Disbursement of Financial Aid Funds

The actual disbursement of financial aid varies and is dependent on your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) as determined by your FAFSA and your enrollment status:

Full-time = 12 credit hours or more

Three Quarter time = 9 to 11 credit hours

Half-time = 6 to 8 hours

Less than half-time = 1 to 5 credit hours

Your financial aid award – which includes Grants and Loans – is determined upon your enrollment status after the refund period for each of your registered classes. This date is referred to as the "census date".

To be considered enrolled in the class – for financial aid purposes - you must be registered for the class before the 50% refund period for each class. Registering for a class after the 50% refund period can affect your financial aid award and may cause you to owe a balance at College of DuPage

** If your financial aid is awarded after the census date, your financial aid award could be determined by your enrollment hours at that time. In addition, if term grades post before your financial aid is awarded, your financial aid award will be based upon your successfully completed and earned hours **

Students with a Bachelor's Degree
Students entering College of DuPage with a Bachelor's Degree will not be eligible to receive State or Federal Grants offered through FAFSA.  Students may be eligible to apply for Federal Stafford Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans if they have not borrowed their maximum loan eligibility and have completed and been approved through the SAP Appeal Process. Students will still need to file the FAFSA to receive Federal Stafford Loans.

** Please Note: Students who have received a Bachelor's Degree from a Foreign Country will need to provide the Office of Student Records with an Educational Credential Evaluation (ECE) to determine whether it is equivalent to a U.S. Bachelor's Degree **

Eligible Degrees and/or Certificates for Financial Aid For a student to be eligible for financial aid funds - whether it is grants or loans - the student must be enrolled as a regular student in an eligible degree or certificate program.  A regular student is defined as someone who is enrolled or accepted for enrollment in an eligible institution for the purpose of obtaining a degree or certificate offered by that school.

Repeat Classes

Based on new Federal Regulations – financial aid cannot pay aid to students for courses that have been repeated more than once, when a grade of D or higher has already been earned.

** Please Note - Financial aid is considered Grants and Loans ** 

Pell Lifetime Eligibility

The amount of Federal Pell Grant funds a student can receive over his or her lifetime is limited by a new federal law to be the equivalent of six years of Pell Grant funding. Since the maximum amount of Pell Grant funding a student can receive each year is equal to 100%, the six-year equivalent is 600%. For more information please visit Calculating Pell Grant Lifetime Eligibility Used 

Satisfactory Academic Progress

College of DuPage will evaluate the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) of all financial aid applicants, whether or not they previously received Federal/State Financial Aid, upon receipt by the College of their initial FAFSA information, and subsequently, at the conclusion of the grading period each semester. The College will determine a student's cumulative grade point average (GPA); cumulative completion rate (total credits completed divided by total credits attempted); and the student's total credits attempted to date, including transfer credits. 

Federal regulations require that Satisfactory Academic Progress be applied to a student's academic performance regardless of whether or not financial aid has previously been received. When applying these standards, the student's full academic record at College of DuPage and any credit hours transferred to the college are taken into consideration. 

Students who fail to demonstrate satisfactory progress toward the completion of their education (i.e., not attending classes, deferring grades, withdrawing from classes or failing classes) will become ineligible to receive financial aid. Students must be in an eligible degree program, certificate program or transfer curriculum to receive financial aid at College of DuPage.

Return of Title IV Aid

If you withdraw on or before completing 60 percent of each payment period, and you have received Title IV federal funds in the form of a Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG), Federal Direct Stafford Loan, or a Federal PLUS, the federal government requires that we review your eligibility for those funds. We are required to apply a federally mandated formula to determine how much of the federal funding was "earned" up to the time of withdrawal. This review and recalculation is called a "Return of Title IV Aid." 

A payment period is defined as each class session, i.e. 8 week session, 16 week session, etc.

The Title IV federal funds that were disbursed at the start of the payment period in excess of the earned amount must be returned to the federal government.   If you received a refund from any Title IV federal funds that was credited earlier in the term, which was to be used for education-related personal expenses, you may be required to return a portion of those funds to the university and/or the federal government. This portion represents funds that were intended to pay your education-related expenses through the end of each payment period. The amount to be returned will be calculated from the date on which you officially withdrew from classes and/or stopped attending.

Any class for which you received an F or W Grade due to non-attendance will result in your financial aid being re-calculated based on the classes you attended. This may cause you to owe back financial aid funds.

Funds that are returned to the federal government are used to reduce the outstanding balances in individual federal programs. Title IV federal funds returned must be allocated in the following order: 

  1. Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loan 
  2. Federal Subsidized Direct Loan 
  3. Federal Direct Parent Loan (PLUS) 
  4. Federal Pell Grant 
  5. Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG) 


Contact Information

Office of Student Financial Assistance
Student Services Center (SSC), Room 2220, (630) 942-2251
Fax: (630) 942-2151


Monday to Thursday: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Friday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.