Verification of Citizenship/Eligibility

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

A list of acceptable documentation is below. Please refer to it to ensure you satisfy the Eligibility Verification for Entitlements Act (EVEA). The need to verify your eligibility does not affect your admissibility to Southwest, but it can play a significant role in determining your tuition.

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.