Financial Aid Notification

To be eligible to receive financial aid, you must submit the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). If you haven't yet submitted the FAFSA, we encourage you to do so as soon as possible. If you have, note that we won't be able to confirm we've received it until March due to a delay in the Department of Education sending FAFSA information to schools. We hope to send out Financial Aid Notifications in mid-April.

Viewing the Financial Aid Notification

To view your financial aid notification, log in to myIllini and click on your application for admission to visit your admitted checklist. If your financial aid notification is available, you’ll see a prompt within the financial aid section of the checklist urging you to view it. Follow the instructions provided to do so.

Preview of a sample Award Letter
Click image to enlarge

Reading the Financial Aid Notification

  1. Begin by looking at "Need Calculation." This calculates your estimated need for financial aid, subtracting your expected family contribution (which was calculated based on the information provided on your FAFSA) from the total cost of attendance. Depending on your estimated need, our Office of Student Financial Aid may offer you a combination of grants, scholarships, loans, and employment opportunities.
  2. Next, review "Cost of Attendance." The first amounts, "Direct Costs," include tuition and fees. These are costs paid directly to the university.
  3. Following are "Estimated Costs," which include food and housing, transportation, supplies, and other expenses. Exact costs for these items vary depending on the residence hall you choose, what supplies your classes require, and your lifestyle. They might not be paid directly to the university. Note, however, that your food and housing will be a direct cost if you choose to live in University Housing.
  4. The "Total Cost of Attendance" calculates both direct and estimated costs. It’s the estimated amount you’d pay for the year without factoring in financial aid.
  5. Under the section titled "Financial Aid Summary," you can view any loans, grants, or scholarships you’ve been awarded.
Preview of the Accept/Decline section from a sample Award Letter
Click image to enlarge
Preview of the Accept/Decline section from a sample Award Letter
Click image to enlarge

Accepting/Declining Aid

  1. You may need to accept or decline certain aid options by clicking on the "Accept/Decline Aid" button near the bottom of the letter. This will bring up a new page.
  2. Any grants and scholarships are automatically accepted by our system.
  3. Other forms of financial aid, including Federal Work-Study and loan options, can be accepted in full, as partial amounts, or declined.
  4. Once you’ve finished accepting or declining aid options, you’ll be asked to read our terms and conditions before clicking the "Submit Decision" button.

Making Changes to the Financial Aid Notification

  1. If you have other scholarships that aren’t reported on the financial aid notification, you should click "Request Changes" near the bottom of the page. These may include outside scholarships from private organizations, service organizations such as rotary clubs, school-related organizations such as booster clubs, and more.
  2. You’ll then see two boxes. In the top box, you should add the name of the award you’ve received and its amount.
  3. If you need to request other changes to your financial aid notification, you should use the bottom box. For example, if a parent has been denied the Parent PLUS loan, you may request to borrow additional unsubsidized loan funds. If your situation has changed since submitting the FAFSA, you may also be advised to fill out a special circumstances form, which becomes available in mid-February. It may be found on Financial Aid's forms webpage.

Calculating the Financial Aid Notification

  1. After you’ve completed the above steps, your financial aid notification will calculate how much money you’ll receive from the university ("Total Financial Aid"). Note that a small origination fee will be deducted from any borrowed student loan funds.
  2. Your financial aid notification will also display your "Net Costs." This is the estimated amount you’ll pay after factoring in financial aid. It includes the estimated costs described in number 2 above, so depending on your housing and other expenses, the amount may not be exact.