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Financial Aid Process

Financial aid can be pretty complicated, especially if you are the first in your family to attend college. Whether you are an incoming freshman, transfer, or graduate student, we recommend familiarizing yourself with the whole process here at ISU. Remember, every school's process is a little different.


File Your FAFSA

To be considered for financial aid at Illinois State, you must file a FAFSA each year. The 2023-2024 school year’s FAFSA is available October 1, 2022.

If you plan to attend college from July 1, 2022 - June 30, 2023:

Submit your FAFSA from October 1, 2021 - June 30, 2023. Use tax information from 2020.

If you plan to attend college from July 1, 2023 - June 30, 2024:

Submit your FAFSA from October 1, 2022 - June 30, 2024. Use tax information from 2021.

For mid-school year transfers, be sure to add us to your existing FAFSA School code: 001692

Need assistance? The federal government has a step-by-step guide, as well as representatives available via phone and live chat.

Confirm Your Information

After your FAFSA is processed, the federal government will send you a copy of your Student Aid Report (SAR) via email. Please review your SAR to make sure the information reported on the FAFSA is correct.

After you submit your application for financial aid, our office may need additional documents to complete your application. If there are outstanding documents needed by our office, we will not post an award notice online until the documents are submitted and reviewed. To see if you have outstanding documents with our office, check your To-Do List. Students can check their status at Once your offer letter is prepared, it will be posted in your portal.

Review Your Offer Letter

Once we receive your FAFSA information and any additional information we request from you, we will calculate your aid eligibility and determine your award.

Incoming Students

Your offer letter will be available electronically on your student portal, If you would like a paper copy of the offer letter, you have the option to print your offer letter from this portal.

First-time student borrowers at Illinois State University must complete Entrance Counseling and sign a Master Promissory Note.

Continuing Students

If you have submitted all of the necessary paperwork, you will receive an email in early-April when your offer letter is complete. This email is to tell you to check your portal to view your notice electronically. You may print a paper copy from the portal. Remember, if your parent would like the PLUS loan again, be sure to have your parent complete a new application.

What Happens Next

Discover Additional Funding

If you need additional funding, look into your scholarship and loan options. Loans like the Parent PLUS loan or an alternative loan require additional time and paperwork, so plan ahead.

View Scholarships

View Loans

Review Your Bill

The Student Accounts Office will generate a bill for you. On your bill, you will see a list of your charges (billable items like tuition, meal plan, housing) and a list of your credits (grants, scholarships, loans).

Learn about billing, balances, and refunds

Complete Your Enrollment

Although your Financial Aid may be complete, be sure to fully complete the enrollment process with the Admissions Office.

Finish the Enrollment Process