|Federal Aid Eligibility
Eligibility for federal student aid is based on financial need and on several other
factors. The financial aid administrator at the college or career school you plan
to attend will determine your eligibility.
To receive aid from federal programs, you must:
The Higher Education Act of 1965 as amended (HEA) suspends aid eligibility for students
who have been convicted under federal or state law of the sale or possession of
drugs, if the offense occurred during a period of enrollment for which the student
was receiving federal student aid (grants, loans, and/or work-study). If you have a conviction(s) for these offenses, call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243) or contact your financial aid advisor to find out how this law applies to you.
- demonstrate financial need (except for certain loans).
- have a high school diploma or a General Education Development (GED) certificate,
meet other standards your state establishes that the Department approves, complete
a high school education in a home school setting that is treated as such under state
law, or have satisfactorily completed six credit hours or the equivalent course
work toward a degree or certificate.
- be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a regular student working toward a degree,
diploma or certificate in an eligible program.
- be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen.
- have a valid Social Security Number.
- register with the Selective Service if required. You can use the paper or electronic
FAFSA to register, you can register at www.sss.gov, or you can call 1-847-688-6888. (TTY users can call 1-847-688-2567.)
- maintain satisfactory academic progress once in school.
- certify that you are not in default on a federal student loan and do not owe money
on a federal student grant.
- certify that you will use federal student aid only for educational purposes.
If you have lost federal student aid eligibility due to a drug conviction, you can
regain eligibility if you pass two unannounced drug tests conducted by a drug rehabilitation
program that complies with criteria established by the U.S. Department of Education.
Civil Commitment for Sexual Offenses - A student subject to an involuntary civil
commitment after completing a period of incarceration for a forcible or nonforcible
sexual offense is ineligible to receive a Federal Pell grant.
Even if you are ineligible for federal aid, you should complete the FAFSA because
you may be eligible for nonfederal aid from state institutions. If you regain eligibility
during the award year, notify your financial aid administrator immediately. If you
are convicted of a drug-related offense after you submit the FAFSA, you might lose
eligibility for federal student aid, and you might be liable for returning any financial
aid you received during a period of ineligibility.
If you have a question about your citizenship status, contact the financial aid
office at the college or career school you plan to attend.
How will I know what I'm eligible for?
The information you reported on your FAFSA is used to determine your Expected Family
Contribution (EFC), which is calculated by a formula established by law. You may
think of the EFC as an index that colleges use to determine how much financial aid
(grants, loans or work-study) you would receive if you were to attend their school.
If your EFC is below a certain number, you'll be eligible for a Federal Pell Grant
assuming you meet all other eligibility requirements.
The amount of your Pell Grant depends on your EFC, your cost of attendance (which
the financial aid administrator at your college or career school will determine),
and your enrollment status (full time, three-quarter time, half time, or less than
For our other aid programs, the financial aid administrator at your college or career
school takes your cost of attendance and then subtracts your EFC, the amount of
a Federal Pell Grant you are eligible for, and aid you will get from other sources.
The result is your remaining financial need:
Cost of Attendance
- Federal Pell Grant Eligibility
- Aid From Other Sources
= Remaining Financial Need
A financial aid administrator can consider special or unusual circumstances such
as unusual medical expenses, unemployment, etc. and can adjust your cost of attendance
or some of the information used to calculate your EFC. You'll have to provide your
college or career school with documentation to justify any change.