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Eligibility Requirements

Federal financial aid eligibility requires you to have demonstrated financial need, be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen and be enrolled in an eligible degree or certificate program. There are several other basic eligibility requirements you must meet to qualify for federal student aid.

View All Federal Requirements

Additional eligibility requirements may apply, including for non-U.S. citizens, students with criminal convictions, students who default on a loan and students with intellectual disabilities. Male students between the ages of 18 and 25 must be registered with Selective Service to be eligible for financial aid.

If you do not meet any of the FAFSA filing criteria and you are a Virginia resident, you may be eligible to file the Virginia Alternative State Aid (VASA) application.

Changes to Eligibility

Eligibility for financial aid is determined annually by the filing of the FAFSA or VASA application. First-year and transfer students should also complete the CSS Profile. Several circumstances could affect your financial aid eligibility such as verification of your application, change in your family's financial situation, failure to maintain academic progress, notification of outside (scholarship) aid after you receive your initial offer or not enrolling for the required number of credit hours to receive specified aid.

Credit Hour Requirements
Undergraduate Students

Undergraduate students must register for at least twelve credit hours each semester to receive a full financial aid package. FLEX track and undergraduates who receive prior approval from the Dean of Students Office to take a less than full-time course load (approved underload) may have their financial aid reduced as required by federal regulations and institutional policies. Note, a minimum of six hours is required to access Federal Direct Loans as an undergraduate student.

Graduate Students

Graduate students must register for at least half time (six credits) and for a minimum (four credits in fall/spring and three credits in summer) or non-topical/research/thesis hours each semester during the academic year to be eligible for federal financial aid.

Duration of Eligibility

Students must make satisfactory academic progress to stay eligible for federal aid.

Entering undergraduate students will have up to 10 semesters in which to complete their degree program and receive financial assistance. Transfer undergraduate students will also have 10 semesters of grant aid eligibility, which will be the total of the semester(s) taken at previous school(s) plus those completed at W&M.