Selective Service System and AACRAO Collaboration

The Selective Service System and AACRAO Federal Relations staff formed a cooperative partnership in January 2000. AACRAO and this small federal agency have teamed up to ensure that young men in the United States fully understand that they must, by law, register with Selective Service, and must be registered to remain eligible to take full advantage of important educational benefits. The partnership formed by Selective Service and AACRAO involves shared information on respective Web sites, and a mention of AACRAO™s involvement by the Director of Selective Service, Gil Coronado, when he testified before Congress. The following is a message from AACRAO to all members.

Every young man is required by law to register with Selective Service within 30 days of his 18th birthday. This law applies regardless of whether he is a citizen, a legal resident immigrant, or an illegal immigrant. Only international students on F-1 Visas and other foreign citizens who are non-residents while in the U.S. are exempt from this requirement. Any young man who has not registered with Selective Service by his 26th birthday is ineligible to receive federal grants such as Pell Grants or federally subsidized loans such as Stafford Loans. Failure to register can also result in the loss of job training and federal job opportunities as well as the chance to obtain U.S. citizenship (for non-citizen men seeking citizenship).

Admissions professionals, international student advisers, and most campus administrators who are members of AACRAO are in a position to help male students register with Selective Service. Since AACRAO members™ offices often handle the initial application queries from students and their parents, a note on your campus Web sites reminding prospective students to register with Selective Service will augment the registration process for everyone. Even early admissions students can benefit, as Selective Service can now take information from 17-year-old men who will then be automatically registered once they turn 18.

While compliance rates are generally high, it is often the disenfranchised and disadvantaged groups who tend to not register ” the ones who might to benefit most from federally funded aid. Although these young men may not feel the need for a post-secondary education right after school, they often seek schooling later in life. The opportunity needs to be there when they are ready. Selective Service does not record information on race, ethnicity or immigration status “ the only concern is that all men register. If they fail to register before reaching age 26, they may permanently disqualify themselves from these important educational assistance benefits.

Therefore, Selective Service needs the assistance of AACRAO members to spread the word about registration so that all men have the same educational opportunity and experience fair treatment under the law.

Please take time to learn more about the agency and its missions. Visit the Selective Service System Web site at http://www.sss.gov. You can also read Gene Schuster's comments at the Selective Services Press Conference in May 2000.