If you want to access federal financial aid for college, you no longer need to register for the Selective Service, which registers men and is responsible for running a military draft.
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, used to require Selective Service registration to be eligible for aid, but this changed for the 2021-22 award year. The rule was eliminated as a part of the FAFSA Simplification Act of 2020.
The question on the FAFSA that asks if you want to register with the Selective Service will remain for the 2021-22 and 2022-23 award years, but opting out of registering won’t affect your aid eligibility.
Do you still have to register for the Selective Service?
Although Selective Service registration is no longer required to receive federal financial aid, it is still required for almost all males (according to their sex assigned at birth) ages 18-25. You must register within 30 days of turning 18 if you’re a U.S. citizen or within 30 days of entering the country as an immigrant.
If you don’t register with the Selective Service, you won’t be eligible for federal job training or a federal job. You can also face a felony charge, a fine of up to $250,000 and jail time of up to five years.
Changes coming to the FAFSA
The question on the FAFSA asking if you want to register with the Selective Service will be removed once the 2023-24 award year begins.
Similar to Selective Service registration, beginning in the 2021-22 award year, having a drug conviction while receiving federal financial aid will no longer bar you from receiving aid for college. The question asking about drug convictions will also be removed by the 2023-24 award year.