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Maintaining Financial Aid Eligibility

Maintaining Financial Aid Eligibility

The first thing to remember is that you must file your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each and every year that you want to receive financial aid. The earliest that you can file your FAFSA is January 1st of each year, and our priority deadline at City Colleges of Chicago is: February 28th.
There are other factors that can impact your financial aid eligibility as well, such as:

Hours Eligible For Financial Aid 

Most of the following hours are eligilbe for financial aid:
  • Credit hour programs leading to a degree or approved certificate
  • Remedial hours taken that cumulatively total 30 hours or less

PLEASE NOTE: Foundational Studies (Pre-Credit), Adult Education, Audited Courses, and Continuing Education Courses are NOT eligible for financial aid.  A student can ONLY receive financial aid for courses that satisfy the requirements of his/her academic program.



Verification is a process by which your college must review you and/or your parents’ tax return(s) and possibly other information, to confirm the accuracy of the information you provided on your FAFSA.
Your Student Aid Report (SAR) will indicate if you have been selected for verification. Your college will also notify you that you have been selected for verification.
If you have been selected for verification, the student and/or the parent are required to complete and sign the applicable Verification Worksheet (see below) and submit all required documents to the Financial Aid Office. Please visit your student portal or Financial Aid Office to determine which Verification Worksheet you are required to complete. Failure to do so will result in a delay in the processing of your financial aid. To avoid further delay, please make sure that your address is correct with the Financial Aid and Admissions Offices.

*If you are selected for verification, please see the link titled The IRS Retrieval Process in the Learn More section on the right hand side of this page.


Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

A student must maintain both qualitative and quantitative satisfactory academic progress, as defined in the City Colleges of Chicago Student Policy Manual, to be eligible for student financial aid funds.
Qualitative satisfactory progress requires the student to achieve and maintain a minimum grade point average. Quantitative satisfactory progress requires the student to complete a minimum portion of his/her course work for each term and throughout his/her program of study.
To view the specific details pertaining to our SAP policy, click on the following link to view the City Colleges of Chicago Student Policy Manual and go to page 20.

Enrollment Changes

Changes to your enrollment (e.g. adding or dropping classes), may affect the amount of financial aid that you are entitled to receive.

If a student officially withdraws (WTH), is administratively withdrawn (ADW), and/or receives no-show actions (NSW) from all of his/her course work prior to completing 60% of the period of enrollment for which s/he is charged, the student may be required to return a portion of the Title IV funds received. Title IV funds include the Federal Pell Grant, the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), and the Direct Loan Program.

City Colleges of Chicago will apply a federally regulated calculation, “Return of Title IV Funds”, to determine the amount of unearned financial aid the student was overpaid. Should this happen, it will become the student’s responsibility to return these funds. If the student fails to repay these funds, a hold will be placed on their record prohibiting future enrollments, they will be denied all requests for academic transcripts from any of the City Colleges of Chicago, and they may be denied Title IV funds in the future.

Defaulted Student Loans

Students who are currently in a default on any student loan(s) are not eligible for Title IV funds. You must contact your lender/servicer and make arrangements to pay off your previous student loan. Generally you must make at least 6 consecutive monthly payments before you will be eligible for any Title IV funds.