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Who Qualifies for Financial Aid?

In general, to qualify for Financial Aid you must meet the following minimum eligibility requirements:
  1. demonstrate financial need (for most programs);
  2. be a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen;
  3. have a valid Social Security number (with the exception of students from the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, or the Republic of Palau);
  4. be registered with Selective Service, if you’re a male (you must register between the ages of 18 and 25);
  5. be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a regular student in an eligible degree or certificate program;
  6. be enrolled at least half-time to be eligible for Direct Loan Program funds;
  7. maintain satisfactory academic progress in college or career school;
  8. sign the certification statement on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) stating that
    • you are not in default on a federal student loan and do not owe money on a federal student grant and
    • you will use federal student aid only for educational purposes
  9. show you’re qualified to obtain a college or career school education by
    • having a high school diploma or a recognized equivalent such as a General Educational Development (GED) certificate;
    • completing a high school education in a homeschool setting approved under state law (or—if state law does not require a homeschooled student to obtain a completion credential—completing a high school education in a homeschool setting that qualifies as an exemption from compulsory attendance requirements under state law); or
    • enrolling in an eligible career pathway program and meeting one of the "ability-to-benefit" alternatives.

There is no age limit for receiving federal student aid. The list of eligibility requirements above is not exhaustive and is meant as a starting point. Other eligibility factors and requirements may apply.

Contact the ISU Financial Aid Office at (208) 282-2756 if you have questions about whether or not you qualify.

Non-U.S. Citizens

Generally, if you have a “green card” (in other words, if you are a permanent resident alien), you will be considered an “eligible noncitizen” and will be able to get federal student aid if you meet the other basic eligibility criteria.

Full details of which immigration statuses make you an eligible noncitizen can be found on the Federal Student Aid Non-U.S. Citizen webpage.

Students With Criminal Convictions

If you are incarcerated, have a conviction for a drug offense, or are subject to an involuntary civil commitment after completing a period of incarceration for a sexual offense, your eligibility for federal student aid may be limited.

Regaining Eligibility

You might lose federal student aid eligibility in a number of ways. Some of the most common are that you:

  • are in default on a federal student loan,
  • don’t maintain satisfactory academic progress in college or career school
  • are convicted of a drug offense.


Learn about other ways you might lose eligibility, and how to get your eligibility back.

Information on this page is from the Federal Student Aid website.