Posted Date: November 23, 2009

Author:  William Leith, Service Director, Program Management, Federal Student Aid

Subject: Requesting Status Information Letters from Selective Service

Selective Service is currently receiving an unusually large number of requests from schools for Status Information Letters. The Status Information Letter is used by schools to document that a federal student aid applicant is exempt from registering with Selective Service, if the student isn’t clearly exempt from the requirement to register. This increase in the number of requests has caused a significant backlog in Selective Service System processing.

Selective Service has researched the nature of these requests and has determined that the requests are primarily from schools asking for verification for specific student aid applicants who are not required to register with Selective Service. This announcement is an important reminder to the financial aid community of when Status Information Letters are not required.

As we describe in the Federal Student Aid Handbook, most men aged 18-25 are required to register with Selective Service in order to be eligible for federal student aid. This requirement includes men residing in the U. S. who are U.S. citizens or noncitizens.

However, there are several categories of men who are not required to register with Selective Service in order to receive federal student aid. To keep the workload at Selective Service manageable, we are reminding schools that Status Information Letters should not be requested for the following types of students:

  1. Males currently in the U.S. Armed Forces and on active duty (this exception does not apply to members of the Reserve and National Guard who are not on active duty);

  2. Males who are not yet 18 at the time that they complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) (an update is not required during the year, even if a student turns 18 after completing the FAFSA);

  3. Males born before 1960;

  4. Citizens of the Republic of Palau;

  5. Citizens of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, or the Federated States of Micronesia, who are students or employees of their government are not required to be registered. All other citizens of the Republic of the Marshall Islands or the Federated States of Micronesia are not required to be registered during their first year in the U.S.; however, citizens of the Republic of the Marshall Islands or the Federated States of Micronesia who live in the United States for more than one year for any reason except as a student or em­ployee of the government of his home­land must register with Selective Service.

  6. Noncitizens who first entered the U.S. after they turned 26 are not required to register. If a male immigrant can show proof that he first entered the U.S. when he was 26 or older, he is clearly not required to be registered and no Status Information Letter is needed. The student’s entry documentation is enough to show whether he was required to register.

  7. Noncitizens who entered the U.S. as lawful nonimmigrants on a valid visa and remained in the U.S. on the terms of that visa until after they turned 26.

If the student is not required to register, the school must request and keep documentation of the student’s status in his file and continue to process his federal student aid.

Following are examples of documentation that verify a student’s exempt status.

Immigrants who enter the U.S. over age 26 (as described in #6 above), with the following supporting documents, are not required to register:

  1. Documentation of birth date from a U.S. driver’s license or state ID, birth certificate, or passport, and

  2. Immigration entry date into the U.S. from a) a date stamp on their I- 94 form, b) a dated passport immigration stamp entry documenting when they immigrated into the U.S., or c) a letter from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) indicating their entry date.

Immigrants who enter the U.S. between age 18 and 26 and are on a valid visa until their 26th birthday (as described in #7 above), are not required to register if they have the following documentation:

  1. Documentation of birth date from a U.S. driver’s license or state ID, birth certificate, or passport, and

  2. Immigration entry date into the U.S. prior to age 26 from a) a date stamp on their I- 94 form, b) a dated passport immigration stamp entry documenting when they immigrated into the U.S., or c) a letter from the USCIS indicating entry into the U.S., or

    A student visa form (I-20) or other valid U.S. passport visa stamp with expiration date (dates must be from entry date until age 26).

If the student is not clearly exempt from the requirement to register, then it is appropriate to request a Status Information Letter from Selective Service.

For more information about who is required to register, please go to the Selective Service System Web site, select “registration information” in the left-hand margin, and then click on “Who Must Register?”

For additional information about federal student aid policies and procedures, please refer to the Federal Student Aid Handbook, Volume 1, Chapter 5 Selective Service, posted on the Information for Financial Aid Professionals (IFAP) Web site.

Contact Information

If you have questions, contact Federal Student Aid’s Research and Customer Care Center (RCCC) at 800/433-7327 or by fax at 202/275-5532. You can also e-mail the RCCC at fsa.customer.support@ed.gov. The hours for the RCCC are 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. (ET), Monday through Friday, excluding federal holidays.

   

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