Filling Out the FAFSA: I am a U.S. Citizen, But My Parents are Undocumented Immigrants

All U.S. citizens are eligible for federal financial aid, regardless of their parents' immigration status.

Anna HelhoskiAugust 5, 2020

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

All U.S. citizens are eligible for federal financial aid, regardless of their parents' immigration status. If you are a citizen but your parents are undocumented immigrants, you should fill out the FAFSA and include their financial information.

If you fill in the parental information using a fake social security number or one that is only valid for work purposes, the application will be rejected. If your parent does not have a social security number, use 000-00-0000 as his or her social security number.

Steps for filling out the FAFSA for citizens with undocumented immigrant parents

  1. For the parental information section, include your parent's financial information.

  2. Write 000-00-0000 as your parent's social security number.

  3. Contact your university's financial aid office and explain your situation; see if they have university-specific advice or protocols.

Advice from University Financial Aid Officers

You can still submit the FAFSA if your parents are undocumented. When the application asks for your parents' social security numbers, please enter 000-00-0000.

— Marco Siliezar, Financial Aid Analyst at California State University's California Maritime Academy

Private loan options

Some private lenders may allow you to borrow a student loan with a co-signer who is a U.S. citizen.

Find ways to save with NerdWallet

Really get to know your money and find cash you can put aside and grow.