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  • Writer's pictureBeth & Tim Manners

FAFSA & The Draft: Only if You're Over 18

USA Today: "On social media, some expressed concern that filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, which asks men whether they have registered with the Selective Service System, could prioritize them in case of a draft ... But filling out the federal aid form won’t get you drafted, experts say. For one, there’s currently no draft in place. Secondly, most men between the ages of 18 and 25 — regardless of whether they are applying for college financial aid through the FAFSA — are required to register with the Selective Service System, the government agency that registers eligible men in case of a draft."

"The confusion comes from question 22 on the FAFSA form, which states, 'Most male students must register with the Selective Service System to receive federal aid. If you are male, are age 18-25, and have not registered, fill in the circle and we will register you' ... Essentially, the FAFSA is checking whether eligible men have registered with the Selective Service System, but it won’t increase the chances of getting drafted."

"However, there’s a bigger issue for young men who need assistance to pay for college: If they don’t register for the Selective Service, they aren’t eligible to receive federal financial aid. And neglecting to register could be the start of a host of challenges, with a USA TODAY story finding that men who don’t register by their 26th birthday forever close the door on benefits like student aid, a government job or citizenship."

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