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Articles / Applying to College / Financial Aid & Admission for Green Card Holder

Nov. 3, 2012

Financial Aid & Admission for Green Card Holder

Question: Is a green card holder an international student ? I just came to US in 2012 and now I am a junior and study in a NJ high school. Can I get admission to a tech college and can I get financial aid?

Good news … a Permanent Resident (green card holder) is eligible for US Federal financial aid, just as US citizens are.


Bad news (only maybe) … I can’t predict if you will be admitted to the tech colleges on your list. This will depend on your grades, test scores, recommendations, etc.

But more good news … unlike in many countries abroad, there is such a wide range of colleges and universities in the US that all students will be admitted somewhere. So just make certain that your “stats” (mainly this means the classes you chose, the grades you earned, and your SAT or ACT scores, where required) are appropriate for the colleges on your list. If you think that these stats make your top-choice college a “Reach,” be sure that you have “Safer” options on the list as well.

Finally, because you recently came to the US, if English is not your first language most colleges will require that you take the TOEFL or another test of English proficiency. So be sure to read application instructions carefully to see if this applies to you.

(posted 11/3/2012)

Written by

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone knows the competitive and often convoluted college admission process inside out: From the first time the topic of college comes up at the dinner table until the last duffel bag is unloaded on a dorm room floor. She is the co-author of Panicked Parents' Guide to College Admissions; The Transfer Student's Guide to Changing Colleges and The International Student's Guide to Going to College in America. Sally has appeared on NBC's Today program and has been quoted in countless publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Weekend, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, People and Seventeen. Sally has viewed the admissions world from many angles: As a Smith College admission counselor for 15 years, an independent college counselor serving students from a wide range of backgrounds and the author of College Confidential's "Ask the Dean" column. She also taught language arts, social studies, study skills and test preparation in 10 schools, including American international schools in London, Paris, Geneva, Athens and Tel Aviv. As senior advisor to College Confidential since 2002, Sally has helped hundreds of students and parents navigate the college admissions maze. In 2008, she co-founded College Karma, a private college consulting firm, with her College Confidential colleague Dave Berry, and she continues to serve as a College Confidential advisor. Sally and her husband, Chris Petrides, became first-time parents in 1997 at the ripe-old age of 45. So Sally was nearly an official senior citizen when her son Jack began the college selection process, and when she was finally able to practice what she had preached for more than three decades.

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