Once a financial aid award letter is either sent to a student (incoming students) or posted to a student's account (matriculated students), there may be instances where changes to the original awards are warranted.
A financial aid counselor may review a student's circumstances, make an adjustment to their awards, and provide the student with a revised award letter or email indicating that a revision has been made.
This revised award letter or email notification invalidates the original award notice.
Revisions Initiated by the Office of Financial Aid
The Office of Financial Aid will automatically consider revision in a student's aid package when the following occurs:
- There is conflicting information in the file
- There are changes resulting from verification
- There is a change in the availability of funds
- There is an Office of Financial Aid staff member error
Illinois Institute of Technology's policy on the revision of financial aid award acknowledges the right of the Office of Financial Aid to make a change to any award.
Students are sent a revised award letter (incoming students) or email notification (matriculated students) as soon as possible that outlines the change. In the case of an office error, it is customary for the student to be contacted personally.
Revisions Initiated by a Request from a Student
Students may decline any portion of their award. If a student wants to add an award, the request should be submitted to the Office of Financial Aid, and a counselor will make this adjustment on the student's behalf.
It is the student's responsibility to notify the Office of Financial Aid of changes in the student's resources (i.e. scholarships). If a student makes an appointment with a financial aid counselor and reveals a change in circumstances that may affect the student's family contribution, the student should document the situation via a letter reiterating the conversation and including supporting documentation. If a change to the award is allowable, the financial aid counselor will provide the student an update to their award.
If a student wants to address an award issue or discrepancy, the student must address this problem by the end of the given semester or award year. Students are encouraged to report discrepancies to the Office of Financial Aid to rectify any errors that may have been overlooked. Failure to report an unresolved issue within the same semester/award year in question will result in financial aid awards to remain as posted during that time period and cannot be refuted.
An overaward occurs any time that a student's disbursed financial aid—federal, institutional, and outside aid—and other resources exceed the cost of attendance for the award period. There are several reasons of an overaward:
- Student Wages: the student earns more than the awarded Federal Work Study (FWS) allocation
- Change in the Enrollment Status: the student withdraws or drops below the projected enrollment status
- Reduction in Cost of Attendance: the student changes budget categories
- Additional Resources: the student has resources greater than those used to calculate awards
- Administrative Error: a member of the Office of Financial Aid inadvertently makes an error
- Fraud: the student intentionally deceives or misrepresents information to obtain funds
Eliminating an Overaward
Before reducing a student's aid package as a result of an overaward, the financial aid counselor or assistant director will always attempt to resolve the situation by reducing or eliminating the overaward. The following possible allowances will be considered:
- Increase their budget using allowable expenses
- Adjust the Expected Family Contribution
- Adjust undisbursed funds; all undisbursed financial aid funds must be adjusted in the case of an overaward
Treatment of an Overaward
If eliminating the overaward is not possible, a financial aid counselor at Illinois Tech must reduce the overaward using the following sequence:
- An overaward due to an administrative error must first be reduced or the next semester's overpayment must be eliminated. The financial aid counselor must then contact the Student Accounting Office to correct any adjustments to the student's bill for any remaining amount.
- If an overaward occurs due to fraud, the Office of Financial Aid will consult the Office of the General Counsel and adhere to federal and institutional policy.
Impact of Outside Scholarships
The Office of Financial Aid encourages students to pursue scholarship opportunities outside of Illinois Tech. If you are awarded and receive a scholarship check, please submit it to the Office of Financial Aid. A student may not receive financial aid—including scholarships, grants, or loans—from any source that exceeds their cost of attendance. Cost of attendance will vary from student to student and includes: tuition, fees, room, board, books, and transportation. If a student is eligible for aid that exceeds his or her cost of attendance, the Office of Financial Aid will reduce his or her awards in the order listed below until the student's awards are within the allotted budget. However, students may choose to decline or lower an award listed in favor of one that is higher.
- Private Loan
- Federal Parent PLUS Loan
- Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loan
- Subsidized Federal Stafford Loan
- Federal Work-Study
- Federal Perkins Loan
- Illinois Tech Grants or Scholarships*
- Federal SEOG Grant
- State of Illinois MAP Grant*
- Private Scholarships*
- Federal Pell Grant
*Illinois Tech grants and scholarships are restricted to tuition and the State of Illinois MAP Grant is restricted to tuition and mandatory fees. These awards combined may not exceed tuition and mandatory fees. Private scholarships may also be restricted to specific expenses by the organization awarding it, and the Office of Financial Aid will apply the scholarships according to the organization's rules.
If a student has begun a Federal Work-Study position, loan awards will be adjusted before the work-study allocation. In this situation, students may not choose to decline work-study in favor of loans.
Subsidized Federal Stafford Loans, Federal Work-Study, Federal Perkins Loans, and Federal SEOG Grants are need-based awards. They may only be awarded to students whose total scholarships, grants including Federal Work-Study, or subsidized loans including Federal Perkins Loans are less than or equal to a student's financial need. Financial need is defined by the United States Department of Education as the difference between a student's cost of attendance and their Expected Family Contribution (EFC), which is calculated from information provided on the FAFSA. Receipt of scholarships or adjustment of EFCs may cause students to no longer be eligible for a need-based award.
Post-9/11 GI Bill and Montgomery GI Bill Benefits
These educational benefits will be applied to a student's account in accordance with the rules established by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the U.S. Department of Education. These benefits, when combined with applicable institutional scholarships, may not exceed tuition and fee charges and or the cost of attendance. If a student is eligible for the State of Illinois MAP Grant, the VA educational benefits, applicable institutional scholarships, and State of Illinois MAP Grant, combined, may not exceed mandatory tuition and fees. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our office.