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.
To be considered for financial aid at Illinois State, you must file a FAFSA each year. The 2021-2022 school year's FAFSA is available October 1, 2020. See the below chart for further guidance:
|If you plan to attend college from||You can submit the FAFSA from||Using tax information from|
|July 1, 2020 - June 30th, 2021||October 1, 2019- June 30th, 2021||2018|
|July 1, 2021 - June 30th, 2022||October 1, 2020- June 30th, 2022||2019|
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 available online, as well as representatives available via phone and live chat.
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 My.IllinoisState.edu. Once your offer letter is prepared, it will be posted in your portal.
Once we receive your FAFSA information and any additional information we request from you, we will calculate your aid eligibility and determine your award. Your offer letter will list the type of aid you can receive and the amount per semester. Your offer letter will be available electronically on your student portal, My.IllinoisState.edu. 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.
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 My.IllinoisState.edu 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.
Once you review your offer letter, we recommend determining if you need additional funding to cover the bill. Not sure what your bill will be? Check out our Cost of Attendance to give you an idea.
In July, our 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). If your charges exceed your credits, you will have a leftover balance that will need to be paid. If your credits exceed your charges, you will receive a refund check.
Although your Financial Aid may be complete, be sure to fully complete the enrollment process with the Admissions Office.
Note: This award offer is valid if you enroll full-time for the term you are admitted to when the offer was made.