Hi Terry,
My daughter is a Senior in high school in New Jersey on H4 visa. My husband, her father holds the H1 B visa and he has a valid SSN. We have been in NJ for the past 10 yrs and taxed have been filed on time. We just got to know that she cannot apply for FAFSA to get financial aide as she is neither citizen nor Green card holder. Our GC is under processing and will take couple of yrs. In this scenario, is there any way where she can her any type of financial aide? She I has all AP Classes. Can you suggest a way to solve this problem as we are not able to provide tuition fees from our pocket.

Terry Says:

Oh, this is a very tough situation.  You can’t get financial aid without your daughter being a U.S. Citizen.  But there may be a workaround.  Check out this article at Finaid.org.  It’s quirky, but if she has a SS number, she can fill out the form — still checking the box that says she is not a U.S. Citizen.  The FAFSA will be rejected — but the info in it will still be on file (and accessible to schools) — according to this article from a very respected source.

Be sure to  contact the financial aid offices of the schools to which she plans to apply.  Let them know the info is lurking in the FAFSA system.  Also, they may have some special program to aid “foreign students.”

And tell your high school guidance officer about the problem.  There may be some scholarship money that does not require a financial aid disclosure.  They can also contact the prospective colleges, to help explain the situation and give a great reference for your daughter.  It’s amazing what this network of guidance counselors and college financial aid officers can come up with in a tough situation!

Finally, you will still qualify for private student loans.  They are expensive and require your good credit, but they can certainly be a help.  Check at www.SallieMae.com.

A less expensive education at a local, community college will cost less — yet still give her a degree, or perhaps access to a more expensive university on scholarship after two years of good grades.

Have a Question?

Ask yours!

Recent College Savings / Student Loans Questions