Making your education affordable and meeting the cost of a college education is a primary goal of Concordia University Chicago. Concordia’s comprehensive financial aid program offers assistance to help supplement each family’s contribution toward college expenses. While the responsibility for financing University costs rests with students and their families, Concordia assists with this obligation by providing financial aid packages to help meet the needs of its students.
The amount of assistance a student may be eligible for is determined with the help of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This analysis calculates the amount a student’s family can provide for University expenses, taking into account such factors as current income, assets, family size and number in college.
After a careful study of the information on the FAFSA, the Office of Student Financial Planning determines the family’s eligibility for financial assistance. If eligible, a student will receive a combination of scholarships and/or grants, campus employment and educational loans. This combination is called an award package.
All undergraduate students wishing to apply for financial assistance may submit the FAFSA any time after January 1 (but no later than March 1) for the coming school year. All need-based federal, state and institutional aid is awarded based upon the evaluation of the FAFSA. Federal programs are available to students who are permanent residents and citizens of the United States; Illinois residents are eligible for the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) monetary awards. Most states will not allow their grants to be used out-of-state. Therefore, students should check with their school counselors if they are not sure of their state programs.
Lutheran church professional students are asked to apply to their churches and districts for assistance. They also may be eligible for Concordia’s Church Professional Grant, which ranges from $500 to $2,000 per year.
Minority students who plan to enter the Lutheran church professional program may be eligible for additional Synodical funds. They also must file for federal and state grants if applicable. Academic scholarships for returning students, usually ranging from $500 to $1,500, are available on campus. Most are based on academic achievements; some are based on need and/or program. Scholarship applications are available between February 1 and April 1 each year.
Students are urged to investigate the possibility of scholarships, grants and loans that might be available to them in their own communities and/or states. Many Lutheran organizations and agencies provide financial assistance for Concordia students. National Mutual Benefit, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, the Lutheran Laymen’s League and the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League are some examples of Lutheran groups and businesses which offer scholarships and grant monies/opportunities to students attending Lutheran colleges and universities. Contact congregational/area representatives for further details.
In addition, contact local businesses and civic organizations regarding scholarship and grant programs. Consult the local Chamber of Commerce and the high school guidance office or local community colleges for listings of these resources.
New and transfer students may be eligible for merit-based awards, granted upon admission to the University, by the Office of Undergraduate Admission. These awards include the following: Pillars Scholarship, Regents Scholarship, Faculty Scholarship, Cougar Award, Maroon and Gold Award, Alumni Award, Music Scholarship, Presidential Honors Scholarship, Phi Theta Kappa and Business Enterprise Award.
Please contact the Office of Undergraduate Admission for specific information.
Comprehensive student financial planning information is available from the University. When an award is made, the recipient also receives an explanation of the award letter. These two publications, in conjunction with the above information, cover the requirements of the federal and state governments in regard to student consumer information.
Concordia University Chicago is grateful for current service members and veterans and is supportive of those who would like to start or continue their education. Multiple financial programs are available to assist veterans and their dependents in achieving a college education. The Post 9/11 Yellow Ribbon is one of the most beneficial educational programs in which CUC is a proud participant. To use your veterans educational benefits, please submit the following documents to the Office of Student Financial Planning:
• Copy of your Certificate of Eligibility from the Veterans Administration
• Copy of your DD-214
• Change of Program Form (If recently attended another college or university)
Concordia University Chicago is approved for the training of veterans in both undergraduate and graduate programs by the state-approving agency of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Any student who is certified by the Department of Veterans Affairs and determined eligible for the receipt of educational assistance benefits must maintain the University’s standards of satisfactory academic progress as listed in this section.
Many friends of the University have given gifts to establish named scholarships and endowments to support the student financial aid program at Concordia. Recipients are selected by academic departments, the merit scholarship committee and the Office of Student Financial Planning. If selected, you will be required to submit a thank you letter to the donor.
To assist in meeting their educational costs, students may be given the opportunity to work on campus. Campus jobs are awarded on the basis of need and ability. For Concordia students, off-campus employment also is a viable option.
The Perkins, Stafford and Unsubsidized Stafford Loan programs are made available by the state and federal government and administered by the University. Eligibility is determined by the FAFSA. The PLUS loan program, for parents of financially dependent students, also is offered for educational purposes. Many of these loans allow the student to borrow funds at low interest rates and repay them after the student has graduated from his/her intended program.
A student must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress to have eligibility for Federal Title IV funds, state grants and/or Concordia financial assistance. Other aid, such as military benefits and merit scholarships, also may be affected.
The Standards of Progress include three elements: grade point average, course-completion rate and maximum time frame.
Grade Point Average: Undergraduate students are required to maintain a 2.0 grade point average by the end of their first year of full-time study (24-30 credit hours of coursework). A cumulative 2.0 grade point average must be maintained from that point forward.
Course Completion Rate: Undergraduate students are required to complete two-thirds (67 percent) of all credit coursework attempted. The completion rate is calculated as a percentage of completed coursework over the student’s entire enrollment at CUC. Students must maintain a cumulative 67 percent course completion rate.
Grades of W, F, IF or U are considered as coursework attempted but not completed.
Maximum Time Frame: Students are allowed to receive financial assistance until they have exceeded 150 percent of the number of credit hours needed to complete their degree program at CUC. Since the average number of credit hours needed to complete the bachelor’s degree is 128 hours, students may not receive financial assistance upon attempting more than 192 credit hours. Students in degree programs requiring more than 128 credit hours may appeal to the Director of Student Financial Planning for an extension, if necessary.
Warning Status: A student who fails to meet the above standards of satisfactory progress will be placed on Probation Status for his/her next term of attendance. During the probation period the student still is allowed to receive his/her need-based financial aid. Certain merit scholarships, which require the student to maintain a specified grade point average, still may be affected.
Disqualification Status: A student who fails to meet the standards of progress after a semester on probation will become disqualified from receiving further financial assistance from federal, state and/or Concordia funds. This includes eligibility for grants, student loans, parent loans, CUC need-based and merit scholarships and CUC faculty/staff waivers.
Appeals for the Reinstatement of Financial Assistance: Disqualified students may appeal their status, if mitigating circumstances contributed to their inability to meet the required standards of satisfactory progress. Students should write a letter, addressed to the Standards of Satisfactory Progress Committee, explaining their circumstances and what has changed, which will allow for their success in the future. Students are expected to submit supporting documentation when applicable. If the appeal is approved, students will be placed back on probation status for the next semester. Students need to meet the standards of satisfactory progress by the end of that semester or they will be placed back on disqualification status.
Additional Appeals: Students usually are allowed only one semester on probation after they have appealed due to mitigating circumstances. Additional appeals may be accepted if the student has made substantial gains in meeting the required standards, but may still fall short of meeting the cumulative grade point average or cumulative course completion. Students whose appeals have been denied may appeal again after they have met successfully the standards of satisfactory progress at CUC or show that they have attended and met the standards at another college.
The amount of Federal Title IV financial aid that a student receives is based on the completion of all registered coursework. Any student who withdraws completely from a semester or fails to complete any coursework with passing grades may be required to return a portion of the federal funds that had been applied to their account. The final account of financial aid earned will be based on the period of time that the student was attending during the term. Students will be considered to have earned all of their federal financial aid after the completion of sixty percent of the semester. Students who need to withdraw from all registered coursework should make an appointment with a Financial Planning Counselor to determine if a portion of unearned federal funds will need to be returned to the federal aid programs.