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Home > Financial Aid Process > Student Eligibility

Student Eligibility

Students must meet all eligibility criteria to be considered for financial aid awards. General requirements that apply to most federal and/or state awards are discussed below; however individual awards have additional criteria that must be met and maintained throughout your academic career.

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General Eligibility Requirements

You must meet the following basic criteria to be eligible for federal financial aid:

  • Demonstrate financial need (for most programs);
  • Be a U.S. Citizen or Eligible Non-Citizen;
  • Have a valid Social Security number unless you are from the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, or the Republic of Palau;
  • Be registered with Selective Service, if you are male (you must register between the ages of 18 and 25);
  • Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment (matriculated) as a regular student in an eligible degree or certificate program;
  • Be enrolled at least half-time (6 credit hours) to be eligible for Direct Loan program funds and at in at least 3 credit hours for Pell Grant funds (repeated coursework may not be counted in enrollment in some instances);
  • Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) as defined by the University at Buffalo;
  • Sign a certifying statement on the FAFSA stating that:
    • You are not in default on a federal student loan and do not owe a refund on a federal grant and
    • You will use federal student aid only for educational purposes;
  • Show you are qualified to obtain a college education by:
    • Having a high school diploma or a recognized equivalent such as a General Educational Development (GED) certificate;
    • Completing a high school education in a homeschool setting approved under state law; OR
    • Enrolling in an eligible career pathway program and meeting one of the “ability-to-benefit” alternatives; AND
  • Not be in default on a on a Federal Student Aid loan.

Visit our New York State TAP Grant webpage for information on eligibility requirements for New York State awards.

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Citizenship Verification

Students who indicate that they are U.S. Citizens or Eligible Non-Citizens on the FAFSA who cannot have their citizenship status confirmed through the FAFSA application process will be required to complete the UB Citizenship Verification process.

To complete the verification, you will need to complete the Citizenship Verification form and present the original documentation proving your citizenship status as listed on the form to our office.

Students completing this process should also contact the Social Security Administration to update its database to avoid this requirement in the future.

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Federal Student Financial Aid Penalties for Drug Law Violations

Federal law provides that a student who has been convicted of an offense under any federal or state law involving possession or sale of a controlled substance during a period of enrollment for which the student was receiving financial aid shall not be eligible to receive any federal or institutional grant, loan, or work assistance during the period beginning on the date of such conviction and ending after the interval specified below:

If convicted of an offense involving:

  • The possession of a controlled substance, ineligibility period is:
    • First Offense: 1 year
    • Second Offense: 2 years
    • Third Offense: Indefinite
  • The sale of a controlled substance, ineligibility period is:
    • First Offense: 2 years
    • Second Offense: Indefinite

A student whose eligibility has been suspended based on a conviction for possession or sale of a controlled substance may resume eligibility before the end of the ineligibility period if:

  1. The student satisfactorily completes a drug rehabilitation program that complies with the criteria prescribed in the federal regulations and includes two unannounced drug tests.
  2. The student successfully passes two unannounced drug tests conducted by a drug rehabilitation program that complies with the criteria prescribed in the federal regulations; or
  3. The conviction is reversed, set aside, or otherwise rendered nugatory.

Complete the 2016-2017 Student Aid Eligibility Worksheet (PDF) to determine how you should answer question 23 on the FAFSA.

 

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High School Transcript or Equivalent Verification

For federal financial aid, you must provide one of the following if you are a first-time student or a transfer student with less than 24 earned credit hours:

  • Having a high school diploma or a recognized equivalent such as a General Educational Development (GED) certificate;
  • Completing a high school education in a home school setting approved under state law; OR
  • Enrolling in an eligible career pathway program and meeting one of the ability-to-benefit alternatives.

If your final high school transcript is not on file with the Office of Admissions on the first day of classes of your first term, the processing of your awards may be delayed.

For all New York State financial aid awards, a final official high school transcript from a U.S. high school, or an equivalent recognized by New York State, must be on file at UB by the first day of classes of the term to which the award is to be applied. Failure to meet this deadline will result in an ineligible status for that term. Eligibility may be regained in subsequent terms once the transcript is received.

Transcripts can be sent to:

University at Buffalo
Office of Financial Aid
232 Capen Hall
Buffalo, NY 14260

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Unusual Enrollment History

If you have enrolled in and received federal financial aid at multiple institutions over the last 4 years, UB may request official transcripts from those institutions.

An unusual enrollment history item will be added to your To Do List in HUB Student Center if this is required. Contact a financial aid advisor by calling 716-645-8232 to make an appointment to discuss the steps required to resolve this requirement.

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Renewed Eligibility After a Total and Permanent Disability Discharge

If you have applied for or have received a Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) discharge of your federal student loans or TEACH Grant service obligation, you will not be eligible to receive a new Direct Loan, Perkins Loan, or TEACH Grant in the future unless:

  • You obtain a certification from a physician that you are able to engage in substantial gainful activity; and
  • You sign a statement acknowledging that the new loan or TEACH Grant service obligation cannot be discharged in the future on the basis of any injury or illness present at the time the new loan or TEACH Grant is made, unless your condition substantially deteriorates so that you are again totally and permanently disabled.

In addition, if you are approved for TPD discharge based on SSA documentation or a physician’s certification, and you request a new Direct Loan, Perkins Loan, or TEACH Grant during your 3-year post discharge monitoring period, you must resume repayment on the previously discharged loans or acknowledge that you are once again subject to the terms of your TEACH Grant service obligation before you can receive the new loan or TEACH Grant.

To begin the process of reestablishing your eligibility for Title IV loans and TEACH Grant funds, submit the Certification of Renewed Title IV Eligibility form complete with physician’s certification to the Office of Financial Aid.

You must complete this form each year you are seeking to borrow new financial aid funds, however the physician’s certification is only required the first year.

Information is subject to change without notice due to changes in federal, state and/or institutional rules and regulations. Students must complete a FAFSA every year. Students must be making satisfactory academic progress to continue to receive financial aid.