Everything You Need to Know About the Selective Service System on the FAFSA

Are you going to apply for the FAFSA and see a mention of the Selective Service System? Continue reading to learn what this is!

Main image courtesy of FAFSA Application.

Doing everything that you need to do to get into college is stressful. From applying to different schools, dreading, yet anticipating acceptance letters, choosing the school, and of course applying for the FAFSA. 

The FAFSA is one of the most useful applications you will ever fill out if you decide to go to college. Not only does the FAFSA help you to pay your college tuition, but it will allow  you to have the money now so you can focus on school, and not worry about where the money is coming from.

You may have noticed that if you are a male applying for the FAFSA that the U.S. Department requires all men to be registered for the Selective Service System, or the military draft. Why is this? Why does any male student have to be registered before they can continue their education? There are a lot of questions to think about, but if you continue reading, we can surely help answer your questions and steer you down the right path of expectations.

Continue reading to learn:

  • What is the Selective Service System?
  • How Does the Selective Service System Work?
  • Why Do I Have to Register for the Selective Service System on the FAFSA?
  • How Does This Impact Me?

What is the Selective Service System?

Understand what it is and why it is necessary to have for our country!

Selective Service System
Before you apply for the FAFSA, make sure that you understand what the Selective Service System is and why you need to be registered for it. Image courtesy of SSS.

We’re sure at this point you have heard throughout history of the mass amount of men that were drafted in wars such as the Revolutionary War, World War I, World War II, the Vietnam War, and  many other ones. Whether willingly or unwillingly, men ranging from 18 to 25 were given a letter stating that they would soon have to go to war and fight for the United States of America.

What is the official name of the draft, as everyone seems to know it by? It is technically called the Selective Service System, where at the age of eighteen, every male born in the United States is supposed to register and is required by law to. This creates a fair system that makes all men eligible to help the Department of Defense if needed.

By registering for the Selective Service System, every man will continue to remain eligible for jobs, U.S. citizenship for immigrant men, state-based student aid, and of course federal student aid. 

How Does the Selective Service System Work?

Learn how this governmental system works to get an idea of what to expect if you were to get drafted.

Army Man
Make sure to learn and understand how the Selective Service System works in the United States to prepare yourself if you were to get drafted. Image courtesy of AskMen. 

At this point you have a general idea about the Selective Service System, but sometimes it’s necessary to get down in the nitty gritty to fully understand how it works. Men ages 18 to 25 will be called for duty if the Congress and the President of the United States authorize a draft. 

How do you know when you’ll be called? It’s kind of difficult to answer. If a draft were to be issued and you want to be as prepared as possible, it can be tough to do that. Men will be called in for duty by a random lottery number and their year of birth and this will determine when you will be drafted. This usually comes as a surprise for many and you may not know when to expect a letter saying that you have been officially drafted.

Once a male has been officially drafted, they will undergo mental, physical, and moral fitness exams for military service, although there are some exceptions to this rule. Some of these exceptions include:

  • Ministers
  • Elected officials in office
  • Veterans
  • Individuals who are immigrants or dual nationals may be exempted
  • Hospitalization
  • Institutionalism
  • Incarceration

College males may be wondering what this means for their education if they’re in school when or if they get drafted. If this is the case, you will finish the semester, or if you’re a senior, you will continue out and finish your academic year before you are drafted.

Why Do I Have to Register for the Selective Service System on the FAFSA?

You may be wondering why you have to do it, but it is required by law and necessary to qualify for federal student aid!

Understand why it is necessary to register for the Selective Service System and why it is on the FAFSA! Image courtesy of US News.

You may be wondering why the Selective Service System has any correspondence with your own federal student aid. Since the military is linked with the government, they can be in charge of if you receive money or not for your college education. It is crucial to register because if you don’t, you will not be able to submit the FAFSA, or receive any financial aid through the U.S. government.

What happens if you don’t register for the Selective Service System? If this is a question on your mind, here are a couple things to consider:

  • You will not be eligible for student financial aid
  • You will not receive federal job training
  • You cannot get a federal job

While these may be the minor (yet still major!) things to happen if you don’t register for the Selective Service System, just know that it could be worse. If you are a male over eighteen-years-old that does not register for the Selective Service System, you may have to pay a fine of over $250,000 and/or face jail time for up to five years. 

There may be an instance where maybe you thought you registered, but turns out that you didn’t. You will automatically be denied any federal student aid, job training, citizenship, and more, but don’t worry. As stressful as it can be, you may still be able to get it. All you have to do is provide evidence stating that you didn’t intentionally avoid registering for the Selective Service System, and you will be good to go!

How Does This Impact Me?

The Selective Service System can be a big influence in your future, especially if you’re a male applying to college!

College Student Sitting
There are a lot of ways that the Selective Service System can impact you as a male, and especially if you’re going to apply for the FAFSA. Image courtesy of Grown and Flown. 

Applying for the Selective Service System is something that all men have to do in the United States. While women can join the military on their own free will, they do not have to register at all. It can be frustrating, but it is a federal law that all men have to follow. 

When it comes down to it, there is really no impact on you unless the country would go to war. By registering all young men in the country, the Selective Service is assured that a future draft is completely fair. Since everyone has to register, it reassures you as well that you’re not alone. 

Remember to keep in mind that there may be many repercussions if you don’t sign up for the Selective Service System. From not being able to get federal jobs, federal student financial aid, or you may be fined or have to serve jail time. These are all consequences that could have damaging effects on you in the long run, so it’s important to register as soon as you can.

We understand the stress that comes from applying to college and the progress of applying for federal financial student aid, and so much more. Although as a male there are some extra steps that you need to make in the process to secure that federal student funding.

Registering for the Selective Service System is simple and it’s something that is essential to do as an American. To be able to participate in many aspects of what our country offers, it is important to make sure that you are registered. 

If you’re not sure if you are registered or not, there is a government website to be able to check if you are! This way if you are turning eighteen soon, or you just want to make sure that you are registered, there is a simple way to do so. 

The FAFSA is a crucial tool to use to be able to qualify for a sum of money for your college education. Don’t be worried about registering for the Selective Service System at all, but to qualify for money through FAFSA, make sure that you are registered!

Sara Nuss
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