Financial Aid for Returning Students

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

Fall 2024

U.S. citizens and permanent residents who want to be considered for all possible financial aid are strongly encouraged to complete an annual financial aid application. We recommend that you submit the 2024-2025 FAFSA by May 1. Realizing that the changes made to the FAFSA, and the processing delays might result in additional frustration, late applications will be accepted and will receive the same consideration for institutional grant funds. Be aware that the Illinois MAP Grant is awarded by a state agency and funding is outside of our control.

Note that changes in family income, the number of family members at home/in college, or "special circumstances," etc. may affect eligibility in subsequent years. More details are found under "To Renew Your Financial Aid" below.

International and undocumented students do not need to submit an annual application . Financial aid is normally continued at a level similar to the current year. Illinois residents who are undocumented and eligible for state funding should complete the Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid by May 1.

To all: feel free to contact our office if you ever have questions about the process!

To Renew Your Financial Aid

If you receive need-based financial aid (grants, Stafford Loans, work-study) you must, with a few exceptions, complete an application every year. As noted above, international students and undocumented students are exempt from this requirement. 

Step 1. Complete the 2024-2025 FAFSA.

  • Suggestions for completing the application are found  here.
  • The 2024-2025 FAFSA asks for 2022 income values. If your/your parent's currentincome (2023 or 2023) is significantly less than  2021, see  Step 2 below.

Step 2.  Optional. Complete any applicable " Special Circumstance Form(s)
."  These allow you to report things that are not collected on the FAFSA: large income changes vs. 2022, large healthcare costs in 2023or 2024, tuition payment for K-12 or college, during the 2024-2025 academic year, large unusual expenses in 2023 or 2024, etc. Be sure to choose the version for the correct academic year. Feel free to contact our office to determine if your family should submit a particular form.

Step 3. Submit additional documentation (only) if requested. We will notify you by email or within the award letter if additional information is needed. Your prompt response will be appreciated. 

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.

Scholarship Renewal

Scholarships from the College are 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.

Fine Arts 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.

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. 

Current students returning for Fall 2024 are encouraged to submit the FAFSA by May 1, if possible.

Contact Financial Aid

Phone and Fax



Patterson Lodge, 2nd Floor
Middle Campus, Map


8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.


Jerry Cebrzynski
Associate Vice President for Financial Aid

Mark Anderson
Associate Director

Adriana Rodriguez
Associate Director for Financial Aid Operations
VA Certifying Official

Si necesita hablar con alguien en español en la oficina de ayuda financiera, usted puede llamar a Adriana Rodriguez.