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Steps to Apply for Financial Assistance

Federal student aid is money from the federal government that helps you pay for college, career school or graduate school expenses. Federal student aid is available through grants, work-study funds, scholarships and loans.

Before you begin to apply for financial assistance. you will need to make sure you meet the financial aid eligibility requirements. You must also verify that you are enrolled in an eligible degree/certificate program at College of DuPage.

If you are need further assistance sign-up for a financial aid workshop or contact the Office of Student Financial Assistance at (630) 942-2251.

2024-25 FAFSA Application Changes

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Simplification Act was passed by Congress in 2020 and represents a significant overhaul of the process used to award federal student aid.

Per Federal Student Aid, the 2024-2025 FAFSA form is available for short periods of time while they monitor site performance and update the form to provide you with a better experience. For more information, visit the Federal Student Aid website.

Financial Aid Checklist

To apply for financial aid, you need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form by logging in at The steps to apply can help you get started. 

Complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). COD's school code is 006656.


Complete an Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid.

Check your COD student email for important messages.

Log into the portal at and click on myACCESS > Financial Aid > Financial Aid-Self Service. 

  • Complete any required verification documents.
  • Review and Accept and Award Package. 
  • Complete Entrance Counseling (only if accepting Direct Loan) 
  • Complete Master Promissory Note (only if accepting Direct Loan)

Review Understanding Your Financial Aid Rights and Responsibilities and Satisfactory Academic Progress.

Frequently Asked Questions

The following are some of the most commonly asked questions about financial aid.

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 your Financial Aid Self Service. Go to > myACCESS > Financial Aid > Financial Aid Self Service.  In your Financial Aid Self Service, you can complete and upload any required documents that may be needed and view your financial aid offer 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.

College of DuPage requires students not fully covered by financial aid or military benefits to enroll in a payment plan or pay their account balance by the payment due date. View our payment policy for more information. 

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 a financial aid offer letter and funds in excess of tuition. The available amount for book purchases can be found in your Inside COD Portal under Financial Aid by clicking on “Available Amount for Book Purchase.” 

You can check the status of your financial aid in your 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, 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 after your classes have started and your attendance has been verified. Visit Financial Aid Dates for disbursement dates. 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 your Inside COD Portal. If you are not enrolled, you will receive a paper check refund.

Contact Information

Office of Student Financial Assistance
Seaton Computing Center (SCC), Room 123
(630) 942-2251
Fax: (630) 942-2151

Regular Hours

  • Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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