Financial Aid FAQs

1. What is your Title IV School Code?
College of DuPage's school code is 006656.

2. How do I apply for Financial Aid?
Your first step is to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine your eligibility for federal, state and institutional grants and for Federal Stafford Loans and Federal Work Study. You can apply online at: www.fafsa.ed.gov. Once College of DuPage receives your results from FAFSA, you will be contacted for additional paperwork. You also may be required to fill out the FAFSA for certain scholarship applications.

Start the FAFSA process (PDF)

3. I am an independent. Why do I need my parent's information?
According to the federal government, you will be considered dependent if:

  • You are under 24 years of age
  • You are not married
  • You do not have any children and/or dependents 
  • You are not an orphan and/or a ward of the court/state
  • You are not a veteran of the armed forces

4. Is the FAFSA the only form I have to fill out for financial aid?
The FAFSA is your first step. After completing your FAFSA, you need to complete College of DuPage's financial aid forms and any required verification documents as determined by the Federal Processor.

5. I have my Student Acknowledgement Reports (SAR). What do I do next?
Review the information on your SAR and make sure it is error-free. Any errors must be corrected and re-submitted via your SAR or online. Making corrections online will expedite the process. The college also receives your corrected SAR electronically.

6. I need help filling out my forms. Who can I talk to?
You can contact the Office of Student Financial Assistance to speak with a financial aid specialist. Walk-in counselors are available Mondays to Thursdays. Office hours are Mondays to Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

7. I don't understand this bill. Who can I talk to?
Contact the Cashier's offices at (630) 942-2206.

8. I want to drop a class. Will this affect my financial aid?
YES! Depending on when you drop the class, you could end up owing money not only to the College of DuPage but also to the Department of Education or your lender. A student's financial aid award is normally based on the enrollment status at the mid-quarter date of the term. If your financial aid is processed after mid quarter, your financial award could be based your enrollment hours at that time.

If you completely withdraw from all of your classes before the 60% date of the term, according to the Department of Education's Refund Policy, you will be required to pay back a portion of your grant and/or loan to College of DuPage, the federal government and/or your lender.

Students must also be in compliance with College of DuPage's Minimum Academic Requirements for Financial Aid Policy, which states students must complete at least 67% of all their attempted hours. Dropping classes may put you at risk of losing your financial aid.

Please check with the Office of Student Financial Assistance prior to dropping classes!!

9. Is a Pell Grant and a MAP Grant the same?
The Pell Grant is a need-based grant offered through the Federal Government. The Pell Grant can cover tuition, fees and books. The MAP Grant is a need-based grant offered through the State of Illinois.The MAP grant can cover a portion of your tuition only.

10. When do I get my Pell Grant refunds?
Any Pell grant money that is left over after paying tuition, fees and books is mailed out to the student around mid-semester. It is the student's responsibility to keep the Registration Office up to date with your current address.

11. How do I apply for Federal Stafford Loans?
On the FAFSA, a question asks if you are interested in applying for loans. By indicating "yes," the Office of Student Financial Assistance then determines your loan eligibility and notifies you via an award letter of what you are eligible to borrow. After you complete and returns the enclosed Stafford Loan Accept/Decline form, you then need to fill out a Master Promissory Note (MPN) with the lender. Also, if you are a first-time borrower at College of DuPage, you are required to complete Stafford Loan Entrance Counseling.

12. Why didn't someone tell me I needed to complete Stafford Loan Entrance Counseling?
The college provides you with this information when you complete the College of DuPage Financial Aid Data Confirmation Sheet. It is also on the back of the Stafford Loan Accept/Decline Form and Stafford Loan Request Form. This is a federal requirement.

13. When will I receive my loan funds?
Upon completion of the Master Promissory Note (MPN), the lender will send your loan funds electronically to College of DuPage according to the dates listed on your Notice of Guarantee. Any remaining loan funds in excess of your educational costs are mailed to your address within approximately 14 days of being placed on your account and no earlier than the start of the term. Any excess PLUS loan funds are mailed to you within approximately 14 days of being placed on the your account and no earlier than the start of the term.

If you are a first-time Stafford Loan borrower at College of DuPage, disbursement of your loan funds will be delayed until 30 days after the start of the term.

14. Why was my financial aid taken away?
Federal law mandates financial aid recipients maintain a certain standard of academic performance in order to qualify for and retain financial aid eligibility. Failure to meet these requirements can result in the loss of a student's financial aid. For detailed information regarding the Minimum Academic Requirements for Financial Aid Policy, contact the Office of Student Financial Assistance.

15. How come I wasnít told that I had attempted 96 semester hours?
While the Office of Student Financial Assistance does attempt to notify students, it is you responsibility to be aware of and ensure compliance with the Minimum Academic Requirements for Financial Aid Policy.

16. What if this is the first time I am using Financial Aid?
Federal regulations require that the Minimum Academic Requirements for Financial Aid Policy be applied to a student's academic performance without regard to whether or not aid has previously been received.

17. I appealed my discontinuance of financial aid, but I was denied. What else can I do?
You can always look into scholarships. For more information, check out the scholarship information online.

There are also alternative loans available to students who are no longer eligible for financial aid through the FAFSA. Contact the Office of Student Financial Assistance for more detailed information about these programs.

18. How do I transfer my financial aid from my previous school to College of DuPage?
If students wish to use their financial aid at College of DuPage, they must add College of DuPage to their FAFSA application. This will send your FAFSA information to C.O.D., at which point the college will re-process your information to determine your eligibility.

19. Did you receive my financial aid from my previous school? They said they would transfer it.
Your financial aid does not "transfer" from one school to the next. When you add a new school to your FAFSA, your FAFSA information is sent to the new school -- in this case, College of DuPage. The Office of Student Financial Assistance then reprocesses your FAFSA information and determines what eligibility remains for use at College of DuPage based on Cost of Attendance. Since each school varies in their Cost of Attendance, your awards may vary from school to school, which is why your financial aid does not "transfer" from one school to the next. Each student is processed through the Office of Student Financial Assistance to determine eligibility.

20. I got fired from my job, and they won't give me the information I need. What else can I do?
The purpose of a Special Condition review is to consider a loss of income due to an involuntary circumstance, such as termination, lay-off or company closing. A person who voluntarily leaves a job does not qualify for a Special Condition review. Therefore, it is your responsibility to document that the job loss was not voluntary. A student filing a Special Condition based on loss of employment must submit a copy of the Unemployment Benefits statement. The initial statement issued, showing either approval or denial of benefits, indicates the reason for loss of employment. That statement may be used as documentation in lieu of a statement from the employer.

21. How long does it take to process a Special Condition?
The review and processing of a Special Condition or Dependency Appeal may take approximately four weeks from the date all required information has been received by College of DuPage. Depending on the circumstances presented, it may be necessary to request additional information after the initial review is done. In those cases, the amount of time taken by the student to provide additional information would affect the total processing time. The student is responsible for documenting any income earned prior to unemployment.

22. I don't live with my parents. How can I apply for a Dependency Appeal?
A student who does not meet the criteria for independent status based on the dependency questions on the FAFSA may submit a Dependency Appeal if that student's personal situation involves unusual circumstances. Please note: In accordance with federal guidelines, parents' unwillingness to assist the student financially isn't, in and of itself, grounds for a dependency override. In addition, an override cannot be approved solely because parents will not provide information needed for completion of the FAFSA or for verification. Also, a student who is financially self-sufficient and/or lives apart from parents cannot be considered for independent status based on those circumstances alone.

If a student still believes special circumstances should be considered, a Dependency Appeal form may be completed and submitted to the Office of Student Financial Assistance with the appropriate documentation needed to support the student's claim.





Revised 5/28/08

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