Selective Service registration is the process by which the U.S. Government collects names and addresses of men age 18 through 25 to use in case of a national emergency. Male U.S. citizens are required to register within 30 days of their 18th birthday. Once men reach their 26th birthday, they can no longer register. Failure to register may cause men to permanently lose eligibility for student federal financial aid, government employment, job training, and U.S. citizenship for male immigrants.

Those required to register with Selective Service are:

  • Any male United States citizen who is at least 18 and has not reached his 26th birthday.
  • Male non-citizens who take up residency in the U.S. before their 26th birthday
  • Dual nationals that fall within the ages of 18 and 26

The Financial Aid Office will ask for documentation when information provided on the student’s FAFSA indicates the student did not register for the Selective Service. This is a federally required item that we must resolve before disbursing federal aid.

Those who are exempt from Selective Service registration are:

  • Males currently serving active duty in the military
  • Males who are not yet 18 at the time that they complete the FAFSA
  • Citizens of the Republic of Palau, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, or the Federated States of Micronesia
  • Males born before 1960
  • Student was unable to register due to being hospitalized, incarcerated, or institutionalized during the entire time student was age 18 to 26
  • Student is enrolled in any officer procurement program at certain universities
  • Student is a commissioned public health service officer on active duty
  • Non-immigrants visiting the U.S. on a student visit or visas and who are part of a diplomatic or trade mission with their families.
  • Non-citizens who first entered the U.S. after turning age 26.
  • Non-citizens who entered the U.S. as lawful non-immigrants on a valid visa and remained in the U.S. on the terms of that visa until after they turned 26 (the date of entry on Form 1-94 will be relevant).

You may be required to provide documentation of exemption from Selective Service registration. Documents you may be asked to provide are:

  • DD214 showing student served on active duty in the military
  • Selective Service card confirming registration
  • Online verification of registration
  • Letter from Selective Service stating that student is registered or exempt
  • I-94 or Passport showing date of entry into the country
  • Student Visa Form I-20
  • Other documents requested by the Financial Aid Office

Male students not otherwise exempt will be denied financial aid if they failed to register with the Selective Service before their 26h birthday. The Selective Service will register only males ages 18 to 25, leaving older students with no way to remedy their situation if they failed to register. However, the student may still be eligible to appeal the Financial Aid Office and receive aid if he appeals and can demonstrate that he did not knowingly and willfully fail to register.

In order to appeal, the student should obtain a status letter from Selective Service in one of these ways:

  • visit the website OR
  • call 847-688-6888 OR
  • write to:
    • Selective Service System
      PO Box 94638
      Palatine, IL 60094-4638
  • Submit status letter to the Financial Aid Office for review. Your situation will need to be reviewed to determine if additional documentation is required.

If the status letter from Selective Service states that you WERE NOT required to register, we do not need further documentation.

If the status letter from Selective Service states that you WERE required to register, the student will need to also submit a detailed letter explaining the reason for the failure to register. The student letter should include the following information in the letter:

  • You should explain why registration did not occur.
  • Were you aware of the requirement to register? If not, why?
  • Where you were living and detail what you were doing between the ages of 18 and up to your 26th birthday.
  • If you were incarcerated, institutionalized, hospitalized or confined to home, provide type of confinement, dates of confinement and supporting documentation of confinement.
  • Were you a United States citizen between the ages of 18 up to 26th birthday? If not, what was your citizenship status and/or when did it change?

If requested from the Financial Aid Office, you must be able to provide additional documentation supporting the information provided in your letter.