Frequently Asked Questions

This page contains information related directly to the role of parents, legal guardians and/or family members related to student financial aid. For additional questions and answers, visit the General Financial Aid FAQ.

Federal financial aid guidelines state that a student is dependent unless:          

  • The student is 24 years of age or older.
  • The student will be working on a master's or doctorate degree.
  • The student is married as of the date they file the FAFSA.
  • The student has children who receive more than half of their support from the student.
  • The student has dependents (other than children or spouse) who live with the student and who receive more than half their support from the student.
  • Any time after the age of 13, both parents were deceased, or the student was in foster care, declared a dependent/ward of the court, in a legal guardianship, or an emancipated minor.
  • The student is a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces.
  • At any time on or after July 1, 2021, the student’s high school or school district homeless liaison determined that the student was an unaccompanied youth who was homeless.
  • At any time on or after July 1, 2021, the director of an emergency shelter or transitional housing program funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development determined that the student was an unaccompanied youth who was homeless.
  • At any time on or after July 1, 2021, the director of a runaway or homeless youth basic center or transitional living program determined the student was an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or was self-supporting and at risk of being homeless.

If the student does not qualify under at least one of these conditions, the student is considered dependent, and the parent’s income information must be included on the FAFSA.

Universities are allowed, under federal guidelines, to make adjustments to the EFC based on special circumstances. A parent can complete a Special Circumstances Form. For information about filling out the form, please contact the Office of Financial Aid.

New freshmen receive a "hard copy" packet of information in the mail that includes their Financial Aid Award Notification and a list of any required documents requested by our office. We do send additional communication via email, so it’s important your student checks his/her Concordia-Chicago account regularly. 

Parents have the option to apply for a low-interest Parent PLUS Loan through the U.S. Department of Education. You may also set up a payment plan for your child’s educational expenses through the Office of Student Business Services.

Direct PLUS Loans are low interest loans for the parents of dependent students.

  • You must be the biological or adoptive parent (or, in some cases, the stepparent) of the student for whom you are borrowing.
  • Your child must be a dependent student who is enrolled at least half-time.
  • You cannot have an adverse credit history.
  • You and your child must be U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens and must meet other general eligibility requirements for the Federal Student Aid programs.

No, a PLUS Loan is an option parents have in financing their child’s education.

You can complete the Direct PLUS Loan application online at Student Loans. Sign in with your information as the parent, and click on "Request a Direct PLUS Loan." You will also need to complete the Direct PLUS Loan Master Promissory Note. The University will receive electronic notification of the completed documents.

Yes, a credit check is completed before the loan will be approved. The Department of Education will display your credit approval status to you at the time you submit your PLUS request. You may be required to complete PLUS Credit Counseling as part of the application process.

  • Parents can choose to defer full repayment while the student is enrolled at least half-time. This option is presented as part of the PLUS Request process.
  • If you do not defer repayment while your child is enrolled, your payments will start 60 days after the full amount you’ve borrowed for a school year has been disbursed to the student’s account. 
  • If you have questions or problems with repayment of a PLUS Loan, you must contact your loan servicer directly. You can get the contact information by logging into the National Student Loan Database with your FSA user ID and password. Select Financial Aid Review and click on the loan from the list provided.

  • The current interest rate for Direct PLUS Loans is a fixed rate of 7.54%.
  • Interest is charged on Direct PLUS Loans during all periods, beginning on the date of your loan’s first disbursement. You should receive quarterly interest statements from your loan servicing agency. 

  • You may be able to appeal the credit denial, or add a credit-approved endorser to cosign your loan. You may be required to complete PLUS Credit Counseling as part of this process. 
  • If you are unable to borrow a PLUS Loan, your dependent student is eligible for an additional unsubsidized loan.