Kids depend on their parents for guidance, and the help that they get can make a big difference in their lives. If you are the parent of a young man who is turning 18 or if he is a recent immigrant between the ages of 18 and 25, it is important that you make sure that he registers with the Selective Service System. All male U.S. citizens, immigrants, undocumented aliens and men with dual citizenship within the age group must do so and it is a critical step for young men as they move forward in life.
First and foremost, it is required by law and the failure to do so can result in fines and prison terms, but up and coming young men register for the benefits that registration affords. This year, the Federal Pell Grant program alone has provided over 8 million students with financial aid at a cost of more than $30 billion. To be eligible for federal education funds, young men must be registered with the Selective Service System. It is also required for federal job training programs and permanent jobs with the federal government, including the U.S. Postal Service. For young male immigrants, it is also a required step for citizenship, and some states even require it for driver’s license application.
How To Register
Fortunately, there are also many simple ways to register. More than half the high schools in the nation have a staff member or teacher appointed as a Selective Service Registrar to help register high school students.
He can also register:
• Online at www.sss.gov.
• At the post office. “Mailback” registration forms are available at any post office. A man simply fills it out, signs it, affixes postage and mails it to Selective Service. He doesn’t even have to involve the postal clerk.
• By mail. He can also register by filling out a Reminder Mailback Card. Selective Service sends this card to many young men around the time they turn 18. A man can fill out the card and mail it directly to Selective Service at: Selective Service System, Registration Information Office, P.O. Box 94638, Palatine, IL 60094-4638.
• Check box. By checking “Yes” on the Selective Service Box on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form, you empower the Department of Education to send Selective Service the information.
• Early. It’s possible to submit registration information early, at age 17 years and 3 months or more. Selective Service will keep the information on file and process it automatically, once the man is within 30 days of his 18th birthday, and then send him an acknowledgment card.