Financial Aid COVID-19 Information

Illinois Institute of Technology is committed to caring for our students throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. We understand that many students are facing unexpected financial circumstances as a result of COVID-19. The Office of Financial Aid is available to assist with all considerations during this time.

We will continue adding updates to this page as information develops. If you have questions not outlined here or need clarity on any details, feel free to reach out to us at finaid@iit.edu or 312.567.7219. You can also schedule a virtual appointment with a financial aid counselor here.

For university-wide updates, please refer to the main COVID-19 webpage

Commonly Asked Questions

Financial Assistance
Billing
Financial Aid
Campus Employment
Miscellaneous

Financial Assistance

Q: My family is facing a financial hardship due to a parental job loss or furlough, medical bills, or other COVID-19-related expenses. Is there any assistance available?
A: If you are in this situation, we want to hear from you. Please complete the
Student Assistance Form and a staff member will be in touch to discuss options.

Q: I heard the CARES Act designated funds for federal grants to assist students with unanticipated expenses based on COVID-19. How can I be considered?
A: The CARES Act included direct grants for students via the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF). These funds were designated for those who are eligible to complete the FAFSA and receive federal funds.
As of December 18, 2020, Illinois Tech has distributed $1,865,000 in HEERF Grants to 1,243 students.

Required reporting information for CARES Act funds can be found here.

Q: I’ve heard about the Hawks4Hawks fund. What is this, and how can I apply?
A: Hawks4Hawks was created by the Class of 2017 and is aimed at assisting students facing financial challenges to completing their degree. Illinois Tech’s advancement team has been working to increase donations to this fund during this time of crisis. Undergraduate students faced with financial hardship will be considered upon completion of the Student Assistance Form.

Billing

Q: Will my tuition be refunded or discounted if I am attending completely remote? What about activity and/or student fees?
A: Our goal is to ensure academic instruction continues throughout the semester. Because instruction has continued, tuition will not be refunded. However, students who are completely remote will not be charged an activity fee for that semester.

Q: Were room and board costs prorated for spring 2020?
A: Yes. Students not living on campus have received prorated room and/or board refunds, as applicable, based on original charges for the term. The value of the refunded credit was calculated based on the daily rate of the room and/or board plan from March 23, 2020 (the day the university officially transitioned to online instruction) through May 10, 2020. Any room or board scholarships have been similarly prorated. If you have any questions about room and board credits, please contact the Office of Residence Life at
housing@iit.edu.

Q: Were students who graduated or applied to graduate charged a graduation fee?
A: No. If you were assessed a graduation fee at any point during this academic year, the fee has been waived. Degrees were conferred on Saturday, May 16, 2020, in a virtual ceremony. Additionally, all graduating students will be invited to return to campus to walk in future commencement ceremonies. 

 

Financial Aid

 

Q: Will my veteran benefits be impacted due to courses going online?
A: The VA has specific rules around distance learning and VA benefits. However, these specific rules have been waived due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Veterans benefits will not be impacted by the transition to online learning.

Q: I heard there will be no interest charged on my student loans. Can you confirm?
A: All student loans owned by the Department of Education will not accrue interest from March 13, 2020, through the end of the COVID-19 emergency relief period. Loans owned by the Department of Education include all Direct Loans—Unsubsidized Stafford Loans, Subsidized Stafford Loans, Parent PLUS Loans, and Graduate PLUS Loans.

However, if you have a private loan, or a federal loan not owned by the federal government, such as a Perkins Loan, please contact your servicer. Servicers of these loans each individually determine if they will grant any reduction in interest rates or forbearance periods.

Q: I’ve graduated or left the university. Am I required to make payments on my federal student loans?
A: Payments on Unsubsidized Stafford Loans, Subsidized Stafford Loans, Parent PLUS Loans, and Graduate PLUS Loans will not be required from March 13, 2020, through January 31, 2021, as student loan borrowers were automatically placed in an administrative forbearance. Borrowers can still make payments they wish to reduce their debt burden. If you have another federal student loan, please check with your loan servicer to see if forbearance was granted or is an option. 

You can find more information regarding how your student loans will be impacted during the COVID-19 outbreak on the Department of Education’s COVID-19 web page.

Q: If I experience increased costs (such as travel or medical) as a result of COVID-19, can these be considered in my cost of attendance (COA)?
A: Yes. Any student experiencing an increase in medical costs can have them considered in their costs of attendance. The goal of such an increase would be to increase a federal loan offer for any student with remaining eligibility.

Q: I had to withdraw from all of my classes because of concerns related to COVID-19. Do I qualify for any financial aid considerations because of the pandemic?
A: Students who were using federal aid prior to withdrawing qualify for certain benefits. Please contact the Office of Financial Aid at finaid@iit.edu if you meet this criteria. If you have any documentation (i.e. a notice of increased working hours for first responders, medical guidelines from a physician, etc.), please include it with your inquiry.

Q: I was able to secure a scholarship from an outside organization. What do I do with the check to make sure it’s applied to my bill?
A: Congratulations! The check can be sent to the following address, where it will be processed and posted to your student account:

Illinois Institute of Technology
7539 Solution Center
Chicago, IL 60677-7005 

Q: How will pass/ fail grading impact my Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) status for spring 2020? 
A: SAP consists of three components: grade-point average (GPA), pace, and time frame. Since GPA is qualitative (ie, the letter grade impacts the calculation), this portion of the SAP calculation cannot be completed with pass/fail grading. If you were counting on a term where you were graded pass/fail to improve your GPA as part of a SAP Plan or to prevent being moved to an ineligible status, you are invited to work directly with the Office of Financial Aid to avoid this grading method hindering your ability to receive aid in future terms.

All situations will be handled individually, so please reach out directly if you receive a notice from the Office of Financial Aid regarding lost eligibility or if you have any questions. Pace and time frame are both quantitative measurements of SAP, can still be accurately measured with pass/fail grading and thus will not be impacted.

Q: Will choosing the pass/fail grading option impact my institutional scholarships? 
A: No, you will continue to receive your institutional scholarships regardless of whether you choose the pass/fail grading option. Check your student portal to view your awards and let the Office of Financial Aid know if you have any questions by emailing finaid@iit.edu.

Campus Employment

Q: I am a student and have a job on campus. Will I continue to be paid if I’m not working?
A: No, any student who is no longer working their former hours will not be paid for hours not worked.

Q: I would like to be considered for an on-campus job that has a preference for a student with a Federal Work-Study (FWS) offer. I originally declined my FWS offer. Can I be reconsidered?
A: Yes, if you were originally offered the funds and declined them, please contact the Office of Financial Aid at finaid@iit.edu and we will confirm if you are still eligible, add the funds to your portal, and communicate to Student Employment so they know you qualify for an FWS position.

Miscellaneous

Q: I am attending Illinois Tech remotely. Does my university health insurance through Aetna cover me where I am?
A: Aetna is a nationwide network, and in most instances an in-network provider is available, although students may also use out-of-network providers. Students can use the “DocFind” tool to locate in-network providers wherever they reside.

Q: My study abroad trip was cancelled for spring 2020. What happens to these costs?
A: Study abroad costs vary by university and program type. if you have specific questions regarding a program, please contact the Office of Study Abroad directly.

Q: My major requires me to use materials that I do not have at home. Will I need to buy these materials on my own due to the online learning model?
A: This will depend on the individual course and the curriculum. Please connect with your faculty member to clarify any assignments that require physical materials. If something is needed and you are struggling to pay for it, please let us know by completing the Student Assistance Form.