Your award letter will provide you with the financial aid that you qualified for based on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (AFSA), whether it is grants, loans, work study or a combination of all three. It is important that you read and understand your award letter.
Frequently Asked Questions
The following Frequently Asked Questions can help you understand your financial aid award 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 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:
- Accept your Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans through your Financial Aid Self Service
- 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 the Entrance Loan Counseling
- If this is your first time borrowing at COD, you must complete a Master Promissory Note.
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.
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
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 Eligibility Based on Enrollment Status.
- If you have financial aid in place, you may be eligible to sign up for a Deferred Payment Plan through 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 are then due later in the semester. This allows 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.
Financial aid cannot pay for classes that have been repeated more than once, when a grade of D or higher has already been earned.
- 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.
- 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 six credit hours of your classes have started.
Additionally, the loan funds will post to your student account in two equal installments.
Any refunds generated will then be made available to you 10 to 14 business days later.
- 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 six 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.
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. Contact the Office of Student Financial Assistance to inquire about summer financial aid availability.
- Our advice - any refund checks you received midterm, save the refund check and use them to cover your summer semester classes.
- Rights and Responsibilities - Understanding your Financial Aid
- Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy
Office of Student Financial Assistance
Student Services Center (SSC), Room 2220, (630) 942-2251
Fax: (630) 942-2151
Monday to Thursday: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Friday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.