Fall 2021: Changes in the FAFSA Process and Eligibility for Financial Aid

Posted in Student Communications

Dear Student, 

    The Department of Education announced that as of June 17, 2021, neither drug-related convictions nor failure to register for the Selective Service will be considered as disqualifying a student for federal financial aid. As a result, responses to the questions about these topics on the 2021-22 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will no longer impact a student’s aid eligibility. Previously, students who were convicted for a drug-related offense while receiving federal financial aid and students who had not completed a Selective Service registration but were required to in accordance with federal law may have become ineligible for Title IV financial aid.

    These changes took effect after the 2021-22 version of the FAFSA was already available, so the questions about drug convictions and Selective Service registration remain on the form despite the change. As a result, applicants will still need to respond to these questions and those who have drug convictions or have not completed their Selective Service registration may see comments on the Student Aid Report that is generated after they complete the FAFSA suggesting that they may be ineligible. With the new guidance, however, schools, including Georgetown, will continue to process the application and students will not be deemed ineligible because of their responses to the drug conviction or Selective Service questions. Students who received comments relating to drug conviction or Selective Service registration ineligibility after completing the 2021-22 FAFSA will receive emails from the Department of Education (Federal Student Aid) informing them that those comments are no longer applicable. The drug convictions and Selective Service registration questions will be removed from the FAFSA in the future but will remain on the 2022-23 FAFSA application (next year’s application). As described above, these questions will not have an impact on federal student aid eligibility.

Annamarie Bianco
Associate Vice President and University Registrar