Financial Aid for New Students

The Office of Financial Aid is committed to helping you and your family apply for and receive financial aid, both before you enroll and during your time here.

Fall 2016 Instructions

For U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents 

Follow these steps to apply for need-based financial aid (grants, loans, work-study). We do not use or require or the CSS Profile.

Early Decision Applicants

Step 1. Completing the Early Decision Application will allow us to send you an estimate of your financial aid eligibility.

Step 2. Please steps under Early Action Applicants below


Early Action, Regular Decision & Transfer Applicants

Step 1. Complete the 2016-2017 FAFSA   Our School Code: 001701
                Optional Helps:  Our FAFSA Page      FAFSA Worksheet 
                                           FAFSA en Español    Worksheet en Español

Step 2. Complete optional “special circumstance forms” 

  • Please complete any applicable form(s) only if your cost exceeds the minimum amount shown. Completed forms can be returned to us by email (save as .pdf if possible), fax or regular mail.
    • Educational Expenses - parent paying $2000+ for him/herself or your younger sibling during 2016-2017 academic year
    • Educational Loans - parent paying $2000+ toward loans in 2016 for which they are the borrower
    • Healthcare Expenses - parent paying $3000+ in 2015 or 2016, which are not paid with “pre-tax” dollars
    • Unusual Expenses - parent paying $2000+ for daycare, funeral, legal, etc. in 2015 or 2016

   >> Once completed, “special circumstance forms” are returned to
         us by email (save as .pdf if possible), fax or regular mail.

Step 3. Locate private scholarship funds (optional)

Step 4. Review “Other Important Notes” below.


For International Students

Do not complete the FAFSA or steps above. Click here for details. 

For Undocumented Students

Do not complete the FAFSA or steps above. Click here for details.




Other Important Notes

Dates for 2016-2017

Illinois Residents: We strongly encourage you to submit the FAFSA by February 8 to help insure that you are considered for Illinois MAP Grant funds (over $4500 of free money!). While the state agency has not set the official deadline, FAFSAs received after the deadline will not be considered. If you miss the deadline, Lake Forest will still offer other financial aid (scholarships, grants, loans) if you qualify. 

Not from Illinois? Completing the FAFSA by February 15.

About Tax Returns

You are not required to complete your tax return before completing the FAFSA. It may be easier to complete the FAFSA, but you are allowed to estimate income now, and update values later.

Do not send your tax returns to our office. If required, we will ask you for the necessary IRS documents.

What Happens Next… 

Once you have been admitted and submitted all applicable financial aid documents, we will prepare an “Award Letter” showing the aid you qualify to receive. Our hope is to provide the Award Letter within two weeks of receiving your financial aid documents, beginning in mid-February. It will be sent by e-mail to both student and parent, and - shortly thereafter - by regular mail.

How to Read Your Award Letter (2016-2017 early version) provides you with descriptions of the aid we have offered, financial aid policies related to that aid, and other important information.

We may require additional information from you at some time in the process. If so, we will also use email to let you know. (Many of the forms we use are found here.) We may even send an occasional text message to alert you to an important e-mail we have sent.  

Worth Every Penny

Forbes Magazine has Lake Forest in the top 7 percent on its recent list, ranking institutions based on alumni with the highest salaries. named Lake Forest 11th in the nation among liberal arts colleges for the best return on investment. The College was ranked #1 among liberal arts colleges in Illinois, and fourth in Illinois college and universities.

Learn about what other rankings and guides have to say.