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Financial Aid for Returning Students

August 2020 Update:

While our staff continues to work remotely during the COVID-19 outbreak, we remain ready to take your calls and emails during regular office hours (Mon-Fri, 8:30 – 5:00, central time). Contact details are below and to the right. Faxes sent to the phone number(s) listed will be sent directly to our E-mail Inbox.

The College is committed to providing comparable levels of need-based financial aid as long as you complete financial aid applications by the deadline, continue to demonstrate a similar level of “financial need,” and maintain satisfactory academic progress.

Currently enrolled international students and undocumented students do not need to reapply each year. Aid is normally continued at a level similar to the current year.

Fall 2020:

Illinois residents are strongly encouraged to submit the 2020-2021 FAFSA between October 1 and December 1, 2019 to be considered for Illinois MAP Grant funds for next academic year. The College cannot replace a MAP Grant with other funds if you miss the deadline. 

Non-Illinois residents should submit the FAFSA by March 1, 2020.

To renew your financial aid

Step 1: Complete the FAFSA for the correct year
(Free Application for Federal Student Aid)
The FAFSA for the 2020-2021 academic year is available now!

Review our FAFSA Recommendations

Step 2. (Optional) Complete ”special circumstance forms”

Priority deadline, April 1. 

  • Please complete any applicable form(s) only if your cost exceeds the minimum amount shown. Return them to the Office of Financial Aid. If possible, save as a .pdf and send by email. You may also fax or send by mail to the number/address at the bottom of the form.

    • Educational Expenses - your parent pays $2000+ for his/her education, or for a siblings (grades K-12 only) during 2020-2021 academic year
    • Educational Loans - parent borrower now repaying $2000+/year to his/her own loan, or a loan for expenses for a sibling who is no longer in college
    • Healthcare Expenses - parent pays $3000+ in 2018, 2019 or 2020 not paid with “pre-tax” dollars
    • Unusual Expenses - parent pays $2000+ in 2019 or 2020 for such things as dependent care, funeral costs, non-elective home repairs, legal fees, support of extended family, etc.
Scholarship Renewal

Scholarships for the college will be renewed with continued, full time enrollment. Duration is limited to eight semesters for freshman and pro-rated for transfer students.  Additional eligibility time may be granted on appeal. Unless noted otherwise, a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 is required to renew, in addition to the renewal requirements below.

Forester Scholarships are renewed conditional on meeting the requirements of the respective department, as shown below or otherwise defined by the department. Scholarships will be evaluated individually by the department every spring to determine renewal of the award.  

Art Scholarships:

  • Complete at least one course in the Art or Art History Department each academic year. 
  • Attend at least two openings at the Sonnenschein and Albright Galleries each semester. 
  • Take part regularly in other arts-related co-curricular activities throughout the year. 

Music Scholarships: 

Actively contribute to the music department, and maintain membership in a department ensemble. 

Theater Scholarships:

  • Enroll in at least one Theater Department Class and participate in at least two department shows in any capacity such as acting, stage crew, dramaturgy, public relations, etc. 
  • Submit a scholarship renewal application to the department chairperson for approval each spring.
What Happens Next?

After we review your FAFSA, we will notify you of other required documents. After the spring semester grades are posted, we will also review your “satisfactory academic progress” status (see below) and - if you continue to be eligible - prepare your financial aid award letter for the new academic year. The award letter is sent only by email, with one copy to you and one copy to your parent.



Satisfactory Academic Progress

Continued eligibility for financial aid is dependent upon maintaining “Satisfactory Academic Progress” (SAP). At the end of every semester you must achieve and maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of a least 2.00 and must complete at least 67% of all classes attempted.

If you do not meet SAP standards you will be placed on “financial aid warning” for one semester, but will continue to receive financial aid. If you do not meet these standards after the semester of warning status, you will be placed on “financial aid suspension” and will not be eligible to receive financial aid until you meet SAP standards.

If extenuating circumstances have kept you from making satisfactory progress, you may appeal your “Financial Aid Suspension.” The appeal must include an academic plan (approved by the advisor) on how you plan to meet this standard within a reasonable time-frame. If you appeal and are  granted an extension of the aid, you will be placed on Financial Aid Probation, on a semester-by-semester basis. The appeal form is available from the Office of Financial Aid.

More, detailed information about this policy can be found here

If  you have been notified of “financial aid suspension” complete the Financial Aid SAP Appeal Form.