FAFSA Guide

FAFSA Guide

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

Loans, Student Loans

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

Loans, Student Loans

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

>>MORE: A financial guide for immigrants in the U.S.

FAFSA Guide

Filling Out the FAFSA: I am an Undocumented Immigrant

Loans, Student Loans

Filling Out the FAFSA: I am an Undocumented Immigrant

Loans, Student Loans

Undocumented immigrants are ineligible for federal funds, but you can still get aid from your university. Some states allow undocumented immigrants to obtain in-state tuition, and undocumented students are eligible for some private scholarships as well. Some schools even offer aid specifically for undocumented immigrants. Berkeley offers $1 million in a scholarship fund earmarked for undocumented immigrants.

Texas, California, New York, Illinois, Utah, Nebraska, Washington, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Kansas and Maryland (only for community colleges) have state laws allowing undocumented immigrants who have attended 3+ years of high school in the state to qualify for in-state tuition. Many more states are considering legislation on the issue, so ask your university if you are eligible for in-state tuition.

Steps for filling out the FAFSA for undocumented immigrants

  1. Do not complete the FAFSA before talking to your school’s financial aid office.
  2. Contact your university’s financial aid office and explain your situation; see if they have university-specific advice or protocols. They may ask you to fill out the FAFSA with a Social Security number of 000-00-0000 to obtain an Expected Family Contribution (EFC), which they may use to determine your aid award. Some states have passed their own version of the Dream Act, so they may ask you to fill out their state Dream Act paperwork instead of a FAFSA.
  3. If you are applying to a school that offers in-state tuition, ask the financial aid office if you can qualify for the reduced in-state tuition rate.
  4. Apply for private scholarships and grants.

Advice from University Financial Aid Officers

Unfortunately, federal financial aid is unavailable for undocumented students. There are some states that offer in-state tuition and some grants even for undocumented immigrants. Please contact the financial aid office at the school you plan to attend for more information. There are also some scholarships that do not require legal residency status.

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

>>MORE: A financial guide for immigrants in the U.S.