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General Eligibility Requirements

When a student applies for and receives financial assistance – whether it is grants, loans, work study, there are requirements that the student needs to meet.

Prior to applying for financial assistance, students must meet basic eligibility requirements and then maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress to remain eligible for financial assistance.

Basic Eligibility Requirements

Students must meet the following basic eligibility requirements when applying for and receiving federal and state financial assistance:

  1. Must have a valid High School diploma (this can be from a foreign high school if it is equivalent to a U.S. High School Diploma), OR, a recognized equivalent of a High School Diploma, such as a General Education Development or GED certificate, OR, the High School Equivalency Test or HiSET, OR the Test Assessing Secondary Completion or TSAC, OR has completed Home Schooling at the secondary level as defined by state law.
  2. Must be a U.S. Citizen or eligible non-citizen. NOTE: Students who fall under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) or are undocumented can file the Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid, as well as apply for scholarships.
  3. Must be enrolled as a regular student in an eligible degree or certificate program
  4. Must not be in default on any prior federal student loans
  5. Must not have an overpayment of federal financial aid funds
  6. Must agree to use any federal student aid only for education purposes
  7. Must be enrolled and academically engaged in each of your classes for the entire length of the class.
  8. Must Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress

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 Assistance, 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 assistance 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 academic 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 assistance. Students must be in an eligible degree program, certificate program or transfer curriculum to receive financial assistance at College of DuPage.

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 Direct 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 a FAFSA to receive Federal Direct 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

Satisfactory Academic Progress Resources

Financial Aid Tips

  1. Students must apply for financial assistance every academic school year.
  2. If you enroll full-time for the fall and spring semesters and receive your full Pell Grant and/or Direct Loan eligibility, you may not have funds available for summer semester.  Eligibility may be dependent upon the number of credit hours you enroll for summer semester. 

Contact Information

Office of Student Financial Assistance
Seaton Computing Center (SCC), Room 123
(630) 942-2251
Fax: (630) 942-2151

Regular Hours

  • Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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