA?
Sulaiman Abdur-Rahman
Sulaiman Abdur-RahmanUpdated May 10, 2022
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Editor’s note: Lantern by SoFi seeks to provide content that is objective, independent and accurate. Writers are separate from our business operation and do not receive direct compensation from advertisers or partners. Read more about our Editorial Guidelines and How We Make Money.
Editor’s Note: Since the writing of this article, the Biden administration has extended the pause on federal student loan repayment through Dec. 31, 2022. You don’t need to register for the Selective Service to receive financial assistance under the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, better known as the FAFSA® form. The FAFSA Simplification Act eliminated the requirement that male students register with the Selective Service System to receive federal student aid.Another federal law, the Military Selective Service Act, requires U.S. males aged 18 to 25 to register with the Selective Service System. Failing to register can lead to serious consequences, but you may still be eligible to receive federal grants, work-study, and loans for college.Congress passed the FAFSA Simplification Act as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021. The U.S. Department of Education in 2021 began early implementation of the legal provisions untying FAFSA from Selective Service registration. This means failing to register with Selective Service can no longer disqualify you from receiving federal financial aid for college.Below we highlight the actual FAFSA requirements to receive federal student aid for college.

What Is the Selective Service System?

The Selective Service System is an independent agency within the U.S. federal government that oversees and manages Selective Service registration. As mentioned above, the Military Selective Service Act requires U.S. males aged 18 to 25 to register with the Selective Service System.The system is intended to give the United States the ability to implement a fair and equitable lottery and induction process if the country returned to a military conscription draft. Adult males who fail to register could face criminal fines up to $250,000 and five years of imprisonment.Adult males previously had to register with Selective Service before the age of 26 to be eligible for federal student aid. The early implementation of the FAFSA Simplification Act removes that requirement. That means adult males who fail to register may still be eligible for federal financial aid offers under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965.Males who fail to register with Selective Service, however, might be ineligible for state-funded student financial aid in some cases. Wisconsin, for example, is one of the many states that prohibit males from receiving state financial aid for college if they failed to register.

Do You Need to Register for the Selective Service to Receive FAFSA?

As mentioned earlier, you don’t need to register for the Selective Service to receive federal student aid under FAFSA.Adult males previously had to register with Selective Service before the age of 26 to be eligible for federal student aid. The early implementation of the FAFSA Simplification Act in 2021 removed that requirement.You could face severe penalties and possibly lose access to state benefits if you’re an adult male who failed to register before the age of 26. But failing to register with Selective Service no longer disqualifies you from getting federal financial aid offers under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965.

What Are the FAFSA Requirements?

The way how FAFSA works is you complete and submit the FAFSA form to apply for federal student aid options, including federal grants and loans.Some students may qualify for need-based financial aid, including Pell Grant eligibility, among other forms of aid. Below we highlight some of the FAFSA requirements:

SSN

You must possess a valid Social Security number to be eligible for federal student aid. You must include your SSN when completing and submitting your FAFSA form. The federal government uses your SSN to verify your identity and retrieve your records when you submit the FAFSA form.

High School Diploma

You must disclose your high school completion status when submitting the FAFSA form. Attending high school or receiving a high school diploma is not necessarily required for federal student aid. For example, homeschooled students and anyone holding a general educational development (GED) certificate or state certificate may also qualify for federal student aid. You may qualify if you can prove your readiness for college.

US Citizen or Eligible Noncitizen

Only U.S. citizens or eligible noncitizens are eligible for federal student aid. You must disclose your citizenship status on the FAFSA form. Noncitizens ineligible for federal student aid in some cases might be eligible for state or college aid.

Be Enrolled or Accepted in an Eligible Degree or Certificate Program

Eligibility for federal student aid requires you to be enrolled or accepted for enrollment at a postsecondary institution. You must be a returning student or newly accepted regular student at a postsecondary institution. A regular student is a student who enrolls for the purpose of obtaining a degree, certificate, or other recognizable credential.

Academic Good Standing

A postsecondary student must maintain good or satisfactory academic progress to maintain eligibility for federal student aid. Every school may set its own standards for what qualifies as satisfactory academic progress toward a degree or certificate.

Documents You Need to Submit for FAFSA (Depending on Age)

Dependent students need to provide parental information when submitting the FAFSA form. This group generally includes unmarried students under 24 who have not served in the armed forces and have no children. Here are some documents you may need to complete your FAFSA form:

Your Social Security Card

You may need your Social Security card when completing the FAFSA form. You may also need the SSNs of your parents. The FAFSA form asks for the Social Security numbers for students and parents. You must list the SSNs as they appear on the Social Security cards.

Your Driver’s License (If You Have One)

The FAFSA form asks students with a driver’s license to list their driver’s license details in the FAFSA form. You may need your driver’s license in hand when completing the FAFSA form.

You and Your Parents’ 2020 Tax Returns

You may need the 2020 tax returns for you and your parents when filing the FAFSA form for the 2022–2023 school year. The FAFSA form asks for the adjusted gross incomes for students and parents as reported to the IRS.

You and Your Parents’ 2020 W-2 Forms

You may need the 2020 W-2 forms for you and your parents when filing the FAFSA form for the 2022–2023 school year. You may need to consult the W-2 forms when answering the FAFSA questions related to earnings and untaxed income.

You and Your Parents’ 2020 Untaxed Income Records

You may need 2020 untaxed income records for you and your parents when filing the FAFSA form for the 2022–2023 school year. Untaxed income can include workers’ compensation, disability benefits, untaxed foreign income, and untaxed portions of health savings accounts.

Your Parents’ Current Bank Statements

You may need your parents’ current bank statements to answer the FAFSA form question regarding their total current balance of cash, savings, and checking accounts. You may also need your bank statements, if applicable, to answer the FAFSA form question regarding your total current balance of cash, savings, and checking accounts.

Student Loan Options With Lantern

Students who need to borrow money to help pay for the cost of college may consider federal student loans or private student loans.The difference between federal vs. private student loans is that federal student loans are provided exclusively by the U.S. Department of Education. Banks, credit unions, online lenders, and select state-based or state-affiliated organizations may offer private student loans.You can refinance federal student loans with private loans if you meet the underwriting standards of a private lender. Private lenders can set their own standards, but some may require applicants to have steady income and good credit.By refinancing student loans, you replace your existing student loan debts with the terms and conditions of a new loan agreement. Some of the benefits of refinancing student loans include the ability to seek a lower interest rate. Refinancing federal student loans with a private lender, however, will remove your access to income-driven repayment plans offered by the federal government.The federal government in March 2020 suspended student loan payments in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.After a number of extensions, the moratorium on student loan payments is scheduled to be lifted on August 31, 2022. Borrowers at that time may consider a student loan deferment. Meanwhile, people who served in the U.S. armed forces may qualify for military student loan forgiveness.Lantern by SoFi can help you find and compare student loan refinance rates. Refinancing might be right for you if you can lock in a lower interest rate. Explore your options today and consider applying with a lender of your choice.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you need to register for the Selective Service to receive FAFSA?
Can you lose your FAFSA eligibility?
Do you have to fill out the FAFSA every year?
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About the Author

Sulaiman Abdur-Rahman

Sulaiman Abdur-Rahman

Sulaiman Abdur-Rahman writes about personal loans, auto loans, student loans, and other personal finance topics for Lantern. He’s the recipient of more than 10 journalism awards and currently serves as a New Jersey Society of Professional Journalists board member. An alumnus of the Philadelphia-based Temple University, Abdur-Rahman is a strong advocate of the First Amendment and freedom of speech.
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