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Does being unverified as a citizen affect my financial aid awards?

jades25jades25 1 replies1 threads New Member
So on my FAFSA there was a message saying my citizenship couldn't be verified by the SSA. I know that I have to update my citizenship at the SSA office in order to fully complete my FAFSA, but I was wondering if I need to also prove citizenship with my applied colleges in order to receive financial aid awards or packages? If so, is there any way for me to prove citizenship without physically going to each school's financial aid office? Most of them are out-of-state for me, and I really want to compare the packages before I fully commit to one school.

Thank you!
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Replies to: Does being unverified as a citizen affect my financial aid awards?

  • SybyllaSybylla 4143 replies53 threads Senior Member
    edited December 2019
    Just get the SSA thing sorted. It really isn't a drama. The SSA fix will fix the FAFSA status issue which will fix any FA issues at the schools. Why are you waiting? Schools may also want to see a copy your passport, but that is for admissions. If you don't have a passport, then your naturalization certificate copy should do it. Just follow the schools' directions. Will you be able to get FA awards without fixing your status? I would suspect that no, you won't have awards to compare. Contact the schools to ask.
    edited December 2019
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  • aunt beaaunt bea 10013 replies66 threads Senior Member
    You are aware that a number of OOS public universities do not offer financial aid to non-residents? Make sure you can afford them.
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 23645 replies17 threads Senior Member
    Sybylla wrote: »
    Just get the SSA thing sorted. It really isn't a drama. The SSA fix will fix the FAFSA status issue which will fix any FA issues at the schools. Why are you waiting? Schools may also want to see a copy your passport, but that is for admissions. If you don't have a passport, then your naturalization certificate copy should do it. Just follow the schools' directions. Will you be able to get FA awards without fixing your status? I would suspect that no, you won't have awards to compare. Contact the schools to ask.

    It is unlikely that 'just' fixing the problem with the SSA will fix it with the schools. I'm not sure how you got the FSA ID to work, but it sounds like you did so therefore your FAFSA processed. Now there is no method to get the FAFSA corrected from the SSA. The SSA doesn't communicate with the schools.

    Once the FA office gets an indication that there is a problem with the citizenship status, federal regulations REQUIRE the FA office to see the original document, passport or naturalization certificate. The school cannot release any federal aid without seeing the document. Some schools will accept a copy sent in to keep the process going but there must be a hold placed on the funds until that original is view at the schools FA office.

    It's really up to the schools whether they will process the FA and just put a hold on it or if they won't process the aid at all without seeing the documents. You'll have to work it out with each school.

    Whatever you do, DON'T send the originals to the schools! Talk to them and explain that you know they can't release the FA until they've seen the original docs, but could they please process the FA so you can see where you stand? Please? Please?



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  • jades25jades25 1 replies1 threads New Member
    For some clarification, I was adopted when I was a baby and I got citizenship through my parents. I don't really know how A: my FSA ID works or B: Why I couldn't be confirmed as a citizen despite being considered one for 17 years. Quite funky stuff this whole situation is...but I went to the SSA office today and got that sorted out. I'm going to call the schools tomorrow and see if I can figure anything. Thanks everyone for helping!
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 23645 replies17 threads Senior Member
    If you were adopted before 2004 (and brought into the country between 2001 and 2004) there was a period where your citizenship was automatic but that information didn't always get put into the SSA computers that way. No certificate of citizenship was issued automatically so there was nothing to show the SSA unless they got you a passport right away.

    A lot of people in your position are discovering their status is not correct with SSA. It usually comes up when you apply for a DL, college, or get a first job.
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