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Financial Aid Frequently Asked Questions

Financial aid is available to help you pay for college. In order to be eligible for assistance, it is important that you complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

If you have additional questions, please contact the Office of Student Financial Assistance at (630) 942-2251 or email

Your first step in applying for financial aid is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). In order to complete the application, you will need to have your federal tax return accessible. Complete the application as early as possible to maximize your aid.

If you want to apply for scholarships, you will need to apply at

You can check your financial aid status by logging into myACCESS and clicking on "Financial Aid Self Service." From there, you can complete and upload any required documents that may be needed and view your financial aid award letter.

You must be enrolled in a minimum of six credit hours to receive some form of financial aid.

The financial aid amounts listed on your award letter will be based on full-time enrollment of 12 credit hours or more. If you are unable to enroll as a full-time student, the amount of your financial aid award will be prorated accordingly based on the following enrollment status:

  • Full-time student: 12 credit hours or more
  • Three-quarter time student: 9 to 11 credit hours
  • Half-time student: 6 to 8 hours
  • Less than half-time student: 1 to 5 credit hours

For Federal Direct Loans, you need to be enrolled in a minimum of six credit hours.

Note: Students who have a high Expected Family Contribution (EFC) may need to be enrolled full-time to receive their Federal Pell Grant.

If you register for classes before the semester begins and before your financial aid funds are applied, College of DuPage requires you to enroll in a payment plan or pay your account balance in full at the time of registration. 

  • The earliest Pell Grant funds are applied to your tuition is at the start of the semester, provided you have received your award letter.
  • The earliest Federal Direct Loan funds will be applied to your tuition is 30 days into the semester, provided you have completed all required steps for your Federal Direct Loans.

If you are anticipating financial aid or military benefits, you may be eligible for a Deferred Payment Planwhere payments are deferred until after funding posts to your student account.

When signing up for a Deferred Payment Plan, you are required to place a $5 down payment which postpones your tuition payment until later in the semester. If you still have an outstanding balance at that time, it is your responsibility to pay your balance or be dropped from your classes.

If you have additional financial aid funds in excess of your tuition and fees, you may be eligible to purchase your books at our campus Bookstore during our Bookstore Dates.

Bookstore Dates typically open one week prior to the start the semester. You must have an award letter and a completed Bookstore authorization form on file. The available amount for book purchases can be found in your myACCESS account by clicking on “Available Amount for Book Purchase.” 

You can check the status of your financial aid in myACCESS under Financial Aid Self Service.

Once all completed forms have been received by the Office of Student Financial Assistance, there is a two to three week processing time. Please watch your COD email for updates.

If you have questions about forms or why they are incomplete, please contact the Office of Student Financial Assistance directly at (630) 942-2251. You can also email

The amount of financial aid disbursed is based on the number of eligible credit hours you are enrolled in for each semester. Eligible credit hours refers to the classes that are required for the degree or certificate you are pursuing at College of DuPage.

Classes that fall outside of your specific degree program – whether it be prerequisites or transfer requirements – are not counted when determining your financial aid disbursement amount.

Contact Counseling, Advising and Transfer Services to ensure you are enrolled in the correct classes for your degree or certificate.

Note: If you are enrolled in the 3+1 Program, financial aid disbursed at COD is based on classes that are required for an Associates Degree at COD. Additional classes outside of an Associates Degree are not eligible for financial aid at COD since they are not classes required for the Associates Degree. 

Financial aid refunds are processed around midterm of each semester. You may receive a refund if you have additional funds remaining in excess of your tuition, fees and bookstore purchases. You will receive your refund 10-14 days after the refund is posted to your student account.

The Cashiers Office will contact you through your COD email address to confirm the status of your refund. Students are strongly encouraged to enroll in eRefunds through myACCESS. If you are not enrolled, you will receive a paper check refund.

Contact Information

Office of Student Financial Assistance
Student Services Center (SSC), Room 2220
(630) 942-2251
Fax: (630) 942-2151

Regular Hours
Monday to Thursday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Friday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.