Frequently Asked Questions
The Financial Aid Office at Illinois Institute of Technology frequently asked questions offers our students a comprehensive list of the most common inquiries received at our office. If you do not find an answer to your question through the options below, you may find your answer through the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, the Office of Graduate and Professional Enrollment, the Student Accounting Office, the Office of the Registrar, or Residence and Greek Life.
What is financial aid?
Financial aid refers to any program which offers money to assist a student with costs associated to education. There are many types of financial aid including university scholarships, federal and state grants, federal work study, and loans. Not all students are eligible for all forms of assistance.
How do I contact the Office of Financial Aid?
On our About the Office, and in the footer of most of our websites, you will find our telephone and fax numbers, mailing address, and other contact information. You may also find general information about our University listed on the About IIT website.
How do I apply for institutional scholarships at IIT?
Institutional scholarships are granted upon admission to the university. The Undergraduate Admissions and Graduate and Professional Enrollment offices determine the institutional aid a student will receive. You can view a full list of scholarships offered to undergraduate students can be found on the Office of Undergraduate Admissions website. In addition, a full list of details related to graduate scholarships and deadlines can be found on the Graduate Admissions website.
Why do I need the school code? What is IIT's school code?
The university code is used to identify Illinois Institute of Technology on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The university school code is 001691.
What is the status of my financial aid?
You can always check the status of your financial aid account on your myIIT portal, under the finance tab for the current academic year. If you are a recently admitted student and you are interested in viewing your financial aid package, you will be sent an award letter with your award details during March and April.
Students can confirm IIT enrollment in 3 easy steps through the Office Undergraduate Admissions. Use the steps below to enroll, deposit, and confirm your attendance to IIT today! The main web site for enrollment confirmation can be found at http://iit.edu/undergrad_admission/admitted_fall.htm.
Step 1: Complete the enrollment form.
Complete the enrollment form online on the Office of Undergraduate Admissions web site.
Step 2: Complete a room and board contract.
Students living on campus need to sign a room and board contract with Residence and Greek Life.
Step 3: Pay your enrollment deposit.
Once you complete your enrollment form and room and board contract, then the last step of the enrollment process is paying the deposit. Please go to http://iit.edu/undergrad_admission/admitted_fall.htm, then follow Step 3. You may also visit MyIIT, select the Finances Tab, clicking on Manage My Account, then select Deposits from the top of the TouchNet menu.
How do I apply for financial aid at the Illinois Institute of Technology?
Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which is available in late fall from your high school guidance counselor's office or from college financial aid offices. Make sure that you list the Illinois Institute of Technology (Title IV Code 001691) as a school choice. The form is year-specific, so you must reapply every year.
You may also apply online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. The online process is faster and also allows you to correct errors before your FAFSA is submitted. Accurate FAFSAs are processed quicker and need less additional documentation.
How will I know what awards I am eligible for at IIT after I file the FAFSA?
Students will be are provided with a Financial Aid Award letter that outlines all financial aid awards and scholarships for which you are eligible, as determined by your application for admission and by your FAFSA.
Can I meet with a counselor to assist me with filling out my FAFSA?
Unfortunately, the counselors in the Office of Financial Aid are prohibited from assisting students and families with filing the FAFSA due to the conflict of interest this would cause our counselors. For more information related to the policies our staff need to follow, please visit IIT Office of Financial Aid Code of Conduct web page.
What are the deadlines for submitting the FAFSA for the next academic year?
FAFSA is not available for the upcoming academic year until after January 1 every year. In order to be considered for campus-based aid programs, be sure to submit the FAFSA by March 1. If you do not meet the deadline, your eligibility for need-based assistance may be affected because of the limited amount of funds available.
Does IIT require a College Scholarship Services (CSS) profile for institutional aid?
IIT does not require students to complete the CSS profile for financial aid consideration at our university.
What should I do if I forget to sign the form, or if I realize I made a mistake after I sent the FAFSA to be processed?
After a paper FAFSA is processed, you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR), which summarizes all the information you completed on the FAFSA. If you forgot to sign the form or need to make corrections, you will need to correct, sign and return the SAR to the federal processor address located on the back of the Student Aid Report.
After an online FAFSA is processed, you will receive a SAR Acknowledgment, which summarizes all the information you completed on the FAFSA. If you need to make corrections, you can make the corrections online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. If you did not sign your online FAFSA, you will be sent a SAR to sign and return so that processing may be completed.
What types of financial aid do I apply for when I complete the FAFSA?
The FAFSA is the application for a number of federal and state financial aid programs. When you complete the FAFSA, you apply for the Federal Pell Grant; the State of Illinois Monetary Award Program (MAP) Grant (Illinois residents only); Illinois Institute of Technology need-based grants; Campus-Based Aid Programs, including the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG), the Federal Perkins Loan and Federal Work-Study; and the Federal Stafford Loan.
My sister applied for financial aid last year but didn't receive any assistance. Is it worth it for me to apply for assistance this year?
Absolutely. Your sister should reapply for aid, as well. With two family members in college, your family will incur greater educational costs, which will be considered when you apply for aid. Additionally, since your family situation could change from year to year, you should apply each year for need-based assistance.
What if my parents' taxes are not completed by the March 1 filing date?
You may use estimated figures to file the FAFSA. If requested, you will have to provide completed federal income tax information to IIT before actual awards will be made. When you complete the FAFSA with estimated information, take care to ensure that the estimated figures will closely match your actual data. If they aren't close, your financial aid package could dramatically change when the final information is updated.
My parents are divorced. I live with my mother, but my father claims me on his tax return. How do I apply for aid?
Complete the FAFSA with your and your mother's information. Only the custodial parent (parent with whom the child lives) is required to supply the necessary financial information.
I don't live at home with my parents. Does this mean I am an independent student?
Not necessarily. You will be considered a dependent student for the current academic year unless you are 24 years of age, are an orphan or ward of the court (or were a ward of the court until age 18), a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces, a graduate or professional student, a married student, or a student who has legal dependents other than a spouse. If you feel you have a unique situation that does not meet the above criteria, you can contact a financial aid counselor.
Is there a salary or income amount that would preclude a family from receiving financial need-based assistance?
Financial need isn't just figured on income, it is calculated using a federal methodology called the Expected Family Contribution (EFC), which measures the educational expenses a family can absorb over time. The EFC not only considers family income, but also the number of people in the family, the age of the older parent, the value of assets, the number of people in college, and other factors. The EFC is then subtracted from the Cost of Attendance to determine financial need. Federal Veterans Benefits (GI Bill) are also subtracted from the cost of attendance. Families who aren't awarded need-based assistance are encouraged to seek other financing options.
How will I know if I need to submit additional documents?
Some students must send additional documentation for verification review. Students selected for verification will receive notification on their MyIIT portal, as well as in the mail, related to documents the Office of Financial Aid needs to verify information reported on the FAFSA. Once the documents are received and reviewed, we will update financial aid awards, if needed, and send a notification to you via e-mail describing the changes, if any, made to your account. Your financial aid will not be disbursed until all requested information is provided and reviewed. The Office of Financial Aid should have all your documents reviewed for verification purposes within fifteen days of submission.
If we are required to submit our taxes for verification at a later date, will the award change?
If figures are reported inaccurately on your FAFSA, your financial aid package could change. Our verification process is intended to ensure that the correct information is used to determine an accurate award package for each student.
I have been awarded grants and loans. What is the difference between the two?
Grants are need-based assistance which does not need to be repaid by the student. Federal Loans, such as the Federal Stafford Loan and the Federal Perkins Loan are forms of financial assistance that need to be repaid.
Will my financial aid stay the same from year to year?
Each year's financial aid award is based on the FAFSA for that academic year. Changes in the family's financial situation and increased loan amounts, among other factors, may affect the award from year to year. The Illinois Institute of Technology attempts to keep awards consistent to the extent that academic level and program funding allow. Financial aid awards may also change based on program rule and funding changes beyond IIT's control. (For example, if the Illinois General Assembly changes funding for the State of Illinois MAP Grant, the grant amount may change.)
If I receive a scholarship from an outside donor or organization, will that affect the financial aid I receive from IIT?
Students are encouraged to apply for scholarships from outside sources. If a student is awarded a private scholarship, the Office of Financial Aid will credit the student's account upon receipt of the funds, to ensure this scholarship is included in the financial aid package for the academic year. Once the check is submitted to the Office of Financial Aid, this is processed and submitted to the Student Accounting Office. Student Accounting will process the check and apply it toward the student account. Please note that under no circumstances can a student's need be exceeded if the student is receiving need-based funds. If this scholarship causes an over-award situation in need and/or cost of attendance, the Office of Financial Aid will contact the scholarship agency for a final decision.
If my enrollment changes (i.e. drop below full time 12 credit hours), or I change my housing options, will this change affect my financial aid?
Possibly. Since aid is partially based on enrollment level and living arrangements (i.e., in a IIT residence hall, off-campus apartment or commuting from a parent's home), any changes could potentially change the amount of assistance you may be eligible to receive. Students considering such changes in plans should contact the Financial Aid Office. Remember: You must be enrolled half-time to receive financial assistance. Please visit our policies webpage for more information related to enrollment adjustments.
If an undergraduate student's enrollment drops below full time status, this students institutional awards will be removed from the student's account for that semester. Students considering such changes in plans should contact the Financial Aid Office. Please visit our policies websites for more information related to enrollment adjustments.
My award notice lists Federal Work Study. Is that a financial aid award?
Federal Work Study (FWS) is a program in which students work on- or off-campus to help pay for their education. FWS is available to undergraduate and graduate students who qualify for need-based assistance and enrolled at least halftime. Although there is no difference in FWS and non-FWS job descriptions or pay scales, employing departments benefit from hiring FWS students, because federal funds are used to pay for a portion of the students' wages.
How will I receive my financial aid?
All financial aid awards are applied to your account by the Bursar's Office. The remaining balance after financial aid is credited may be paid in installments by signing up for a payment plan or by borrowing a private loan. Federal work study (FWS) earnings are received via a bi-weekly paycheck or via direct deposit into a student's checking or savings account. Federal work study awards are not grants automatically applied towards a student's tuition bill, nor is the amount of the award guaranteed.
Will my financial aid awards be the same every year?
Each year's financial aid award package is based on the FAFSA for that academic year. Changes in the family's financial situation and increased loan amounts, among other factors, may affect the award from year to year. The Illinois Institute of Technology attempts to keep awards consistent to the extent that academic level and program funding allow. Financial aid awards may also change based on program rule and funding changes beyond IIT's control (i.e., if the Illinois General Assembly changes funding for the State of Illinois MAP Grant, the grant amount may fluctuate).
After reviewing my financial aid letter, I find that I cannot afford the out of pocket expenses. What can I do?
The university believes the financing of an undergraduate education is the family's responsibility to the extent that they are able. If you find that your family can't afford the cost of attendance, you have the option of working over the summer to use the resources you make to help pay for your education. In addition, the Office of Financial Aid has an appeal process for special circumstances.
The Office of Financial Aid cannot increase the institutional scholarships that were initially awarded by the Office of Undergraduate Admission. However, if the Appeals Committee believes additional assistance is warranted due to financial circumstances, additional aid may be offered in the form of a loan, employment, or grant. This additional assistance will be reflected on a revised financial aid award. You should be aware that funding is limited and that the Office of Financial Aid will do everything possible to accommodate individual family needs.
Can I view my awards online?
Yes, you can view all your financial aid awards online using your MyIIT portal login. You can visit the Finances Tab and view your awards for the current academic year.
When do I get myIIT login?
You should have received your myIIT login once you were admitted to the university and received your acceptance letter. If you did not receive a login with a password or misplaced this information, you can contact the Office of Undergraduate Admission at email@example.com.
Since this award letter has estimated expenses, when can I expect to receive a bill from Student Accounting?
You will receive an official bill from the Bursar's Office in July. This bill will detail all your charges on your account for the current term. Please note: if you do not register for housing on campus early, you may not see these charges on your bill in July and charges may be added at a later date. To obtain a copy of the most recent bill, you can view this on your myIIT portal. For more information about the charges on your account, as well as payment plan options, you can visit the Bursar's web site.
My award notice lists Federal Work Study. Is that a financial aid award? How do I apply for work study employment?
Federal Work Study (FWS) is a program in which students work on campus to help pay for their education. FWS is available to undergraduate and graduate students who qualify for need-based assistance and enrolled at least halftime. Although there is no difference in FWS and non-FWS job descriptions or pay scales, employing departments benefit from hiring FWS students, because federal funds are used to pay for a portion of the students' wages. Unlike other awards, FWS is money a student has to earn throughout the year. To apply for a FWS position, a student needs to follow the instructions on the Student Employment section of the Financial Aid website.
What do I need to do to have all my federal aid disbursed to my account?
Some students must send additional documentation for verification review. Students selected for verification will receive a notification in the mail, as well as on your MyIIT portal, detailing the documentation our office needs to finish the verification process under the Eligibility Progress Once the documents are received and reviewed, these documents will be placed in the satisfied status and your financial aid is ready for disbursement. Your federal financial aid awards will not be disbursed until after the add/drop date of the current term.
What is the health fee? How can I have this waived?
It is mandatory at IIT that all full-time students and students living in residence halls have health insurance. If you have insurance of your own, you should complete the Waiver Form online. Failure to complete the waiver by the deadline will result in a health fee assessment, which the student is obligated to pay.
What are my room and board options?
The Office of Residence and Greek Life has a comprehensive list of housing choices available on their website.
What are the tuition charges and will it remain the same every year?
Tuition rates for students are located on the Student Accounting website. Historically, tuition rates have not remained constant. You should expect tuition to increase 3-7% each year.
What office do I contact to process my financial aid?
The Office of Financial Aid manages the financial aid process for all graduate students, excluding Chicago-Kent College of Law students. If you are a Chicago-Kent College of Law, please contact the Downtown Campus Office of Financial Aid directly.
How are my scholarship, fellowship, or assistantship funds applied to my account?
A graduate student who receives funding in the form of a scholarship, fellowship, or assistantship, obtains these funds directly from the academic unit. You can view all the Graduate Income Tuition Voucher (ITV) procedure on the policies and procedures portion of our web site.
If you are aware you are receiving an income tuition voucher (ITV) from your department, please notify the Office of Financial Aid of the amount you plan to receive, so we can account for this in your budget for the academic year. You can easily submit this information on your myIIT portal, on the Finances Tab: click Financial Aid awards in the middle of the page, select the current aid year, and select the Resources/Additional Information tab. You can indicate the amount you expect to receive and the Office of Financial Aid will use this projection for your budget. In any case, the Office of Financial Aid will not post these funds to your account until an official notification is submitted from you academic department ITV coordinator.
How is my budget determined?
Graduate students (excluding Chicago Kent, College of Architecture, and the Institute of Design) who indicate full-time enrollment on their FAFSA are budgeted 6 credit hours per semester, along with an allotment for fees, living expenses, books, etc. Graduate students enrolling above 6 credit hours per semester can complete a budget adjustment worksheet to increase their current budget or request adjustments for other expenses not in the original student budget. This worksheet can also be used to request an increase to your graduate plus loan.
The Office of Financial Aid encourages students to borrow loans only to cover what is absolutely necessary. A student should track and manage all educational debt to avoid over borrowing and accruing too much debt.
Will my financial aid be affected if my enrollment changes?
Financial aid is partially based on enrollment level and living arrangements; changes to enrollment or housing could affect financial aid eligibility. Graduate students are eligible for federal aid and continued deferment of existing loans if they are registered for half-time (4.5 hours) or greater. Co-op courses do not count towards enrollment for the purposes receiving of financial aid. Graduate Students registered for less than half time are only eligible for private loans up to the cost of tuition and fees. Students considering changes to enrollment status or housing are encouraged to contact the Financial Aid Office. Additional information about the less than half time policy is on the policy section of our web site.
What do I need to do to have all my federal aid disbursed to my account?
Any outstanding requirements can be found through your myIIT Portal. Requirements are specific to individuals and can range from completing a new Master Promissory Note to handing in tax returns. Assuming eligibility requirements have been met, aid will disburse when all outstanding documents have been turned in and reviewed.
What is the health fee? How can I have this waived?
It is mandatory for all full-time students and students living in residence halls to have health insurance at IIT. If you already have health insurance, you should complete the Waiver Form online. If you have questions regarding the insurance coverage, please contact the Student Health Center at 312.567.7550.
What is the proof of citizenship requirement?
If when applying for financial aid with the Department of Education, your Student Aid Report (SAR) received a citizenship flag from the Department of Homeland Security or the Social Security Administration, the Office of Financial Aid will request proof of citizenship. The Department of Homeland Security or the Social Security Administration selected your SAR for review because of one of the following:
- You changed your response to citizenship (Item 14).
- You changed the Alien Registration Number (Item 15) that was verified with the Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS).
- Your citizenship status could not be confirmed.
To resolve this conflict, you must submit proof of citizenship to our office. Only one form of documentation is required. Acceptable documents are listed on the Proof of Citizenship Requirement document on our forms and publications section of the web site.
How do I apply for the Federal Direct Parent Plus loan?
Parents need to login to www.studentloans.gov and complete the parent plus loan application. If the loan is approved, then the parent must sign a master promissory note. If the loan is denied, the Office of Financial Aid will work with the student to offer additional unsubsidized loan funds.
I processed a Master Promissory Note with the Department of Education, but the MPN requirement on the portal is still flagged as unsatisfied. Why is this unsatisfied? Was my MPN received?
The Office of Financial Aid has several MPN files to load into our system. After completing your MPN with the Department of Education, this may take up to five business days to be satisfied on your account. If this is not satisfied after five days, please contact our office directly.
What is the difference between Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans?
Subsidized Federal Stafford Loans are loans on which the government will pay the interest. Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans are loans for which you are responsible for the interest. Click here for more information about eligibility requirements for Federal Stafford Loans.
If I want to borrow the Stafford loans, do I need to complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN)?
If you want to borrow the Stafford loans, you need to accept them on your myIIT portal. After you accept these loans, you need to complete a MPN with the Department of Education. Your federal financial aid awards will not be disbursed until after the add/drop date of the current term, so please keep this in mind when finalizing your budget for the semester.
If I am not interested in borrowing loans, how do I decline them?
You can decline your student loans online through your myIIT portal, under the Finances Tab. You may either decline the entire loan, or reduce the offered loan amounts.
What is Entrance Counseling?
Entrance counseling, or entrance interview, is an interactive counseling session complete online through the Department of Education. This is a federal requirement mandated by the Department of Education for all students to complete, so students make informed decisions related to loan borrowing. Your federal loans will not disburse to your financial aid account if this requirement is not satisfied.
If I still need to borrow money to pay my outstanding balance and I have exhausted my Stafford loans, what other options do I have?
If you are a currently enrolled student, you may enroll in a payment plan online through your myIIT portal. You can also visit the Bursar Office web site to view your payment plan options. If you already graduated, you may contact the Bursar's Office directly to meet with a Bursar Specialist to discuss your payment plan options.
If you do not want to establish a payment plan, you may borrow a private loan as well from a lender of your choice.
Am I eligible for institutional aid?
Yes. All students admitted to the university are eligible for institutional aid based on the application submitted to the university. When you receive your acceptance letter from the Undergraduate or Graduate Admissions departments, you will be notified of the institutional awards you were awarded, including the amount for these awards too.
As an international student, if I do not have any kind of U.S. Citizenship status, do I qualify for federal or state financial aid?
Unfortunately, unless you meet the eligibility requirements established by the Department of Education, you are not eligible for federal or state financial aid. As a graduate student, you may receive assistance from your Department through fellowships, scholarships, or teaching/research assistantships, however you need to contact your department directly for financial consideration for these awards.
Does your university have benefits available for Veterans?
IIT participates in the Post-9/11 GI Bill and also has the Yellow Ribbon Program established by the Department of Veterans Affairs. You may be eligible to receive if you fit the Yellow Ribbon Eligibility requirements. You may also visit the Department of Veterans Affairs web site for more information about this program.
If my parent or legal guardian was a veteran, can I receive this benefits as a student?
Yes! If you are a dependent eligible for Transfer of Entitlement under the Post-9/11 GI Bill based on veteran's service under eligibility requirements established by the Department of Veterans Affairs, then you may receive these benefits. For more information related to transfer of benefits, please visit the Department of Veterans Affairs web site.
Is there a veteran's web site?
Yes! You can find answers to majority of your questions by visiting the Veteran's page here: http://www.iit.edu/financial_aid/policies/veteran_benefits.shtml.
After reviewing my financial aid letter, I find that I cannot afford the out of pocket expenses. What can I do?
The university believes the financing of an undergraduate education is the family's responsibility to the extent that they are able. If you find that your family can't afford the cost of attendance, you have the option of working over the summer to use the resources you make to help pay for your education. In addition, the Office of Financial Aid has an appeal process for special circumstances.The Office of Financial Aid cannot increase the institutional scholarships that were initially awarded by the Office of Undergraduate Admission. However, if the Appeals Committee believes additional assistance is warranted due to financial circumstances, additional aid may be offered in the form of a loan, employment, or grant. This additional assistance will be reflected on a revised financial aid award. You should be aware that funding is limited and that the Office of Financial Aid will do everything possible to accommodate individual family needs.
For more information related to the appeal process, please view our appeals section of our web site.