Paying for College

Federal Aid for Green-Card Holder?

Question: My daughter is a resident alien (green card holder). Does she qualify for any federal loans?

When it comes to financial aid issues and international students, "The Dean" has to dole out a lot of bad news. So, in this case, I'm delighted to be able to give good news for a change. As a green-card holder, your daughter will qualify for U.S. federal financial aid.

If she is already in college, contact the financial aid office at the institution she attends for more information on how to apply.

If she is still in high school, make sure she clearly indicates on her college applications that she is a U.S. Permanent Resident. Not only will this affect her eligibility for federal money but also it can have a huge impact on her admission verdicts in general, if she is applying for financial aid. Many colleges have no aid available to non-citizens and will automatically reject those who need it. Other schools that do have aid for international candidates can set the bar so high that it can be nearly impossible to scale. But, luckily for you, candidates with green cards are treated no differently than U.S. citizens.

(posted 1/12/2011)