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 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 American 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).
  2. You must have a High School Diploma or General Education Development (GED) High School Equivalency Diploma.
  3. You must be working toward a degree or certificate.
  4. You may not be in default on any federal educational loans or owe a refund on a federal grant.
  5. You must be making Satisfactory Academic Progress.
  6. If you have been convicted of a forcible or non-forcible sexual offense and are subject to an involuntary civil commitment upon completion of a period of incarceration for that offense, you have limited aid eligibility.
  7. Full-time enrollment at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is defined as being enrolled 12 hours each semester for on-campus, on-line and off-campus programs. Your cost of attendance and financial aid awards are initially calculated assuming you will register for at least 12 hours if you are enrolled in an on-campus program and 8 hours if you are enrolled in a fully on-line or off-campus programs. If you enroll for fewer hours, your cost of attendance and financial aid awards will be reduced. Please note that this is independent of your academic department’s requirement for full-time enrollment.

Eligibility for Institutional Aid

In order to be eligible for need-based institutional financial aid you must meet all of the federal and state requirements listed above.  On a case-by case basis, you may be asked to provide documentation from your parent(s) or other individuals not listed on the FAFSA to help us determine your eligibility for institutional need-based funds.  We will not be able to complete your official financial aid award until all requested documentation has been received and reviewed by OSFA.

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, food and housing, 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.