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Are the penalties of not signing up for selective service at age 18 that strict?

davezhandavezhan Registered User Posts: 385 Member
edited January 2010 in Financial Aid & Scholarships
So definitely no FASFA or government financial aid for not registering, right?
And you really lose your citizenship too?
Even if you eventually register before age 26?

The maximum penalty for failing to register with Selective Service is a $250,000 fine and up to five years in prison. Failure to register will cause ineligibility for a number of federal and state benefits including:

A man must be registered to be eligible for jobs in the Executive Branch of the Federal government and the U.S. Postal Service. This applies only to men born after December 31, 1959.

Men who are not registered with Selective Service cannot obtain Federal student loans or grants. This includes Pell Grants, College Work Study, Guaranteed Student/Plus Loans, and National Direct Student Loans.

The U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) makes registration with Selective Service a condition for U.S. citizenship, if the man first arrived in the U.S. before his 26th birthday and was required to register.

The Workforce Investment Act (formerly JTPA) offers important job-training opportunities. This program is only open to those men who register with Selective Service.

Most states have added additional penalties for those who fail to register with Selective Service.
Post edited by davezhan on

Replies to: Are the penalties of not signing up for selective service at age 18 that strict?

  • CervantesCervantes - Posts: 758 Member
    Well you're not going to get thrown in the slammer or pay a fine, but yes, you won't be able to file the FAFSA or work for the federal government and all that jazz. But frankly, regardless of if you plan on applying for Financial Aid I *would* register. Even though they haven't thrown anyone in jail or fined them for decades for refusing to do so you may want to one day work in the government or something like that and you won't be able to get a job. But, it's your choice.
  • ReecyReecy Registered User Posts: 121 Junior Member
    You can certainly file a FAFSA, but you won't be entitled to federal grants, loans or work-study.
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 65,042 Senior Member
    Reecy...please clarify post #3. My understanding is that IF the male student is old enough to register for the selective service and checks NO on the FAFSA, the document will not submit properly...it will get coded and flagged.
  • sybbie719sybbie719 Super Moderator Posts: 21,090 Super Moderator
    Nikki, wrote on a separate thread regarding registering SS
    If a student submits their FAFSA answer the "are you male" question on the FAFSA as "yes" and then the SS registration as "no", the DOE will issue a "C-Code" on the FAFSA and alert the school that the student has not registered for Selective Service. If the student is already past the registration age, it will still red-flag and the school will require said student (either situation) to submit documentation to the FA Office showing registration has occurred or the student was exempt from registering. I have denied MANY adults who neglected to register for Selective Service federal aid.

    Also, the DOE does cross check with Selective Service and Veteran Affairs to make sure the applicant has registered or is a Veteran.

  • franglishfranglish Registered User Posts: 2,308 Senior Member
    The Selective Service System wants you to know that the requirement to register for the military draft did not go away with the end of the Vietnam War. Under the law, virtually all male U.S. citizens, and male aliens living in the U.S., who are ages 18 through 25, are required to register with Selective Service.

    Since there is no draft currently in effect, and men are not being classified for service, disabled men, clergymen, and men who believe themselves to be conscientiously opposed to war must also register.

    Penalties for Failure to Register for the Draft

    Men who do not register could be prosecuted and, if convicted, fined up to $250,000 and/or serve up to five years in prison. In addition, men who fail to register with Selective Service before turning age 26, even if not prosecuted, will become ineligible for:

    * Student Financial Aid - including Pell Grants, College Work Study, Guaranteed Student/Plus Loans, and National Direct Student Loans.

    * U.S. Citizenship - if the man first arrived in the U.S. before his 26th birthday.

    * Federal Job Training - The Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) offers programs that can train young men for jobs in auto mechanics and other skills. This program is only open to those men who register with Selective Service.

    * Federal Jobs - men born after December 31, 1959 must be registered to be eligible for jobs in the Executive Branch of the Federal government and the U.S. Postal Service.

    It's the law. (The above is from Register for the Draft: It's Still the Law)
  • standrewsstandrews Registered User Posts: 1,365 Senior Member
    If a draft is instituted, I imagine the penalties would be quite severe for those not registering. But since there is not currently a draft, the govt isn't going to spend a lot of time and money rounding up non-compliant young men. Neither do they spend money determining whether someone is a conscientious objector. The question of CO status is moot until a draft is started and the person is called to report.

    Knowing that it is the law, why wouldn't you want to register with SSS?
  • CervantesCervantes - Posts: 758 Member
    Knowing that it is the law, why wouldn't you want to register with SSS?

    Probably because even though "it's the law" in theory,practically it is not since its not enforced.
  • Colbert NationColbert Nation Registered User Posts: 97 Junior Member
    Really, why wouldn't you?

    It takes 30 seconds to do.
  • ChedvaChedva Super Moderator Posts: 28,782 Super Moderator
    it is not since its not enforced.
    It is enforced, just not by jail time. You cannot get any federal funds - that includes the unsubsidized Stafford loans that all students are eligible for otherwise. You cannot gain employment with the federal government. You cannot receive any federal benefits to which you otherwise may be entitled.

    Those penalties are enforced, and quite strongly.
  • NikkiiLNikkiiL Registered User Posts: 1,048 Senior Member
    And it can haunt you your ENTIRE life.
  • davezhandavezhan Registered User Posts: 385 Member
    What if you are an avowed pacifist and will not fight in any war unless it is directed at the US? If a draft were enforced for, let's say, a foreign war, wouldn't this put you in direct contradiction with your beliefs since you've registered and pledged to fight, in essence, that foreign war?
  • CervantesCervantes - Posts: 758 Member
    Then you could dodge it. Many people have done it before. And you probably won't be picked, and if you are they'll relegate you to a non-combat role assuming you have the right proof. I.e. you'll be doing menial labor, nursing, whatever the army needs just not combat . Great deal I suppose. That being said, the people who ought to be scared of being drafted aren't kids, its doctors believe it or not.
  • hsmomstefhsmomstef Registered User Posts: 3,579 Senior Member
    davezhan -- when you register you do not "pledge to fight" in any way. Registration is meant as a means for the government to know how many able-bodied males are available in the case of a draft. If a draft were ever to be instituted (and it takes more than just some guy in the Army saying "hey, let's start a draft") then you would have the opportunity to register as a conscientious objector.

    Think of registering for the selective service along the lines of getting a driver's license and paying income tax. You might not like it -- but it is the law and the consequences for no complying can really cause you some problems.
  • ExplorerCYExplorerCY Registered User Posts: 757 Member
    just sign up. why would you not? do you think that, in the .00000000001% chance that there will be a draft again, your life is more important than someone elses? i dont care if you dont believe in the war. that is the price that you pay for freedom. suck it up.

    Why would you not sign up?!

    i can't even fathom this thread....

    ...way to think that you are better than other people...
  • paying3tuitionspaying3tuitions Registered User Posts: 13,330 Senior Member
    Posts #10 and #14 contain responsible counsel for a serious question.

    During the Vietnam War, when there was a draft, Selective Service had a formal review process for expressing yourself as a conscientious objector to war, in the event of a draft. That is not "dodging." Dodging was moving to Canada or hiding under a different identity, which some did to protest or dodge THAT particular war. Dodging breaks the law and requires you to live underground or in a country without chance to return, so don't easily tell another to "dodge" a draft.

    People whose prior pacifist activities and religious beliefs made a real case for objecting to ALL wars (not just a particular war) appeared before the draft board and made that case to a tribunal. They were awarded that status, or not. It is a recognized part of the military that there could be some American citizens whose conscience will not allow them to fight in any war. It can't be about the politics of a particular war; it has to concern all warfare.

    The army doesn't want those people serving in battle, so it behooves nobody to force them to enlist. Some were assigned by their draft boards to "Alternative Service" for example work in hospitals for 2 years in their home communities, rather than be in the army in Vietnam. Others performed non-combatant duties overseas on army bases, depending on the maximum that their conscience would allow, and following the direction of the military. They didn't make up their assignments.

    Today, the U.S. has a volunteer army only. As I read about it, the military leaders prefer a lean, well-managed, motivated group of volunteers. There is technology and computer-smarts that replace the need for the huge numbers of people that were the Vietnam-era troops. That's what I read; I don't know first-hand.

    I think you should update my information here and find out what is the process, if any, for Conscientious Objectors under today's new military with the volunteer army.
    Also, are they saying anything about what would happen to the old C.O. process if a draft were to be reinstated sometime in the future.

    As for registering now, I'd urge you to reread posts 10 and 14. Don't object now by not registering; the consequences are severe. Instead, the place to object--if ever necessary--is in dialogue with your draft board in the event a draft is reinstated, and at that time you would make a case that you are a conscientious objector.

    I recall young men in every circumstance during the '60's, from soldiers to ex-pats in Canada to C.O.'s, and nobody had an easy path.
This discussion has been closed.