understanding your award letter image

Understanding Your Offer Letter

Your financial aid offer letter will provide you with the financial aid that you qualified for based on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), whether it is grants, loans, work study or a combination of all three. It is important that you read and understand your financial aid offer letter. 

Frequently Asked Questions

The following Frequently Asked Questions can help you understand your financial aid offer letter. 

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 nine 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
If you have a Pell Grant, MAP Grant, Student-to-Student Grant or Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant, you do not need to accept these awards in your Financial Aid Self Service. These awards will automatically be accepted. 

If you have a Direct Subsidized and/or Direct Unsubsidized Loans you will need to accept, reduce or decline those awards.To accept, reduce or decline your Direct Loans, you will need to complete the following steps:
  1. Accept your Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans through your Financial Aid Self Service
  2. 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
  3. If this is your first time borrowing, you must complete Entrance Loan Counseling 
  4. You must complete a Master Promissory Note.   
You do not have to accept any or all of your Direct Loans. If you wish to reject your Direct Loans or accept a smaller amount of loans, you will need to complete a Loan Change Form in the Office of Student Financial Assistance. 

If you have Federal Work Study: You can contact Human Resources 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. Your Student Loans may be reduced to allow for Federal Work Study eligibility.
No, you do not need to be a full-time student to receive financial aid. Students must be enrolled in a minimum of six credit hours to receive some form of financial aid. 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, visit us Eligibility Based on Enrollment Status.
When you register for classes, your tuition is due the day you register.
  1. If your balance is not fully covered by financial aid or military benefits, you are required to enroll in a payment plan or pay your account balance in full. See the College’s payment policy for more information.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Note: Financial aid can only cover up to 30 semester hours of below 1000 level courses.

Financial Aid Tips

  1. Students must apply for financial aid every academic year. An academic year is defined fall semester to summer semester.
  2. Looking to enroll in Summer classes. Contact the Office of Student Financial Assistance to inquire about summer financial aid availability.

Contact Information

Office of Student Financial Assistance
Seaton Computing Center (SCC), Room 123
(630) 942-2251
Email: financialaid@cod.edu
Fax: (630) 942-2151

Summer Hours

  • Monday and Tuesday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Wednesday and Thursday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Friday, closed

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