Understanding Your Award Letter
Your award letter will provide you with the financial aid that you qualified for based on your FAFSA, whether it is grants, loans, work study, or a combination. It is important that you read and understand your award letter. To help you understand your award letter, please click on the links below for more information
- What do I do now?Your award letter will provide you with the types of financial assistance you qualified for based on your FAFSA, whether it is grants, loans, work study, or a combination. It is important that you read and understand your award letter.
- How is my financial aid determined?Your financial aid award is based on your demonstrated financial need, as determined by subtracting your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) from your Cost of Attendance (COA) at College of DuPage. Your EFC is calculated by the Federal Processor based on information you submitted on your FAFSA.
Your Cost of Attendance includes:
- The Board approved tuition and fee charges for full-time enrollment for a 9 month period (an academic year)
- Allowance for room and board according to the living arrangements specified on your FAFSA
- Allowance for books, transportation, and personal expenses as dictated by Federal regulations
- How do I accept my financial aid?If you have a Pell Grant, MAP Grant, Student-to-Student Grant, Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant you do not need to accept these awards in your myACCESS. These awards will automatically be accepted.
If you have a Direct Subsidized and/or Direct Unsubsidized Loans you will be required to accept those awards. To accept your Direct Loans, you will need to complete the following steps:
- You will need to accept your Subsidized Loans through your myACCESS.
- If you don’t want to accept the full amount of your Subsidized Loan, you can complete the Direct Loan Form to reduce your loan award
- If this is your first time borrowing at COD, you must complete Entrance Loan Counseling online at http://studentloans.gov
- If this is your first time borrowing at COD, you must complete a Master Promissory Note online at http://studentloans.gov
- If you wish to accept any portion of your Unsubsidized Loan you must attend a Smart Borrowing Loan Session
If you have Federal Work Study: You will need to accept your Federal Work Study award through your myACCESS. If you have Federal Work Study on your award letter you can then contact the Human Resources Department and begin applying for student aide positions. Being awarded Federal Work Study does not guarantee a student aide job on campus, you still need to complete the application and hiring process.
NOTE: Your Student Loans may be reduced to allow for Federal Work Study eligibility.
- You will need to accept your Subsidized Loans through your myACCESS.
- Do I need to be a full-time student?No, you do not need to be a full-time student to receive your financial aid. Generally speaking, students must be enrolled in a minimum of 6 credit hours to receive some form of financial aid. However, to receive your full grant awards you would need to be enrolled full-time. If you enroll less than full-time, then your grant awards will be prorated.
The actual disbursement is based on your enrollment status as of the census date. The census date is referred to as the end of the add/drop period for the class. Classes added or dropped after the census date will not be used to determine your actual financial aid disbursement amount. This may cause you to owe a balance at the College of DuPage.
Full-time = 12 credit hours or more
Three Quarter time = 9 to 11 credit hours
Half-time = 6 to 8 hours
Less than half-time = 1 to 5 credit hours
Students must also be registered and academically engaged in their classes the entire length of the semester. Students who are reported as Non Attend on Enrollment Verification Rosters will have their financial aid awards adjusted accordingly. Federal Regulations require students receiving financial aid – whether it is grants or loans – to be registered and academically engaged in their classes. No attendance means No Financial Aid.
** If your financial aid is awarded after the census date, your financial aid award could be determined by your enrollment hours at that time**
For more detailed information, please visit us online at Eligibility Based on Enrollment Status.
- Can I register for classes?When you register for your classes your tuition will be due the day you register.
- If you have your financial aid in place – and have sufficient federal financial aid funds to cover your tuition – you may be eligible to sign up on the Deferred Payment Plan through your myACCESS. By signing up on the Deferred Payment Plan, you would be putting down a $5 down payment to hold you in your classes. The remainder of your tuition costs would then be due later in the semester. This would then allow time for your financial aid funds to post to your tuition costs. Any tuition costs still remaining will be the student's responsibility to pay.
- If you are registering for a class AFTER it has already started you will need to talk to a Financial Aid Representative BEFORE you register for your class.
- If you DROP a class, this may cause you to owe money to COD. Please talk to a Financial Aid Representative BEFORE you drop your class.
- ** NOTE ** Financial aid can only cover up to 30 semester hours of below 1000 level courses.
- Can I repeat classes?Financial aid cannot pay for classes that have been repeated more than once, when a grade of D or higher has already been earned. ** Please Note - Financial aid is considered Grants and Loans **
- How do I buy my books with my financial aid?If, on your award letter, you have financial aid funds in excess of your tuition and fees, you may be eligible to purchase your books at the Bookstore on campus during our Bookstore Dates.
- The earliest you can purchase books directly from your financial aid is about 1 week before the semester begins. The amount of money available for book purchases will be dependent upon how much funds are remaining after covering tuition and/or fee costs. The Bookstore Dates can be found on the Financial Aid Calendar.
- You can view how much money you have available for books by logging into your myACCESS and clicking on Available Amount for Book Purchase
- You must have a Bookstore Authorization Form on file with the Office of Student Financial Assistance.
- You cannot purchase books until you have received your award letter!
- How do I pay my tuition with my financial aid?The Office of Student Financial Assistance will apply your financial aid funds to cover your tuition and/or book costs. The earliest any grants funds will be applied to your tuition charges is the start of the semester. The earliest any Direct Loan or PLUS Loan funds will be applied to your tuition charges is about 30 days after at least 6 credit hours of your classes have begun. For specific disbursement information, please visit our Financial Aid Calendar.
- When do I get my refund check?Any financial aid funds in excess of tuition charges and book costs, will be refunded to you in the form of a refund check. Students can receive their refund electronically by signing up for eRefunds through their myACCESS. Otherwise, students will need to pick up the refund check at the Cashiers Office. Typically, the refund check will be available 10 to 14 business days after the funds have been applied to your student account and create a credit. Funds will not be released before the semester begins.
- DIRECT LOANS – Any loan funds you have accepted will not post to your student account to cover tuition charges until 30 days after at least 6 credit hours of your classes have started. Additionally, the loan funds will post to your student account in 2 equal installments ** Any refunds generated will then be made available to you 10 to 14 business days later ** It is important to note if you are using your loan funds to help cover living expenses you will need to plan ahead because you will not have available loan funds until 30 to 45 days after at least 6 credit hours of your classes have started. Loan funds cannot be disbursed earlier.
- PELL GRANTS – Any Pell Grant money left in excess of covering tuition and/or book costs will be made available to the student mid-semester. Pell refunds cannot be disbursed earlier.
- Is there a maximum amount of Pell Grant money I can receive?The amount of Federal Pell Grant funds a student can receive over his or her lifetime is limited by a new federal law to be the equivalent of six years of Pell Grant funding. Since the maximum amount of Pell Grant funding a student can receive each year is equal to 100%, the six-year equivalent is 600%. For more information please visit Calculating Pell Grant Lifetime Eligibility Used.
- Is there someone I can sit down with and talk to about my award letter?Yes, we do have Walk in Representatives available Monday – Friday. Or, you may contact our office directly and schedule an appointment to speak with a financial aid representative. You can contact us at (630) 942-2251.
** Financial Aid Tips **
- Students must apply for financial aid every academic year. An academic year is defined Fall Semester to Summer Semester.
- If you enroll full-time for the Fall Semester and Spring Semester - and receive your full financial aid awards for the Fall and Spring Semesters - you may not have financial aid available for the Summer Semester.
- Our advice - any refund checks you received midterm, save the refund check and use them to cover your Summer Semester classes.
How To Videos - coming soon
- How to calculate my Pell Grant award if I enroll less than full-time?
- How much money do I have for books?
- How do I accept or reject my Federal Direct Loans?
Office of Student Financial Assistance
Student Services Center (SSC), Room 2220, (630) 942-2251
Fax: (630) 942-2151
Monday to Thursday: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Friday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
College of DuPage
425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn IL, 60137
(630) 942-2800 (Main)
(630) 942-3000 (Student Services)
2017 College of DuPage