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To receive aid from most federal and state student aid programs, you must be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen.

According to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), you are an eligible noncitizen if you are:

  1. A permanent U.S. resident with a Permanent Resident Card (I-551);
  2. A conditional permanent resident (I-551C);
  3. The holder of an Arrival-Departure Record (I-94) from the Department of Homeland Security showing any one of the following designations: "Refugee," "Asylum Granted," "Parolee" (I-94 confirms that you were paroled for a minimum of one year and status has not expired), "Victim of human trafficking," T-Visa holder (T-1, T-2, T3, etc.) or "Cuban Haitian Entrant."

If you are in the U.S. on an F1 or F2 student visa, a J1 or J2 exchange visitor visa or a G series visa (pertaining to international organizations), you are not considered an eligible noncitizen.

Even if you are not a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen and are not eligible for most federal and state student aid programs, you may be eligible for scholarships. There is even a scholarship search site specifically intended for U.S. and international students wishing to study abroad at