What is Financial Aid?

Financial aid is assistance given from federal, state or institutional funds to students so they can attend college. Some aid programs are designated for particular types of students (i.e. undergraduate, graduate, or professional) and level of federal need. General information on some of these programs is located online in Funding Beyond High School, which is also available upon request by calling (800) 433-3243.

The basic eligibility requirements for federal aid are as follows:

  • Demonstrate financial need (except for certain loans) have a high school diploma or a General Education Development (GED) certificate, pass a test approved by the U.S. Department of Education, meet other standards your state establishes that the Department approves, or complete a high school education in a home school setting that is treated as such under state law
  • Be working toward a degree or certificate in an eligible program
  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen
  • Have a valid Social Security Number (unless you’re from the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, or the Republic of Palau)
  • Register with Selective Service if required (You can use the paper or electronic FAFSA to register, you can register at www.sss.gov, or you can call (847) 688-6888 (TTY users can call (847) 688-2567).)
  • maintain satisfactory academic progress once in school
  • certify you are not in default on a federal student loan and do not owe money on a federal student grant
  • certify you will use federal student aid only for educational purposes
  • cannot currently be in a correctional institution

Financial Aid includes the following: