FAFSA and Selective Service Registration

You may be wondering about the Selective System FAFSA requirements if you are planning to fill out an application form.

According to the Selective Service System, almost all male U.S. Citizens and male immigrants, who are between the ages of 18 and 25 years of age, are required to register with Selective Service. U.S. Citizens must do so within 30 days of turning 18 years of age, while immigrants must register within 30 days of arriving in the country. Failing to do so can result in fines and imprisonment.

You may be wondering what are the FAFSA Selective Service requirements if you plan to apply. If you are already registered with the Selective Service System, then you will need to check the appropriate box when completing the FAFSA form. However, if you have not yet registered, you may select the option on the form for the U.S. Department of Education to register you, which is convenient for you.

What is the Selective Service System for FAFSA?

According to the Selective System FAFSA requirements, the U.S. Department of Education requires all male students who seek federal student aid to be registered for Selective Service, which is a military draft. While there is currently no military draft, the federal government can reinstate the draft in case of a national emergency. Therefore, the Selective Service System is the agency that is responsible for registering men and running a draft.

While men older than 25 years of age are not required to register with Selective Service, they must submit documents explaining why they did not register if they are a citizen during that age. Students who are 26 years of age or older cannot register with the agency.

Note: It is worth noting that female students who seek federal student aid are not required to register with Selective Service.

When can male students register with Selective Service?

FAFSA Selective Service guidelines state that a male student can register with Selective Service as early as a month before his 18th birthday. If a student is a minor dependent child and is considered too young, then the agency will hold his registration until he is within 30 days of his 18th birthday.

Do transgender students need to register with Selective Service?

First, you need to know that only people assigned male at birth are required to register with Selective Service. If your gender identity is female, but you were assigned male at birth, you will need to register.

However, if you were assigned male at birth and identify as female, you must register with Selective Service unless you meet an exemption described in the Student Financial Aid Handbook, Volume 1, Chapter 5, regardless of having reassignment surgery or other gender transition procedures.

Furthermore, if your sex is now male, but you were assigned female at birth, then you are not required to register, regardless of having reassignment surgery or other gender transition procedures.

How to Register for Selective Service Through FAFSA

You may be wondering how to register for selective service through FAFSA now that you know the requirements. According to FAFSA, male students who are filling out a FAFSA form can ask the U.S. Department of Education to register them with Selective Service. To do so, the student will need to check the “Register Me” box on the FAFSA form.

Related Article: How much federal student aid can you receive?

However, to register with Selective Service through FAFSA, male students must be at least 18 years of age and have not yet turned 26 years of age as of the date the FAFSA form is filed. Therefore, if a student is younger than 18 years old as of the date of the FAFSA filing, then he will need to leave the question blank.

Who is exempt from FAFSA Selective Service?

Now that you know the Selective System FAFSA requirements, you may be wondering if there are any exemptions.

According to FAFSA guidelines, male students are exempt from the requirements of registering with Selective Service if they fall into at least one of the following categories:

  • Currently a member of the armed service and on active duty
    • However, members of the Reserve and National Guard who are not on active duty are not exempt.
  • Not yet 18 years of age at the time they complete their FAFSA application
    • An update is not necessary during the year, even if the student does turn 18 after filing the application.
  • Born before 1960
  • Citizens of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Republic of Palau, or the Federated States of Micronesia
  • Non-citizens who entered the U.S. for the first time after they turned 26 years of age
  • Non-citizens on a valid visa who entered the U.S. as lawful immigrants and remained in the U.S. on the terms of the visa until after their 26th birthday
  • Transgender males who were assigned female at birth

Note: If you are a national or citizen of the Republic of the Marshall Islands or the Federated States of Micronesia and you live in the U.S. for more than one year for a reason besides being a student or employee of the government of your homeland, then you will need to register with Selective Service.

Are there additional FAFSA Selective Service exemptions?

The Selective Service System FAFSA requirements also state that there are specific and less common circumstances in which registration is not necessary. Meaning, that a male student who was not required to register before meeting one of the following criteria and who now meets a criterion for the entire time through the age of 25 qualifies for a waiver if he is:

  • Unable to register because of hospitalization, institutionalization, or incarceration.
  • Enrolled in an officer procurement program at one of following colleges and universities: North Georgia College and State University, Virginia Polytechnic and State University, The Citadel, Texas A&M University, Norwich University, Virginia Polytechnic and State University or Virginia Military Institute.
  • A commissioned Public Health Service officer on active duty or a member of the Reserve of the Public Health Service on specified active duty.

Is there a penalty for not registering with Selective Service?

Now that you know the requirements and exemptions for FAFSA Selective Service, you may want to know the penalties for not registering. If you fail to register with Selective Service, you violate the Military Selective Service Act. If you are convicted, you may face imprisonment for up to five years, a fine of no more than $250,000, or both.

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