Anyone qualifies for a federal student loan as long as he submits an application and is involved in an eligible program, according to the U.S. Department of Education. The student must also have a high school diploma or its equivalent and not be in default on a student loan.
Male students must also be registered with Selective Service, and registration should happen between ages 18 and 25, explains the U.S. Department of Education. Loan applicants must also have Social Security numbers unless they are from the Marshall Islands, Palau or Micronesia. Students must agree to use the loan proceeds solely for educational purposes, and they must maintain minimal academic standing. U.S. citizens, green card holders and certain types of immigrants qualify. Students who are in jail or prison or have drug convictions or certain other types of convictions may not always be eligible for the full range of aid.
Students in financial need typically qualify for better loan terms, explains HowStuffWorks. A student who is unsure if his degree program or some classes meet eligibility criteria for financial aid should check with a counselor at the college. Before students file, they must determine if they are dependent or independent. In general, an independent student is older than 24, married, on active duty or a veteran, or has a child who gets at least 50 percent of her support from the applicant.