To receive federal, state, or institutional funds you must:
- be enrolled in an eligible degree-seeking or certificate program at least half-time (six credit hours)
- be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen
- have a valid Social Security Number
- if male, be registered with Selective Service or be exempt
- be in good academic standing and maintain satisfactory academic progress toward completion of a degree or certificate
- not owe a refund on a Federal grant or be in Default on a Federal educational loan
- demonstrate financial need, except for some loan programs
- have a high school diploma or GED
Some students are considered independent and may file the FAFSA or Renewal FAFSA without including parental information. In order to qualify for independent status, you must be able to answer “yes” to one of the following questions and be able to provide documentation.
- Were you born before January 1, 1992?
- As of today, are you married? (Also answer "Yes" if you are separated but not divorced.)
- At the beginning of the 2015-2016 school year, will you be working on a master's or doctorate program (such as an MA, MBA, MD, JD, PhD, EdD, graduate certificate, etc.)?
- Are you currently serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces for purposes other than training?
- Are you a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces?
- Do you have children who will receive more than half of their support from you between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016?
- Do you have dependents (other than your children or spouse) who live with you and who receive more than half of their support from you, now and to June 30, 2016?
- At any time since you turned age 13, were both your parents deceased, were you in foster care or were you a dependent or ward of the court?
- As determined by a court in your state of legal residence, are you or were you an emancipated minor?
- As determined by a court in your state of legal residence, are you or were you in legal guardianship?
- At any time on or after July 1, 2014, did your high school or school district homeless liaison determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless?
- At any time on or after July 1, 2014, did the director of an emergency shelter or transitional housing program funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless?
- At any time on or after July 1, 2014, did the director of a runaway or homeless youth basic center or transitional living program determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or were self-supporting and at risk of being homeless?
Occasionally, unusual circumstances may exist that warrant a review of a student's dependency status. Please contact us via email or by phone at (936) 468-2403, for more information.
There are several categories of Non-Degree Seeking Students at Stephen F. Austin State University.
- Non-degree seeking - not admitted to a degree granting course of study (Not eligible for aid – No Appeal Process)
- Taking required pre-requisite courses as determined by the department in order to be fully admitted as a graduate student
- Post-baccalaureate teaching certification as part of a master’s program, but aren’t getting the master’s degree
Non-Degree Seeking Students that are enrolled in classes but not formally admitted to a degree granting program due to the following reasons are not eligible for financial aid:
- GRE not taken or test scores not received
- taking classes to raise their GPA
- Formal admission dependent upon a condition required by the department
Students who are not in a degree-seeking course of study must contact the Graduate Office for additional information about their graduate admission status. The Financial Aid Office will not determine aid eligibility until the Graduate Office has updated your status to an eligible program.
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