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How to Read Your Award Letter

This page provides important details about the Award Letter provided by the Office of Financial Aid. Review it carefully with your parent(s) so that you have a clear understanding of the financial aid offered, financial aid terms, our policies, and your responsibilities as an aid recipient.

Part 1: Estimated Costs

Your Award Letter begins with information about the costs we estimate you will incur. All figures assume full-time enrollment, unless otherwise noted. “Direct Costs” will appear on your billing statement. Your actual costs may vary, based on your housing, enrollment, year in school, and other factors. Standard, direct costs for the year are:

    2020-2021 2 2019-2020
Tuition (full-time; 3 - 4.5 credits)   $48,920 47,680
Fees   $894 744
On-Campus Housing (standard rate1)   $5,274 5,140
Meal Plan   $5,680 5,536
Total   $60,768 $59,100

1 There are other room options, each with different pricing.
Estimated, until final action by the Board of Trustees in December.

In addition to these direct costs, your initial bill will include the cost of the College’s health insurance (as of November 1, cost is $1750 for coverage from August to August). Waive coverage for the 2019-2020 academic year. The 2020-2021 waiver will be available in June.

“Indirect Costs” will not appear on your bill, but should be anticipated. While your cost may differ, we suggest you budget the following:

Books  …………………….$1000
Personal Expenses  ….……1742
Travel  ……………..………..1050         

For a full list of tuition and fees click here.

Part 2: Financial Aid Eligibility

Here you will see the funds you qualify to receive from all known sources. All figures assume full-time enrollment, unless otherwise noted. They were determined by the applications you submitted and guidelines of both the College and the U.S. Department of Education.

Part 3: Estimated Payment and Payment Options

This section summarizes the estimated amount your family will pay for the year and the choices you have in making payment to the College. Your billing statement will provide official figures. Billing Statemetns are available online after receiving your deposit  (within 72 hours for Spring ’20, and in June for Fall ’20). New students who pay the $500 deposit will see $300 applied as a credit on their billing statement. The remaining $200 is retained by the College, and refunded after graduation. 

Payment in full and on time ensures that you will avoid late fees and keep your chosen classes. Payment may be made by check, wire transfer, credit card (service fee applies), or EFT.

Estimated Payment

This section begins with our estimate of the amount your family will pay, with and without loans. Loan fees until 10/1/20 Stafford Loans, 1.059%; PLUS Loans, 4.236%) and the cost of health insurance are not included in our calculation.  

If you have been offered work-study, your earnings are paid directly to you by check, so funds are not included in our calculation.

Payment Options

Option 1: You make one payment each semester, no later than two weeks before classes begin. While the amount you pay each
semester will be similar, an optional health insurance fee will appear only on the fall semester’s bill, making that payment larger. 

Option 2: Your monthly payment options include a 9- and 10-month plan (July – April, due on the 1st or 15th). There is an enrollment fee each year (est. $90). No interest is charged. 

Option 3: Your parent uses a federal loan to cover your costs, with credit approval required. Applications are available in mid-June.

Option 4: You may use a private loan, if you have a credit-worthy co-signor who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.

Option 5: You customize a plan to fit your budget, by combining
the monthly payment plan and an additional loan.

Contact Student Accounts with questions at 847-735-5032 or Payment plans and options:

Part 4: Important Messages

Please note these details about your financial aid, including conditions related to your financial aid, the documents you may need to provide, and similar notes. The most issues (and forms you may need) are found below. 

Most forms can be scanned and sent by email (preferred method) to They can also be faxed (847-735-6271) or sent by regular mail. Need help with something else? Call 847-735-5010 or -5103 or

Need a special form, not found below? 
 Click here for more.

 to document citizenship, send a .pdf of your Certificate of Naturalization or signed U.S. passport to

 is needed, but you completed it? Add Lake Forest. New FAFSA?

The IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) is the best way 
to complete the verification process. It transfers the required financial values (ex: AGI, tax paid, exemptions, etc.) from your federal tax return to your FAFSA. Get step-by-step help with video or pdf.

If you cannot use the DRT, you can provide a Tax Return Transcript (we recommend “Get Transcript Online” if you are able) to

Permanent residents: 
to document permanent resident status, send a .pdf of your “Green Card” to

Selective Service:
register here or confirm your registration

 needed on the FAFSA? Here’s how.

Tax Return Transcript, 2017 or 2018:
 available online (in real time) or have it mailed to you. Both available from hereWe recommend the option to “Get Transcript Online” (access in 10-20 minutes) if you are able.

Verification Worksheets, 2019-2020 academic year

V-1 for dependent students      V-1 for independent students    

V-4   and   V-5        please contact our office.


Verification Worksheets, 2020-2021 academic year

V-1 for dependent      V-1 for independent 

V-4   and   V-5        please contact our office.

W-2 needed?
Send a clear copy. For the 2019-2020 academic year, send only the 2017 W-2; for 2020-2021 academic year, the 2018 W-2. If you did not work, please contact our office for instructions.

Part 5: What Happens Next

Here you will see what steps you may need to take once you decide to enroll at the College, including:

  • submit any missing documents
  • secure your place with a non-refundable deposit
  • contact us if you will receive funds from any outside source
  • complete the loan application (available June-Aug for Fall ’20), if you will use the Stafford Loan
  • complete the work-study application (available late spring or early summer) if you were offered funds and are interested in working on campus; placement is not guaranteed
  • other details and links are found here.