In order to receive need-based aid, you must meet certain requirements.

Eligibility Requirements for Federal & State Aid

In order to be eligible for federal and state aid, the following requirements must be met:

  1. You must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  2. You must be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen. You are considered a citizen or eligible non-citizen if:
    • You are a U.S. citizen.
    • You are a U.S. national (this includes natives of America, Samoa, or Swain's Island).
    • You are a U.S. permanent resident with an Alien Registration Receipt Card (I-151, I-551, or I-551C).
    • You are not a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen, but have an I-94 or I-94A with one of the following designations: refugee; asylum granted; indefinite parole; humanitarian parole; Cuban-Haitian entrant, status pending; or conditional entrant (valid only if issued before April 1, 1980).
  3. Male students ages 18 to 25 must be registered for Selective Service. Federal law requires that all male U.S. citizens, regardless of where they live, and male immigrants residing in the U.S. (permanent resident aliens) must be registered within 30 days of their 18th birthday.
    Men born after December 31, 1960 who are not registered are not eligible for federal, state, or institutional grants or loans.
  4. You must have a High School Diploma or General Education Development (GED) High School Equivalency Diploma.
  5. You must be working toward a degree or certificate.
  6. You may not be in default on any federal educational loans or owe a refund on a federal grant.
  7. You must be making Satisfactory Academic Progress.
  8. You must not have been convicted of a drug offense while receiving financial aid. A conviction for any offense involving the possession or sale of illegal drugs during a period of enrollment for which you receive Title IV federal student aid may result in the loss of future financial aid eligibility.

If you are convicted of possessing or selling drugs after you submit your FAFSA, you must notify the Office of Student Financial Aid immediately. If you successfully complete a drug rehabilitation program, you may regain federal student aid eligibility on the date the program is successfully completed.

Determining Financial Aid

Financial aid programs were established on the premise that the primary responsibility for paying educational expenses rests with you and your family. Those who lack the necessary resources to pay these educational expenses are encouraged to apply for financial aid by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This information is used to determine your financial aid eligibility.

The following formula is used to determine whether you are eligible for need-based financial aid:

Cost of Attendance – Expected Family Contribution = Financial Need

Our office establishes student expense budgets that are used to calculate financial aid eligibility and to provide you and your family with a reasonable estimate of your cost of attendance at Illinois. These budgets include allowances for tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, transportation, and personal and miscellaneous expenses. They are based on what are considered reasonable but modest costs after surveying segments of our student population.

The difference between the cost of attendance and the expected family contribution is considered financial need. Our office will assist you and your family in trying to meet your financial need by offering a combination of grants, scholarships, loans, and employment opportunities. If you have no financial need, you are still eligible to be considered for non-need-based scholarships, loans, and employment.

International Students

University policy requires international students to have adequate resources to cover their educational expenses. Students holding J1 or J2 exchange visitor visa or F1 or F2 student visa are not eligible for federal or state aid, but they may still be considered for departmental awards and alternative loans. F-1 visas allow very limited opportunities for students to work at the university. For more information, see our international section.