Are There Any School Grants Specifically For Legal Immigrants?

Immigrants can get most grants and scholarships that are available for the US citizens. However, they should produce a proof of eligibility to apply for both federal and state grants. Federal grant program offers some additional funding who have the exceptional need to attend a university or college. Immigrants who meet the federal eligibility requirements can apply for it.

An eligible non-citizen must be a: refugee, US permanent resident, Asylum grantee, conditional permanent resident or Cuban-Haitian entrant, who has Arrival Departure Record issued by the Immigration and Naturalization Service or simply INS.

Some students may require documenting their eligibility for the immigration status before receiving their Pell grant or any other student aid. HESC asks some students to document their immigration status or citizenship.

If your immigration status is one of the following then you are eligible for Pell grants, TAP, campus-based aid, direct loans, and CD.

  • Permanent resident
  • Asylum status granted
  • Refugee status granted
  • Parolee status granted
  • Cuban/Haitian entrant

How Do Legal Immigrants Apply For Grants?

To apply for these federal grants the student must fill out a FAFSA application form. This is freely available in many of the schools and you can apply online. Before filling out the FAFSA application in online, you have to make sure of the required documents. Get everything ready and go for it. You need a supplemental application to apply at private institutions for institutional need-based aid. Many of these financial aids are awarded to students who come from the low-income group. Institutions also offer their own financial assistance for students who need it.

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If your immigration status is permanent residency pending, asylum pending, refugee pending, I-688 holders, I-688A holders, I-688B holders, I-797 Family Unity status, temporary or student visa and undocumented alien, you are not eligible for any of the grants except CD. The legal immigrants are eligible for all the federal grants. If you are a US citizen or eligible non-citizen then you can receive loans from FFEL (Federal Family Education Loan). A report says that legal immigrants be made eligible for all the state and federal financial aid programs, since some of them are limited to US citizens only. The report also says that the legal immigrants are facing so many challenges to enter into universities and to apply for financial aids than US citizens.

Citizens of the republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, and Palau are eligible for Federal Work-Study, FSEOGs (Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants) or Federal Pell Grants only. The Department of Education verifies the citizenship status of the legal immigrants before processing their federal grant application. This citizenship status of a student needs to be checked for the award year alone.

If they are eligible at that time, then the status will not change for the rest of the year. If the parent wants a PLUS loan for a dependent student in an undergraduate degree then both the student and the parent must be a US national or citizen or eligible non-citizens. If the student did not fill the citizenship question in the FAFSA application blank, the CPS will still do a citizenship match with the SSA.