Helpful Hints for DACA Students Who Are Filling out the FAFSA Form

Most colleges require DACA recipients to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) solely for the purpose of determining private aid eligibility. Students must have a Social Security number to complete the FAFSA online, but we strongly recommend that you fill out a paper FAFSA. The FAFSA will result in a Student Aid Report bearing the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) that the school needs to determine financial need. Because undocumented students cannot receive federal or state financial aid, they cannot submit an online FAFSA form. However, we encourage you to fill out the hard copy of the FAFSA form in order to determine your estimated family contribution (EFC).

If I have been granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), can I still complete a FAFSA?

Yes, and we encourage you to do so. Although DACA students are not eligible for federal financial aid, you may still be eligible for state or college aid, and submitting a FAFSA can help you access those other types of aid. To begin your online FAFSA application, click here and on the first page, you must enter your Social Security Number. While completing the FAFSA, you must answer the "Are you a U.S. citizen?" question by selecting "No, I am not a citizen or eligible noncitizen." After submitting your FAFSA, you should check with your school's financial aid office to see what types of financial aid you may be eligible to receive.

What will I need to fill out the FAFSA form?

To complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), you will need:

  • Your Social Security Number (or your card if someone else is filling out the FAFSA for you)
  • If you worked and filed your taxes, your most recent federal income tax returns, W-2s, and other records of money earned.
  • A Federal Student Aid PIN to sign electronically. (If you do not already have one, visit to obtain one.)

  • If you are a dependent student, then you will also need all of the above information for your parent(s) or guardian(s).
  • You will also need both your parents' or guardian's birthdays.
  • If you are living with only one parent, then you will only need information about him or her.
  • If your parents are divorced or separated, you will need the month and year of their separation.
  • If your parents are married, you will need the month and year when they were married.

* IMPORTANT: None of the above information will be made public and the IRS will not use it in any way to pry into your immigration status or deport you.

What if I haven't received my DACA status?

If you do not have Social Security number, you should submit the paper FAFSA to the financial aid office at the college(s) of your choice for a manual calculation of the EFC.

Undocumented students are not eligible for federal and most state financial aid programs.However, undocumented students may qualify for Rhode Island Promise if they meet all other eligibility requirements.Rhode Island Promise applicants are all required to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).If you meet the criteria of an “Undocumented Student Living in Rhode Island”, you should download and fill out a paper FAFSA. Please do not complete the online version or mail the paper copy to the federal processor.

All information submitted on the FAFSA, must be completely accurate. Read the instructions carefully, and answer everything accurately. If you are prepared, it is not a long process, and it is well worth the effort because in Rhode Island, you may qualify for some merit-based scholarships and other financial aid.
<-- See the column on the left to download a copy of the paper FAFSA along with the instructions.

If you are applying for private aid through a college or university, the school may need to know your estimated family contribution. In this case, download a copy of the FAFSA form, fill it out, leaving your Social Security number blank and marking “c. No, I am not a citizen or eligible non-citizen” in box 14. If you are a DACA student, you may include your social security number, but make sure to also mark "c" in box 14 on the form. First make a copy of this form, and then submit it to the college or university of your choice. Colleges and university can then determine whether you have a need and/or whether you are eligible for a merit-based scholarship and will then be able to provide you with a financial aid package.

When filling out the FAFSA form, if the student is a U.S. citizen but one or both of the parents are not the student is still eligible for federal student aid. It is important for the parent(s) to submit only a valid social security number (SSN), and not one that is legal solely for employment purposes, stolen or made up. If the parent provides an inaccurate SSN, the student’s FAFSA form will be rejected by the government. The parent should use 000-00-0000 on the FAFSA form if he/she does not have a SSN.

REMEMBER! You should fill it out and mail or deliver your FAFSA form to the financial aid office where you will be attending college so they can determine whether you might be eligible for private or internal financial aid provided by that particular school. In the past, we have been told by students who did not fill out the FAFSA form that they were told if they had done so, they might have been eligible for financial aid including substantial scholarships! So DO NOT HESITATE to fill out the paper form and submit it to the school(s) of your choice.

Below are two examples of page 3 of the paper FAFSA form. The first is example shows how you should fill it out if you don't have a Social Security number. The second example shows how you should fill it out if you are a DACA recipient. If you don't have a driver's license when the FAFSA form is filled out, just leave that section blank. And if you are a resident and have your "A" number, then check the appropriate box and type your "A" number on #15.

What if I am a U.S. Citizen but my parents are NOT a U.S. Citizen?

Page 6 (Step 4) of the FAFSA form asks for your parents information. When you reach question 60 (What are the Social Security Numbers, names and dates of birth of the parents reporting information on this form?) If your parent does not have a Social Security Number, you must enter 000-00-0000. If your parents do not have an E-Mail address, you may write yours.

For Question 71 (If the answer to question 70 is “No,” give the month and year legal residency began for the parent who has lived in the state the longest) you may also type 00-0000 for Month and Year if your parents are not legal residents.

REMEMBER, all information submitted on the FAFSA, whether online or on paper, must be completely truthful and accurate.

If you want to figure out your EFC without filling out the FAFSA form you can click here, and to visit the official FAFSA website go here >
Click on each image below to enlarge ...
Stacks Image 451
Example if you have no SS#
Stacks Image 449
Example if you are a DACA recipient