- Financial Aid Counselors
- Applying for Financial Aid
- Determining Financial Need
- Award Notification
- Disbursement of Financial Aid and Refunds
- Withdrawal Policy
- Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy (SAP) for Financial Aid
- Major Financial Aid Programs at UIC
- Applying for Other Assistance
The Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships (SFAS) is responsible for assisting students and their families in meeting the educational expenses of attending UIC. Various types of financial aid such as gift assistance (grants, scholarships, and waivers) and self-help (loans and employment) are available to UIC students from federal, state, institutional and private sources. However, please keep in mind that the primary financial responsibility for meeting educational expenses rests with the student and their families as financial aid is only meant to bridge the gap between what a student can afford as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the cost of attending UIC.
Note: Federal and state governments regulate the financial aid process and most types of financial aid awards. Therefore, the financial aid information contained in this catalog is subject to change at any time. For much more detailed information about the financial aid process, awards, etc., and the most current information, students are advised to refer to the SFAS website.
The SFAS is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., except during scheduled holidays. During office hours, professional staff are available in the reception area to answer questions. If students feel the need to discuss their situation more in depth, they can make an appointment with their assigned financial aid counselor, which is based on the college in which they are currently enrolled. Students can find out the name of their counselor via the SFAS website. To schedule an appointment, please visit the contact page of the SFAS website to schedule an appointment online or call the main office phone number (listed above). Out of courtesy for all, please arrive on time for appointments. There are no appointments available on Wednesdays and the first week of classes for each semester, though counselors can still be reached in reception, by phone, or by email.
If students email or leave a voicemail for their counselor, please be sure to include the University ID Number (UIN). Staff will make every attempt to respond to inquiries within 24–48 hours. However, at the start of each semester, due to the large volume of emails, phone calls and walk-ins, please allow 48–72 hours for a response. If possible, please try not to wait until the last minute, especially at the start of the fall semester. The office is open all summer long to assist with questions, process paperwork, etc., and makes every attempt to limit wait times at the start of each semester.
Keep in mind that most information is available via the financial aid website. Additionally, for students who are enrolled or have been admitted to UIC and have a University Identification Number (UIN), they may also access student specific financial aid information by logging into the UIC Portal. This information is the exact same information that staff view when a student inquires with questions. Via the portal, a student can view a list of outstanding document requirements, accept/decline their financial aid awards, view past year’s financial aid awards and view what financial aid awards have been disbursed to their student account.
Students must meet the following minimum criteria to be considered for the federal, state, and most institutional programs:
- File the Free Application for Federal Students Aid (FAFSA) each year.
- Be a U.S. Citizen or an Eligible Noncitizen.
- If male, be registered with Selective Service.
- Have a high school diploma or GED High School Equivalency diploma.
- Be enrolled in a degree-seeking or approved certificate program.
- Not be in default on any federal educational loans or owe a refund on a federal grant.
- Be making Satisfactory Academic Progress.
Students who wish to be considered for financial aid must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). FAFSAs are available on October 1 of each year (for classes beginning the following August). UIC’s priority deadline for completion of the FAFSA for each upcoming school year is February 15. FAFSAs are accepted after February 15, but due to limited funding in some programs, students may no longer be eligible for some types of assistance.
When completing the FAFSA, it is vital that students consistently report their Name, Social Security Number, and Date of Birth. The U.S. Department of Education will verify the information reported with various other federal agencies. If the information does not match, it will delay processing. Additionally, the information reported on the FAFSA must match exactly with the permanent student record at UIC. Once again, if the information reported on the FAFSA does not match, it will delay processing.
The SFAS recommends that students complete the FAFSA online. UIC’s school code (001776) must be listed; otherwise, UIC will not receive the FAFSA information. Completing the application online reduces processing time and errors. To complete the FAFSA online the student and parent (if the student is dependent) must have a Federal Student Aid Identification (FSA ID) in order to be able to sign the form electronically. Students may apply for a FSA ID online. Although the SFAS recommends that students complete the FAFSA online, paper FAFSAs are available upon request from the U.S. Department of Education.
Please note that students are considered dependent or independent based on information provided on the FAFSA. Most undergraduate students are considered dependent. All graduate students are considered independent. Dependent students must report parental income information on the FAFSA. Dependency is not a status of choice. Dependency status for financial aid is not based on whether or not a student lives with a parent; whether or not a student is financially self-supportive; or whether or not parents claim a student as a dependent on their taxes.
After receiving your FAFSA, the federal processor will send the student a Student Aid Report (SAR) electronically (unless you filed a paper FAFSA). The SAR lists all the information submitted on the FAFSA and explains the EFC calculated from that information. You should review the SAR for accuracy and make any necessary corrections.
Per the federal regulations, a percentage of students must submit additional documentation to the SFAS in order to verify the information reported on the FAFSA. This may include, but might not be limited to, a Verification Worksheet and federal tax information.
If additional information is required, the SFAS will send the student an email detailing the specific documentation being requested. It is important that all required documentation be submitted with proper signatures in a timely manner as until all required documentation is received and reviewed, we cannot finalize a financial aid award. Students should return the required documentation within 2 to 4 business days from the initial correspondence. Students are highly encouraged to mail or drop off at reception all the documents at the same time.
If as a result of reviewing the information an error is noticed, the SFAS will submit corrections of the student's FAFSA information to the U.S. Department of Education. The verification process generally takes two to three weeks, provided all the information has been submitted in its entirety.
For financial aid purposes, summer counts as one term. If students are enrolled in multiple summer sessions, the sum of all their summer enrollments must add up to the minimum 5 credit hours to receive federal financial aid.
To be considered for financial aid for the summer term, no additional application needs to be submitted besides those previously completed for the fall and/or spring terms. Starting in early April and continuing throughout the spring and summer, if students are enrolled for the appropriate number of credit hours based upon their level, they will be notified of their eligibility for the summer term via email. Please be aware that funding for the summer term is limited.
After completing the FAFSA, the U.S. Department of Education will calculate the student’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC) based on the income, assets, and family information provided on the FAFSA. The EFC is a specific dollar value the student and the student’s family (if dependent) are expected to contribute towards educational costs during a regular academic year. The EFC is not the amount that the student will pay the university.
For each student the SFAS must determine an estimated Cost of Attendance (COA), which reflects costs the student may encounter during the regular nine-month academic year. Such expenses may include:
- Tuition Differential (if applicable)
- Books and Supplies
- Room and Board
- Miscellaneous Personal Expenses
- Loan Fees (if borrowing a federal loan)
The total COA is not the amount that the student will owe the university for the year. Some items in the COA are indirect costs, and some are estimates. Direct Costs are those the student pays directly to the university and include tuition, fees, and tuition differentials. Room and board are direct costs for those living in campus housing. Indirect Costs are costs a student will likely face during the academic year but which are not owed directly to the university. Indirect costs include books and supplies, transportation, and miscellaneous personal expenses. Room and board are indirect costs for those not living in campus housing.
Financial need is determined by subtracting the students Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and any other outside resources from the students Cost of Attendance (COA) as per the formula below:
Cost of Attendance (COA)
— E F C
— Any outside resource
= Financial Need
A student must have financial need in order to be eligible for need-based financial aid. Additionally, the sum total of financial assistance a student receives from all sources (grants, scholarships, waivers, loans, work study, etc.) cannot exceed the students estimated cost of attendance.
Once the student’s FAFSA and any additional required documents have been processed, the SFAS is able to award the student financial aid. At such time, an email will be sent to the students UIC email address (or preferred email to those only admitted) with instructions on how they can view their Award Notification online. Students must accept and decline their financial aid awards online and notify the SFAS of any additional sources of funding not listed on the Award Notification. If needed, students may print a copy of their award letter themselves.
Ideally, the SFAS will begin to process awards for new incoming students in mid-March. However, much depends upon notification from the federal and state governments about funding levels for the various programs. Awards for continuing students will be processed after the spring term has ended and grades have been reviewed by the SFAS. So awards should be made available in late May or early June.
Please be aware that financial aid awards can be adjusted (increased, decreased or cancelled) at any point during the academic year. Awards can be adjusted for a variety of reasons, such as if the SFAS learns of outside financial resources (including tuition waivers and scholarships), if corrections are made to the students FAFSA, if the student changes enrollment, grade levels, majors, etc. If an award is adjusted, the student will be sent an email informing them that a revised Award Notification is available to be viewed online.
There are several types of special circumstances that can affect a student's status and aid eligibility during the year. Special circumstances must be unaccounted for by the regular awarding process. For example, an unexpected loss of employment could potentially be a reason for filing a special circumstances request. Lifestyle choices, such as the purchase of a new car or home, and other situations unrelated to higher education, such as credit card debt, are not considered special circumstances. Special circumstances must always be thoroughly documented. If the student (or the parents) experiences a change in financial situation, the student should contact the SFAS.
The soonest the SFAS can disburse financial aid is 10 days before the start of each semester. All aid must be credited to the students UIC student billing account each semester.
Financial aid will first be credited toward any outstanding balance assessed to the account. If the financial aid disbursed is greater than the total student account balance, Student Accounts Receivable will issue a refund to the student. This is done by either Direct Deposit (much faster and encouraged) or a refund check. UIC does not have a book voucher program. If the student plans on using financial aid funds to purchase books, they must do so after they have received their refund from Student Accounts Receivable.
When a student withdraws, two separate processes occur—the Office of the Registrar prorates tuition and some fees (according to their withdrawal policy and refund schedule), and the Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships (SFAS) prorates financial aid.
The law specifies how schools must determine the amount of Title IV program assistance that students earn if they withdraw from school. The Title IV programs that are covered by this law are: Federal Pell Grants, Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants, TEACH Grants, Stafford Loans, PLUS Loans, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOGs), and Federal Perkins Loans.
When a student withdraws during the payment period or period of enrollment, the amount of Title IV program assistance that was earned up to that point is determined by a specific formula. If the student received (or the school or parent received on the student's behalf) less assistance than the amount that the student earned, the student may be able to receive those additional funds. If the student received more assistance than was earned, the school and/or the student must return the excess funds in the following order:
- Federal Unsubsidized Direct Stafford Loan
- Federal Subsidized Direct Stafford Loan
- Federal Perkins Loan
- Federal Direct PLUS Loan
- Federal Pell Grant
- Federal SEOG
- Federal TEACH Grant
- Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant
The amount of assistance that a student has earned is determined on a pro rata basis. For example, if the student completed 30% of the payment period or period of enrollment, the student earns 30% of the assistance originally scheduled to be received. Once the student has completed more than 60% of the payment period or period of enrollment, the student earns all the assistance scheduled to be received for that period.
If the student did not receive all of the funds earned, there may be due a Post-withdrawal disbursement. If the Post-withdrawal disbursement includes loan funds, the school must get the student's permission before it can disburse them. The student may choose to decline some or all of the loan funds so that additional debt is not incurred. The school may automatically use all or a portion of the Post-withdrawal disbursement of grant funds for tuition, fees and room and board charges. The school will need the student's permission to use the Post-withdrawal grant disbursement for all other school charges. If the student does not give permission, the student will be offered the funds. However, it may be in the student's best interest to allow the school to keep the funds to reduce personal debt at the school. It should be noted that there are some Title IV funds that were scheduled to be received and cannot be disbursed to the student once withdrawn because of other eligibility requirements. If the student receives (or the school or parent receives on the student's behalf) excess Title IV program funds that must be returned, the school must return a portion of the excess equal to the lesser of:
- The student's institutional charges multiplied by the unearned percentage of the student's funds, or
- The entire amount of excess funds.
The institution must return this amount even if it didn keep this amount of the student's Title IV program funds.
If the school is not required to return all of the excess funds, the student must return the remaining amount. Any loan funds that the student must return, the student (or the parent for a PLUS Loan) repay in accordance with the terms of the promissory note. That is, the student makes scheduled payments to the holder of the loan over a period of time.
Any amount of unearned grant funds that the student must return is called an overpayment. The maximum amount of a grant overpayment that the student must repay is half of the grant funds received or were scheduled to receive. The student does not have to repay a grant overpayment if the original amount of the overpayment is $50 or less. The student must make arrangements with the school or the Department of Education to return the unearned grant funds.
The requirements for Title IV program funds when the student withdraws are separate from the institutions refund policy. Therefore, the student may still owe funds to the school to cover unpaid institutional charges. The school may also charge the student for any Title IV program funds that the school was required to return.
If the student has received funds from the state or an outside agency or received institutional funds, the student will be billed for any amount of funds that is considered an advanced payment. The SFAS must follow the guidelines specified by those organizations regarding withdrawals. For most aid types a prorated return is required.
If a student stops attending all classes during a semester and does not go through the University's withdrawal process, the student is treated as an "unofficial withdrawal". At the end of each semester, the SFAS identifies all students who did not pass at least one class. The SFAS will work with the colleges to document the student's last date of attendance. Using that information, the student will be reviewed under the Return of Funds calculation.
Federal and state regulations require financial aid recipients to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) towards a recognized degree or certificate. SAP applies to all undergraduate students who receive most types of federal, state, and institutional financial aid administered by the university. At the conclusion of the spring term each academic year, the Office of Student Financial Aid (SFAS) will review all currently enrolled UIC undergraduate students to verify they are meeting the SAP requirements. Additionally, for those students in undergraduate degree/certificate (eligible to receive financial aid) programs less than two years in length or who need to follow an academic plan, their status will also be reviewed at the conclusion of the fall and summer terms. This review by the SFAS is independent from any review of a student’s academic record conducted by the various academic departments.
The University’s SAP policy includes both qualitative and quantitative measures. Failure to meet any one of the criteria will result in the cancellation of the student's financial aid award for current and/or future semesters, depending upon the time of the review. For example, the time frame between when the spring term grades are available and the start of the summer term is only a few days. However, if students are not meeting SAP at the end of the spring term, they will be ineligible for financial aid for the summer term, regardless if they already have a financial aid award and are enrolled/attending classes. Please be aware, once enrolled for a term students accept responsibility for any bill assessed regardless of their financial aid status. Students not meeting the SAP requirements will be notified accordingly in writing or via email as soon as possible.
All periods of a student's enrollment, whether or not the student received aid, are included in the SAP review. In addition, all credit hours transferred to UIC for the current enrollment level are included and counted towards a student's maximum time frame, ratio, and are reflected in the student's cumulative grade point average (GPA). Please note, this is only the case if a GPA was able to be determined based upon the transcript(s) provided to the Office of Admissions and Records (OAR).
Qualitative Measure (cumulative grade point average):
Undergraduate students must have at least a 2.00/4.00 (or C average) cumulative GPA by the end of their second academic year. For example, this would apply to students whose first semester of attendance at UIC was fall 2013 or earlier when SAP is reviewed at the conclusion of the Spring 2015 term. The 2.00 cumulative GPA requirement applies to transfer students, whose first semester of attendance was after the fall of 2013, and the institutional attempted and transfer hours are 60 or greater, or after 2 academic years at UIC, whichever comes first. In both cases, if the cumulative GPA is below a 2.00 (when SAP is reviewed) after the student’s second academic year, the student’s aid will be cancelled. Some grades such as S, SH and CR will not be included in the cumulative GPA.
Quantitative Measures (maximum time frame and course completion ratio):
Regulations state that undergraduate students must complete their program within 150% of the published length of their program. The minimum number of credit hours required for an undergraduate degree at UIC is usually 120. Therefore, undergraduate students are allowed to attempt a maximum of 180 credit hours while pursuing their degree. The required number of credit hours may vary based upon degree; therefore the maximum number of credit hours that a student may attempt will also vary in some cases. The 180 credit hour maximum time frame still applies, regardless of the number of times a student changes majors or if he/she is pursuing multiple majors or degrees. Students may appeal their status, if their aid is cancelled and they are pursuing multiple majors or degrees. If at the time when SAP is reviewed at the conclusion of the spring term (or any other term) it is determined that a student has exceeded the maximum number of attempted credit hours based upon their degree, the student’s aid will be cancelled.
In addition to the maximum number of credits undergraduate students may attempt while pursuing their degree, they must also successfully complete 67% of the cumulative attempted credits at UIC and accepted transferable credits. Credits attempted are those hours a student is registered for at the conclusion of the add/drop period each semester as defined by the OAR. All classes for which a student is registered after that date will be included. Successfully completed course work is defined as the total number of hours which a student receives a grade of A, B, C, D, AH, BH, SH, S, or CR. If when SAP is reviewed, a student falls below the 67% cumulative standard, the student’s aid will be cancelled unless he/she is satisfactorily meeting the requirements of their academic plan.
Treatment of course withdrawals, incomplete(s)/not reported, repeated courses and remedial courses:
Withdrawals (W): Courses dropped before the conclusion of the add/drop period that no longer appear on the student's enrollment record or transcript will not count as a course attempted. Courses dropped after the add/drop period for which the student receives a W grade, will count as a course attempted.
Incompletes (I) or Not Reported (NR): Courses in which a student has an incomplete grade or the faculty has not reported a grade at the time in which SAP is reviewed will be included in the attempted hours. However, as there is no current grade in the system, these courses will not be included in the cumulative GPA determination at such time.
Repeated courses: For courses repeated, only the most recent grade is included in the student's cumulative GPA. When determining if a student is meeting the quantitative SAP standards, all courses will be included in the attempted hours.
Remedial courses: Noncredit (NC) remedial courses are not included in either the attempted hours or the student's cumulative GPA. There are a limited number of remedial courses for credit otherwise known as academic preparation courses which are included in the attempted hours, but not in the cumulative GPA.
Neither paying for one’s classes nor sitting out a term affects a student’s academic progress standing, so neither is sufficient to reestablish financial aid eligibility. If a student’s aid is cancelled due to not maintaining satisfactory academic progress, the student can have their eligibility reinstated once he/she is in good standing with all SAP requirements. Students may reestablish eligibility for financial aid at any point during the academic year and be given the same consideration for aid as other students maintaining satisfactory academic progress. Depending upon when students regain their eligibility, they may become eligible for financial aid for the payment period in which it is determined they have met the SAP requirements, otherwise it would become effective the following payment period. Students should track their progress as it is their responsibility to notify the SFAS in writing if they feel they have regained their financial aid eligibility. Since SAP is only reviewed at the conclusion of the spring term for all students, it is extremely important that students notify the SFAS in a timely fashion, if they feel they have regained eligibility during the summer and/or fall terms.
If a student is not meeting the SAP requirements (including those seeking a second degree) and financial aid is cancelled, the student may appeal their cancellation. Students must provide proper documentation of an extenuating circumstance (i.e. doctor’s notice, letter from an academic advisor, etc.) by submitting the documents outlined on the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form. It is important to note, circumstances related to the typical adjustment to college life are not considered as extenuating for purposes of appealing suspension of financial aid. Appeals for undergraduate students will be reviewed by the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Committee, which consists of members from various colleges and departments at UIC. The committee will determine if the student’s financial aid should be reinstated or remain in cancellation. Once the committee has reviewed the appeal and made their determination, the student will be notified in writing or via email of the committee’s decision. The committee’s decision is final. Students may submit multiple appeals, but the reason or rationale of the appeal must be different from previous SAP appeals submitted by the student. If the committee approves the appeal, the student will be eligible to receive financial aid for at least one additional term. When appeals are approved, the committee will require certain standards to be maintained each term, known as an academic plan. If at any time the standards are not maintained, the student’s aid will be cancelled. It is highly recommended that all appeals be submitted in their entirety to the SFAS at least 30 days prior to the start of the semester in which the student is seeking financial assistance. If appeals are not submitted in their entirety by the semester deadline (please refer to the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form), the appeal may not be reviewed until the following semester.
In this section, the major federal, state, and institutional financial aid programs at UIC are listed. For a detailed listing of all federal, state, and institutional programs, please visit the financial aid website. Please be aware this information may change annually.
Federal Pell Grant
The Federal Pell Grant is a federally funded program designed to assist students from low-income families. Federal Pell Grants are awarded only to undergraduate students who have not earned a bachelor’s or professional degree. The amount of the award varies based on the expected family contribution (EFC) as calculated by the FAFSA and the number of hours for which a student is enrolled at the end of the add/drop period each term. For the 2019–2020 academic year, the estimated Federal Pell eligible EFC range is between $0 and $5,576, but is still subject to change at this time. Depending upon the EFC and enrollment hours as illustrated by the table below, awards can range from $606 to $6,195.
|Number of hours enrolled per term||Percentage of Pell Grant|
|12+ hours||100% of award|
|9-11 hours||75% of award|
|6-8 hours||50% of award|
|1-5 hours||25% of award|
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
Like the Federal Pell Grant, the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) is a federally funded program designed to assist students from low-income families. Only students who are eligible to receive the Federal Pell Grant, have an EFC of $0, and are enrolled at least half time (6 hours a semester) will be considered for the FSEOG. Funding for this program is specific to each university and is very limited, thus not all students who meet the above criteria will be awarded the FSEOG. For the 2019–2020 academic year, FSEOG awards will range from $500 to $1,000 for the full year.
Federal Direct Stafford Loans
The Federal Direct Stafford loan program allows students to borrow low-cost educational loans from the federal government. To be eligible for a Federal Direct Stafford loan, students must be enrolled at least 6 hours. Repayment of these loans begins 6 months after students leave school or fall below half-time enrollment. There are 2 types of Federal Direct Stafford loans: subsidized and unsubsidized. Subsidized Direct Stafford loans are need-based loans. They are subsidized in that the federal government pays the interest on the loan until repayment begins. Unsubsidized Direct Stafford loans are not need-based. Interest begins accruing from the date of first disbursement. You can choose to pay the interest quarterly while in school, or you can allow it to accumulate and be capitalized when repayment begins.
Annual Limits for Stafford Loans (2016-2017 academic year)
|Subsidized||Combined Annual Maximum (subsidized & unsubsidized)|
|Freshman (1–29 credit hours)||$3,500||$5,500|
|Sophomore (30–59 credit hours)||$4,500||$6,500|
|Junior/Senior (60+ hours)||$5,500||$7,500|
|Subsidized||Combined Annual Maximum (subsidized & unsubsidized)|
|Freshman (1–29 credit hours)||$3,500||$9,500|
|Sophomore (30–59 credit hours)||$4,500||$10,500|
|Junior/Senior (60+ hours)||$5,500||$12,500|
Aggregate Limits for Stafford Loans (2016-2017 academic year)
|Subsidized||Combined Annual Maximum (subsidized & unsubsidized)|
Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan
Parents of a dependent undergraduate student are eligible to borrow under the Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) program, pending credit check approval by the U.S. Department of Education. Students must be enrolled for at least 6 credit hours to receive a Parent PLUS loan. An approved parent can borrow up to the total cost of attendance (COA) minus all financial aid and other resources received by the student. The PLUS Loan is an unsubsidized loan, meaning the borrower will be charged interest from the time the loan is disbursed until it is paid in full.
Federal Work-Study (FWS) is a financial aid program that provides part-time jobs for students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay education expenses. The program encourages community service work and work related to the recipient’s course of study. Maximum awards vary from year to year based upon funding.
Monetary Award Program (MAP)
The Monetary Award Program (MAP) Grant is funded by the State of Illinois and administered by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC). In order to be eligible, students (and parents, if dependent) must be Illinois residents, be an undergraduate, have completed the FAFSA before ISAC’s deadline, and meet ISAC’s financial eligibility criteria (generally, having an EFC less than $9,000). MAP grants are limited based on the number of applicants and funding levels appropriated by the Illinois General Assembly. For the 2019–2020 academic year, MAP awards ranged from $300 to $4,865 for the full year, but are still subject to a reduction based upon state funding.
Payment for each term is made according to the equivalent number of credit hours eligible for MAP payment, with the minimum being 3 and the maximum being 15. The following chart details MAP eligibility by term based on credit hours enrolled as of the end of the add/drop period for the fall and spring terms.
|Hours||Approximate Percentage of MAP|
The various institutional grants outlined below are only available to students during the fall and spring terms, and are not available during the summer term. Funds are limited and once the budgeted funds have been committed, no additional awards will be made regardless of the situation.
UIC Undergraduate Grant Program
The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) is committed to providing access to higher education and minimizing loan debt for all undergraduate students by optimizing the positive impact of university supported grants on student retention and graduation while controlling the campus-based financial aid budget. UIC has allocated a portion of its operating budget to provide Illinois residents who are Pell or MAP eligible with supplemental grant aid that will support them to degree completion while attending UIC.
The UIC Opportunity Grant is awarded to the neediest UIC undergraduates as defined by their eligibility to receive both the Federal Pell Grant and MAP Award. The UIC Opportunity Grant in combination with the Federal Pell Grant, MAP Award and other federal/state/institutional gift assistance will fund direct costs defined as tuition, differentials and fees (mandatory fees charged of all students). The maximum UIC Opportunity Grant a student may receive is $3,700 annually ($1,850 per term). However, depending upon the budgeted funds available and number of students eligible, maximum awards will be reduced accordingly.
IMPORTANT: If as a result of reduced funding of the MAP Program by ISAC, UIC will not cover any shortfall. The UIC Opportunity Grant students receive will be based upon the MAP program being fully funded as per the state statutes with a maximum award of $4,865.
Eligibility for the UIC Opportunity Grant
Students must be enrolled at UIC and must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each academic year. All FAFSA applicants will be considered for the UIC Undergraduate Grant Program; no other financial aid application is necessary.
In order to qualify for the maximum grant aid, students must also meet the following eight criteria:
- Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
- Must have demonstrated financial need each semester
- Must qualify to receive the Illinois Monetary Award Program (MAP) each semester
- Must qualify to receive the Federal Pell Grant each semester
- Must qualify for Illinois resident tuition
- Must enroll for at least 12 semester hours each semester
- Must maintain satisfactory academic progress each semester
- Must have not completed their degree requirements for graduation
- Must not have received more than eight paid semesters of UIC Grant funding if enrolled as a first-time student or four paid semesters of UIC Grand funding if enrolled as a transfer student.
The UIC Opportunity Grant will support up to 8 paid semesters if enrolled as a first-time student or four paid semesters if enrolled as a transfer student.
Incoming and Transfer Students
The same documents that a first-time freshman or transfer student submits for admission to UIC are reviewed by UIC admissions and the student's college of study for scholarship consideration. UIC Admissions departments determine recipients for scholarships such as the Aim High/Chancellor's Fellows Program and President's Award Program. Students selected as recipients are notified in writing and the information is provided on the applicable Award Letter. Please note that the Honors College has a separate admission procedure which includes consideration for scholarships.
Continuing students may be automatically matched and/or apply to campus scholarship opportunities through the campus centralized scholarship portal, UIC SnAP (Scholarship and Awards Program). Students must complete and submit a General Application in UIC SnAP each academic year in order to have access to scholarship opportunities. Students may access UIC SnAP online.
Many private scholarships are offered each year to college students by a variety of corporate, professional, trade, government, civic, religious, social, and fraternal organizations. Applying for such scholarships can be time consuming, so it is important to start as early as possible. A quick way to start a scholarship search is to utilize specialized scholarship search sites online.
Several for-profit companies through the United States offer similar computerized search services, often charging fees. The University of Illinois at Chicago SFAS does not recommed these services and suggests you thoroughly investigate them before submitting any fees to them. SFAS also cautions against providing banking or credit card information in scholarship applications or acceptance agreements.
SFAS posts notifications received regarding external scholarships on the scholarship board in the SFAS office and distributes a scholarship enewsletter. UIC students may request the enewsletter by registering online.