Rumors of a Military Draft Send FAFSA Applicants Into Panic

U.S. tensions with Iran reached new heights Thursday after an American airstrike killed Qassem Soleimani, the commander of Iran’s elite military unit, the Quds Force. It wasn’t long before rumors of war and WWIII memes began spreading across the internet, sparking fears of a draft among Generation Z.

The panic soon hit federal student aid applicants who zeroed in on FAFSA requirements related to draft registration. The program requires all eligible persons (healthy males between the ages of 18 and 25) to register for the draft, which is consistent with US law. If they haven’t done so already, FAFSA allows them to register as part of the application process.

Does this mean students who registered in order to get financial aid will now be sent off to war? Not exactly. But that didn’t stop the rumor mill from turning. Fearful students flooded the Selective Service System for answers, contributing to a website crash. As of Tuesday morning, the website was still experiencing difficulties. 

The Selective Service System responded that it is “conducting business as usual” and reminded Americans that there is no active military draft at this time. “In the event that a national emergency necessitates a draft, Congress and the President would need to pass official legislation to authorize a draft," the agency said.