Two students working on a computer

Parent and Family Guide

The cost of college is a concern for nearly every student and family. The Office of Student Financial Assistance provides a range of services that help bridge the gap between the financial resources of students and their families and the cost of education at College of DuPage.

As you look at ways to finance your student’s college education, we are here to help you navigate the financial assistance process with your student.  

Applying for Financial Assistance

Students who are interested in grants, loans or federal work study must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Students interested in applying for scholarships can apply for scholarships online. Some scholarships may require a FAFSA to be filed. Each scholarship will have its own specific eligibility requirements.

Financial aid representatives available. If you would like to set up an appointment to meet with a financial aid representative, please contact the Office of Student Financial Assistance at (630) 942-2251.

Yes, whether you claim your student on your Federal Tax Return will not impact your student’s status – as far as being considered independent or dependent. When a student completes their FAFSA, they will be considered independent only if they can answer “yes” to one of the following questions:
  • Is the student age 24
  • Is the student married, at time of application
  • Does the student have children or legal dependents that he/she financially supports more than 50%
  • Is the student currently serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces, for other than training purposes
  • Is a veteran of the U.S Armed Forces
  • At any time since age 13, was the student in foster care or a dependent/ward of the court
  • At any time since age 13, was the student an orphan
  • As determined by a court in your state of legal residence was the student an emancipated minor
  • As determined by a court in your state of legal residence was the student placed in legal guardianship
  • As determined by a high school homeless liaison was the student determined to be an unaccompanied homeless or at risk of being homeless
  • As determined by a homeless shelter or transitional housing authority was the student determined to be an unaccompanied homeless or at risk of being homeless
  • As determined by a runaway or homeless basic youth center or transitional living program was the student determined to be an unaccompanied homeless or at risk of being homeless
If a student is considered to be dependent, then the student must submit information in regards to their biological or adoptive parent. If a biological or adoptive parent is remarried –at time of application- then step-parent information would be submitted.

Everything is at time of application:
  • If your current marital status is divorced at time of application – then only one parent’s information would be reported on the FAFSA, if you are not remarried. It would be the parent that the student lived with more during the 12 months prior to filing the FAFSA.
  • If your current marital status is Married, but you are separated and living in separate residences at time of application – then only one parent’s information would be reported on the FAFSA. It would be the parent that the student lived with more during the 12 months prior to filing the FAFSA.

When the FAFSA is submitted, you are reporting your tax information as reported on your Federal Tax Return. If there has been a change in income since filing your taxes then you would want to contact the Office of Student Financial Assistance about filing a Special Conditions Form.

The Special Conditions Form will allow you to provide documentation to our office in regards to an income change; such as a job loss, loss of benefits, etc. The office would adjust the student’s FAFSA accordingly. The FAFSA would be re-processed based on the new income amounts. 

Note: Submitting a Special Conditions Form does not automatically guarantee a change in the student’s award.

Students are contacted primarily via their COD email address; we do not mail information out to the student or to the parents. Please be sure your student is checking their COD email address and myACCESS regularly.
  • If your student has not set up his/her myACCESS, please have your student log into myACCESS and set up their account
  • If you student was not aware he/she had a COD email address, please have your student setup their email account

 

Student Loans

The first step to apply for a Federal Direct Subsidized or Unsubsidized Loan is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at https://studentaid.gov The Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans are educational loans that do not require a co-signer and/or a credit check.  The loans will be in the student’s name only. 

Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan is a low interest loan based on financial need as determined by your Expected Family Contribution and Cost of Attendance. The federal government pays the interest while you are in school or during your 6-month grace period. Current interest rate information can be found online at studentaid.gov . The student must enroll and be actively participating in a minimum six (6) credit hours or more to be eligible for a Subsidized Stafford Loan. 

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan is a low interest loan and not based on financial need. You are responsible for interest payments while in school. Current interest information can be found online at studentaid.gov. The student must enroll and be actively participating in six (6) credit hours or more to be eligible for an Unsubsidized Stafford Loan.

The first step to apply for a Federal Direct PLUS Loan is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at studentaid.gov. You will then need to complete a PLUS Promissory Note. The Federal Direct PLUS Loan does require a credit check. If you are approved for a PLUS loan you will need complete a PLUS Request Form to our office. Parents may request up to the student's Cost of Attendance minus any other financial aid received by the student.

Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) is borrowed by the parent on behalf of their dependent student and is not based on financial need. Current interest rate information can be found online at studentaid.gov The student must enroll and be actively participating in six (6) credit hours or more to be eligible for a PLUS Loan.

If you are denied a PLUS loan then the student may request up to an additional $4,000 in Unsubsidized loans to help cover their educational expenses. The student will need to complete and return a Federal Direct Loan Form to our office to request the additional Unsubsidized Loans. This is not an automatic process.

Student loans will be first be applied to your student’s tuition and/or book costs.

Any loan funds in excess of tuition and/or book costs will be made available to the student to be used for additional educational expenses, including housing and transportation costs. 

NOTE: Refunds are not available until mid-semester. Mid-semester for fall semester is around the middle to end of October. Mid-semester for spring semester is the middle to end of March.  that would be around middle to end of October. For the Spring Semester it would be around the middle to end of March. 

Managing Costs

If you have a College Illinois plan, your student will need to contact Mary Brew in the Registration Office at time of registration or before registering for classes.  The student will need to complete a form with Mary Brew. You can contact Mary Brew at (630) 942-3289.

If you have any other 529 plans, your student will need to contact the Cashier’s Office and ask for a “do-not-drop” hold to be put on their account. Your student will then need to contact the 529 Provider and arrange for payments to be sent to College of DuPage. You can contact the Cashier’s Office at (630) 942-2206.

Financial assistance – whether it is grants or loans - will first be applied to your student’s tuition and/or book costs.

Any loan funds in excess of tuition and/or book costs will be made available to the student to be used for additional educational expenses, including housing and transportation costs. 

NOTE: Refunds are not available until mid-semester. Mid-semester for fall semester is around the middle to end of October. Mid-semester for spring semester is the middle to end of March.  that would be around middle to end of October. For the Spring Semester it would be around the middle to end of March. 

If on your student’s award letter, they have enough financial assistance funds in excess of their tuition and fees, your student  may be eligible to purchase your books at the Bookstore on campus.

The earliest students can purchase books directly against any financial assistance is about 1 week before the semester begins. The amount of money available for book purchases will be dependent upon how much funds are remaining after covering tuition and/or fee costs. The Bookstore Dates will be available online.

If you live out of district this will not affect the amount of financial assistance awarded to your student, however, living out of district will affect cost of tuition. For information regarding our tuition rates.

 

Helpful Resources

Contact Information

Office of Student Financial Assistance
Student Services Center (SSC), Room 2220
(630) 942-2251
Email: financialaid@cod.edu
Fax: (630) 942-2151

Regular Hours
Monday to Thursday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Friday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.