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Financial Aid 101

The purpose of financial assistance is to provide financial aid to students who, without such funds, would be unable to attend college.  Financial assistance at IECC is available in the form of scholarships, grants, part-time employment, and loans.  (Refer to the navigation menu on the left for additional information on each type of assistance.)

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), administered by the Department of Education, is the tool used to apply for financial aid and analyze financial need.  Financial need is defined as the difference between the cost of attendance (tuition, books, supplies, transportation, etc.) and the Expected Family Contribution (EFC).  The EFC results from the financial information provided in your FAFSA, and is the figure used to determine eligibility for need-based aid programs.  While financing a college education is the primary responsibility of the student and his/her family, financial aid is made possible through need and non-need based programs.

By completing the FAFSA (See FAFSA in the navigation menu on the left), a student is applying for all of the following financial aid programs.

   Federal Title IV Programs:

  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
  • Federal Work-Study (FWS)
  • William D. Ford Federal Direct Loans (PLUS and Stafford Loans)

   Illinois Programs:

  • Monetary Award Program (MAP) Grant

To be eligible for Title IV financial aid at IECC you must:

  • Demonstrate financial need (except for the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan and the Federal Direct PLUS Loan)
  • Be a U.S. citizen or an eligible noncitizen with a valid social security number.
  • Register with Selective Service, if required.
  • Have a high school diploma or its recognized equivalent.
  • Complete and file FAFSA.
  • Submit required documents to the Office of Financial Aid.
  • Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a regular student in the required number of credit hours and in an eligible degree or certificate program.
  • Meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards of IECC.
  • Not have already received a baccalaureate degree (applicable to Federal Pell, FSEOG and MAP programs).
  • Not be in default on any federal student loan.
  • Not owe a repayment of a federal grant or ISAC gift aid to any postsecondary institution.
  • Not have a federal drug conviction while receiving federal financial aid. 

Once the FAFSA is processed, the student will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) from the Department of Education; the IECC college selected will receive the results in the form of an electronic Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR).  Further documentation regarding family size, education goals, information on education assistance from other sources, requests for the Work-Study program, etc. will be obtained from all students.  Some students will be selected for verification by the Department of Education or IECC and will be required to submit additional documents to complete the processing.  All requested information should be submitted as soon as possible to avoid delays. Students can check the status of  their aid via the Financial Aid link in their Entrata account; here they can determine if there are outstanding documents still requiring their attention.

After all documents are received, the college's Financial Aid Office will determine the student's eligibility (including amounts) for the various programs available, compile it into an "aid package" and notify him/her via an award notice.  Students who complete the financial aid application process and receive an award notice may also be eligible for a book voucher. (See Bookstore Charges Against Financial Aid - Book Voucher in the navigation menu on the left).  

In compliance with Federal Regulations, the Financial Aid Office must have received a processed Institutional Student Information Report from the Department of Education by the student’s last day of enrollment in the current award year to determine if a disbursement of FSA funds can be made.

 Upon receiving federal student aid, information regarding loans and/or grant amounts, outstanding balances, loan statuses, etc. is available at the National Student Loan Data System.  (See NSLDS for Students in the navigation menu on the left). 

Contact the Financial Aid Office at the college with any questions or concerns regarding the financial aid process.
A borrower's Loan Servicer should be contacted with any questions or concerns regarding specific federal direct loans.
Contact  Federal Student Aid with feedback, compliments, or complaints. 

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