Eligibility for Aid

To be considered for federal, state, or institutional aid, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Be officially admitted to a degree or premedical program
  • Be a US citizen or eligible noncitizen*
  • Have a valid Social Security number
  • Be registered with the Selective Service, if required
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress
  • Be in good academic standing with Harvard Extension School and Harvard Summer School
  • Be enrolled for the minimum number of credits specified by each applicable loan or grant program
  • Not be in default on any federal student loans
  • Not owe a repayment of any federal student grants
  • Not be receiving federal grants from another school for the same term
  • Not have an outstanding student account balance with the Extension School and Harvard Summer School

*Admitted candidates who have been granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status may apply for institutional aid only.

Citizenship status

To be eligible for federal, state, or institutional aid, you must be one of the following:

  • A US citizen or national (including natives of American Samoa or Swain’s Island)
  • A citizen of 1 of the Freely Associated States (the Federated States of Micronesia and the republics of Palau and the Marshall Islands)
  • US permanent resident who has an I-151, I-551, or I-551C Permanent Resident Card
  • A refugee
  • An individual who has been granted asylum
  • A Cuban-Haitian entrant
  • An individual who has been granted conditional entrance (valid only if issued before April 1, 1980)

You are ineligible for federal student aid if any of the following apply:

  • You have a Notice of Approval to Apply for Permanent Residence I-171 or I-464
  • You have an F-1 or F-2 visa
  • You have a J-1 or J-2 exchange visitor or type H visa

The following are acceptable types of documentation to verify your citizenship:

  • Your birth certificate showing that you were born in the United States or its territories
  • A current or expired US passport
  • A certificate of citizenship from the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (N-560 or N-561) with the certificate number and date of issue
  • A certificate of naturalization from the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (N-550 or N-570) with the certification number and date of issue
  • The following State Department documents:
    • FS-240 Report of Birth Abroad of a Citizen of the US
    • FS-545 Certificate of Birth-Foreign Service
    • DS-1350 Certificate of Birth

Required documentation to verify Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status:

  • An unexpired Form I-797C, Notice of Action from the Department of Homeland Security

Note: You must provide original documentation to a staff member in Student Financial Services in order to verify your citizenship. If you are unable to come to our office, you may submit a copy of your citizenship documentation electronically along with a notarized Citizenship Affidavit form.

Social Security number

To be eligible for federal, state, or institutional aid, you must provide a valid Social Security number.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) verifies that the Social Security number you submitted is correct and corresponds with your given name and birth date. If the Social Security number does not match (that is, if the number is not found in the Social Security Administration’s database), the FAFSA is rejected. The Student Aid Report that is generated by the FAFSA indicates the reason for rejection and the action you must take, as follows:

  • If the Social Security number has been reported incorrectly on the FAFSA, you must submit a copy of your Social Security card to Student Financial Services.
  • If your name and Social Security number match but the date of birth does not, you must make a correction on the FAFSA online.
  • If the Social Security number exists in the database but there is a discrepancy regarding your name, you must make a correction on the FAFSA online.

Default status

If you are in default on a federal student loan, you are ineligible for federal, state, and institutional funds. If you need more information about your defaulted loan, you may review your federal student loan history through the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS). NSLDS is the US Department of Education’s central database for federal student aid information. Once on the website, click on Loan Detail to access the name of the guaranty agency, lender, or servicer and their contact information to assist you in resolving your defaulted loan status.

NSLDS receives data from schools, guaranty agencies, the federal Direct Loan program, the Pell Grant program, and other Department of Education programs. NSLDS Student Access provides a centralized, integrated view of federal loans and Pell Grants so that recipients of federal aid can access and inquire about their funding.

Selective Service registration

Men ages 18 to 25 are required to register with the Selective Service System. This requirement covers men residing in the United States who are US citizens or noncitizens. Anyone who is required to register must do so to receive federal, state, or institutional aid. For information on who must register, see the Selective Service System’s guidelines.

You may be exempt from Selective Service registration if:

  • You are currently in the armed services and on active duty*
  • You are not yet 18 at the time you complete your FAFSA
  • You were born before 1960
  • You are a citizen of the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, or the Republic of Palau

*If you were required to register but did not, please contact Student Services for financial guidance. If you are a member of the Reserves or National Guard but not on active duty, you must register.

Satisfactory academic progress

For financial aid purposes, satisfactory academic progress in your degree or premedical program is based on federal guidelines. (These may differ from your academic program standards.) To maintain satisfactory academic progress, your academic history at Harvard Extension School must show that you have:

  • Successfully completed at least two-thirds of the courses you have attempted, and the courses must fulfill specific requirements toward your program.
  • Maintained grades consistent with the graduation requirements for your academic program: a minimum of 2.0 for undergraduate degree candidates, and 3.0 for graduate degree and premedical program candidates.

Satisfactory academic progress is determined by a review of your academic record at the end of each term. If you are not making satisfactory academic progress, you may become ineligible for federal, state, and institutional financial aid. Your financial aid officer and your academic advisor can help you learn how many courses you need to take and what grades you need to earn to either raise your cumulative grade-point average to the minimum standard required for your program or to raise the percentage of successfully completed courses to at least two-thirds.