Verification of Citizenship/Eligibility

Students who wish to receive any form of state or federal benefits must provide documentation that proves they are eligible for those benefits. The types of benefits that are directly impacted 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.

Ways to Prove Citizenship/Eligibility

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). A Temporary Drivers TN License, Temporary Identification License, or Out of State License is not acceptable.
  • 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.

Other Ways of Verifying Eligibility

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)

Please submit these documents to Admissions and Records. If you have questions, feel free to email Admissions or call 901-333-5924.