Graduate Financial Aid FAQs
The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is used to determine your eligibility for federal student financial aid.
Complete the FAFSA each year, as soon as possible after October 1. Students will be required to report income information from an earlier tax year. For example, on the 2020-21 FAFSA, students (and parents, as appropriate) will report their 2018 income information, rather than their 2019 income information. Financial aid packages can only be offered to students who have completed the FAFSA. Because the FAFSA takes 3-5 business days to process, be sure to file at least two weeks before the end of your enrolled class(-es); otherwise, financial aid may not be able to be processed for that term.
Concordia’s priority awarding deadline is March 1st of each year. FAFSA applications filed after this date will be processed; however some types of financial aid may no longer be available. Note: All Adult Degree Completion students who are Illinois residents should complete their FAFSA by early December, or risk being denied Illinois MAP Grants due to state budget limitations. The Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) sets the FAFSA submission deadline for MAP grant consideration. It is generally December 1—or earlier—each year
Complete the FAFSA online at https://fafsa.gov. To make sure that Concordia University Chicago receives a copy of your FAFSA results, make sure you list our school code: 001666. This application is FREE. If you are asked to pay a fee for processing, you have accidentally gone to the wrong website.
You will need records of untaxed income, Federal Income Tax Returns, W-2 forms, bank statements and investment records for yourself and your spouse (if married).
Only students who have been admitted to an approved degree or certificate program are eligible to receive a financial aid award. Financial aid awards will be offered to admitted students within 7 business days after the FAFSA results are received in the Office of Financial Aid. Once the student’s financial aid file is completed, he/she will receive notification in the mail. Returning students will not receive paper award letters in the mail. They are notified via email of the availability of the award on the student portal, CU Connect. Be sure to check your Concordia email frequently for important notices from the Office of Financial Aid.
We encourage all students to file the FAFSA in order to determine their full eligibility for all types of financial assistance. In order to be considered for any federal or state aid (including low-interest loans), you must file the FAFSA.
If you plan to apply for private scholarships, many agencies and organizations require the FAFSA to be filed. Also, if anything dramatically changes with your finances during the academic year, the FAFSA on file can be used to determine additional eligibility. Remember, the FAFSA must be filed each academic year.
The priority FAFSA processing date is March 1. In order to receive financial aid, your file must be fully complete at least one week prior to the end of your enrolled class(-es). A fully complete file means you have accepted or declined ALL offered awards and completed ALL required documentation. Incomplete financial aid files may mean we are unable to process funds for your term, depending on your enrollment status.
ALL students must accept the terms and conditions online. You may do so by logging in to connect.cuchicago.edu and clicking on Billing/Financial Aid located on the left-hand side. In the right-hand column, select Financial Aid Awards under View My Financial Aid Awards. Be sure to select the correct academic year. Then, select the Terms & Conditions tab. Once you have thoroughly read and understand the information, click Accept and then you can proceed to making award decisions. After accepting the Terms & Conditions as stated above, select the Accept Award Offer tab, and proceed to accept or decline your aid.
For alternative or private loans, any changes or increases must be submitted in writing at least two weeks prior to the end of your enrolled class(-es).
Many local organizations and businesses provide assistance to help students attend college. Websites like www.fastweb.com and the Illinois Student Assistance Commission’s website www.collegezone.com are excellent resources for additional information on scholarships.
Explore potential sources in your community. Your church, employer, and/or local chamber of commerce or other community groups may have information not widely publicized online.
To find information on Federal Student Aid and to view publications online, visit: www.FederalStudentAid.ed.gov.
Many students do qualify for an educational tax credit. For more information on these tax credits, please visit here. You may also check with your tax preparer or contact the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) at (800) 829-1040.