Verifying Citizenship and Eligibility

Citizenship

If you are interested in enrolling at a Tennessee college or university and wish to receive any form of state or federal benefits, you must provide documentation that proves you are eligible to receive benefits, according to the Tennessee Eligibility Verification for Entitlements Act (EVEA). This law applies to all levels of collegiate study (undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools) and applies to both Tennessee residents and non-residents.

Possible benefits for eligible Tennessee residents include, but are not limited to:

  • In-state tuition,
  • Tennessee Hope Lottery Scholarships,
  • State-funded waivers and scholarships,
  • Academic Common Market tuition benefits, and
  • Financial aid packages that make Southwest more affordable.

State benefits do not include privately-funded tuition assistance, such as those supported through Southwest's Foundation or other private endowed scholarships.

A list of acceptable documentation is below. Please check the list to make sure you satisfy the Eligibility Verification for Entitlements Act (EVEA). Verifying your eligibility does not affect whether you can be admitted to Southwest or not. However, it can play a large role in determining your tuition.

The following documents satisfy this requirement:

  • The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) – preferred
  • Valid regular Tennessee (TN) driver license or Identification (ID Only License). The following are not acceptable: A Temporary Drivers TN License, Temporary Identification License, or Out of State License.
  • A valid, unexpired, Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551) with ID Picture
  • A valid, unexpired U.S. passport
  • A certificate of citizenship (N560 or N561)
  • A certificate of naturalization (N550, N570, or N578)
  • U.S. citizen identification card (I-197, I-179)
  • Valid, unexpired Foreign Passport with visa stamped "Processed for I-551"
  • Non-Resident Alien Canadian Border Crossing Card
  • Permanent Resident Re-entry Permit (I-327)
  • Refugee Travel Document (I-571)
  • Valid, unexpired Foreign Passport with valid visa in a category that permits study at an institution of higher education
  • Any other document determined by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to be acceptable through the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) program created pursuant to the federal Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986.

Students who cannot verify their citizenship using the documents above are considered "qualified aliens" and may verify with two forms of documentation. One of the following documents together with a valid, government issued picture ID including a regular driver license, temporary driver license, government issued DL/ID card from any U.S. state, Employment Authorization Document (Form I-766)

  • Valid, unexpired Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551) without ID picture
  • An official birth certificate issued by a U.S. state, jurisdiction, or territory; except for Puerto Rican birth certificates issued before July 1, 2010
  • A U.S. government-issued certified birth certificate
  • A U.S. certificate of birth abroad (DS-1350 or FS-545)
  • A reprint of birth abroad of a citizen of the U.S. (FS-240)
  • Arrival/Departure Record (Form I-94)
  • Notice of Approval of Status with bottom I-94 portion attached (Form 1-797)

Upload your documents to Admissions on the Admissions Documents/Forms Upload Page.

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