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Selective Service Information

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. Not registering is a felony. Failure to register also may cause men to permanently lose eligibility for student federal financial aid, government employment, job training, and U.S. citizenship for male immigrants.

Who must register?

  • 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

What is the reason for requesting documentation?

  • We ask for documentation when there is a code 30 or 33 on the FAFSA, which indicates the student did not register for the Selective Service.
  • This is a federally required item that we must resolve before disbursing federal aid.

Exemptions to registration

  • 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 entire time student was age 18 to 26
  • Student is enrolled in any officer procurement program at certain universities (see FSA handbook Vol. 1 pg. 58)
  • 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 and 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.)

Acceptable documentation of exemption

  • Documentation that the student initially entered the country after 26th birthday
  • 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
  • Documentation of other exemption circumstance (i.e., documentation of situation listed in exemptions)

If you have NOT registered...

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  • That you were required to register, we will also need a detailed letter from you explaining the reason for failure to register.

The student letter should include the following information:

  • You should explain why registration did not occur. Were you aware of the requirement to register?
  • 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?


  • FSA Handbooks online: Selective Service information is found in the handbook under student eligibility
  • FinAid is also a great resource
  • The Selective Service website
  • Selective Service Contact: (847) 688-6888 or write to Selective Service System, PO Box 94638, Palatine, IL 60094-4638


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