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Eligibility Requirements for Federal and State Aid

  • You must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  • You must be a U.S. Citizen or an Eligible Non-citizen (see below).
  • Male students, ages 18-25, must be registered for Selective Service.
  • You must have a High School Diploma or General Education Development (GED) High School Equivalency Diploma.
  • You must be working towards a degree or certificate.
  • You may not be in default on any federal educational loans or owe a refund on a federal grant.
  • You must be making Satisfactory Academic Progress.
  • You must not have been convicted of a drug offense while receiving financial aid. (see below)

Citizen or Eligible Non-citizen

You are considered a citizen or eligible non-citizen if you fit into one of the following categories:

  • You are a U.S. Citizen.
  • You are a U.S. National (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
    • Conditional entrant (valid only if issued before April 1, 1980)

Drug Conviction

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 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), you must notify the Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA) immediately.

If a student successfully completes a drug rehabilitation program, the student may regain federal student aid eligibility on the date the program is successfully completed. For information on how a drug conviction impacts your financial aid, review the eligibility questions in the "Help" section of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) website. To report a drug conviction contact the Office of Student Financial Aid at  

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 may still be considered for departmental awards and alternative loans. F-1 visas allow very limited opportunities with the University for students to work at the University. Please see our International Section for more information.

Determining Financial Aid

Financial aid programs were established on the premise that the primary responsibility for paying educational expenses rests with the student and his or her family. Students and families who lack the necessary resources to pay these educational expenses are encouraged to apply for financial aid by completing a 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 minus Expected Family Contribution (EFC) equals Financial Need

Cost of Attendance (COA)

The Office of Student Financial Aid establishes student expense budgets that are used to calculate financial aid eligibility as well as to provide students and their families with a reasonable estimate of the cost of attendance at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. These student budgets include allowances for tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, transportation, and personal and miscellaneous expenses. These budgets are based on what are considered reasonable, but modest, costs after surveying segments of our student population.

Financial Need

The difference between the Cost of Attendance and the Expected Family Contribution is considered financial need. The Office of Student Financial Aid will assist students and their families in trying to meet their financial need by offering a combination of grants, scholarships, loans, and employment opportunities.  Students who have no financial need are eligible to be considered for non-need based scholarships, loans, and employment.