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.
The steps below are for U.S. citizens and permanent residents applying for need-based financial aid (grants, loans, work-study).
>> Note that we do not require the CSS Profile. <<
If this is your first time dealing with financial aid, you may want to check out this two-minute video (it will download to your computer as a .wmv file).
Follow this link if you are undocumented.
Applying for Fall 2015
Step 1: Complete the Financial Aid FastApp
Step 2. Complete the 2015-2016 FAFSA* (en Español)
- Available now
- Please submit by Feb 15 (Illinois residents) or March 1 (other states)
- Be sure to choose the 2015-2016 version
- Our FAFSA “Helps” Page - optional
- Click here to add Lake Forest to a FAFSA you already submitted
- FAFSA Worksheet (en Español) - optional - will show steps that require some preparation
- Our Federal School Code is 001706
Step 3. Complete “special circumstance forms” (optional)
You may complete the form(s) below if you would like our office to consider your unique situation. Do so only if your cost exceeds any minimum amount shown.
- Educational Expense - $2000; for parent/younger sibling, 7/15 - 6/16
- Educational Loan in Repayment -$2000; parent repaying loans in 2015
- Healthcare Expense - $3000; expenses paid in 2014 / 2015
- Income change, parent - a significant change in 2015 vs. 2014
- Income Change, student - a significant change in 2015 vs. 2014
- Second Household - if living in two homes in different cities in 2015
- Unusual Expense - $2000; daycare, funeral, legal, etc. in 2014 / 2015
- Do not send your tax return 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 (shown above) we will prepare a statement (we call it an “Award Letter”) showing the aid you qualify to receive. The Award Letter will be sent within two weeks of receiving all required financial aid documents, beginning in mid-February. It will be sent by e-mail to both student and parent, and by regular mail.
We may require additional information from you at some time in the process. If so, we will also use email to let you know. We may even send an occasional text message to alert you to an important e-mail we have sent.
Worth Every Penny
PayScale.com’s 2014 list of colleges with the best ROI (return on investment) named Lake Forest College 11th in the nation among liberal arts colleges for the best return on investment. Lake Forest was ranked #1 among liberal arts colleges in Illinois and fourth in Illinois universities and colleges.
Additionally, Lake Forest College is in the top 7 percent of a recent Forbes Magazine list of colleges and universities that ranks each institution based on the number of alumni with the highest salaries.
In January 2014, the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators reported about a fake scholarship fund that sends a congratulatory message and even a check in the mail, and then it asks the student to send them a check for taxes and fees in return. The check from the scholarship company bounces, and then the student suffers the costly consequences, even identity theft.
In January 2013, our office heard from several students who received an email claiming to be from the Robert Sterling Scholarship Foundation. A scholarship is offered and awarded based on very limited information from the applicant, and a false scholarship check is sent. They contact you later to say the check was larger than it was supposed to be. They ask you to deposit the first check immediately, and write a check to them to cover the excess amount you received. The problem? the check you received from them is bad and you will have lost the money that you sent to them.
If you ever have a question about a scholarship offer that sounds (or smells) “fishy” feel free to contact the Office of Financial Aid (email@example.com, 847-735-5103) and we will try to help determine if it is legitimate.