Financial Assistance

Chicago State University makes every effort to extend financial assistance to qualified students who are in need of funds to complete their education. The university is a participant in federal student assistance programs, which provides financial assistance in the form of grants, loans, and employment for admitted and enrolled students. No student should be reluctant to apply for admission to the university because of a lack of funds. A variety of financial assistance programs is administered by the Office of Student Financial Aid.

A student who wishes to apply for financial aid must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You are encouraged to file on-line at www.fafsa.ed.gov (you may link to this web site through the Office of Student Financial Aid page of the Chicago State University web site). Chicago State University’s Federal school code is001694.You will need to enter this code on your FAFSA so that Chicago State University will receive a copy of your application once it has been processed by the U.S. Department of Education (USDE). Financial assistance awards are based upon demonstrated financial need and processed on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Eligibility

Students must be admitted to a Masters or Doctorate degree program. Unclassified, Graduate-At-Large, and/or special students are ineligible for assistance. Students must be in compliance with the Chicago State University Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy.

Federal Direct Student Loan Program

  • Subsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loan
  • Unsubsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loan
  • Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan

Under these programs low interest loans are provided to students who are enrolled at least half-time as graduate students and enrolled in a degree or certification program. Loan eligibility will be made available to all enrolled students once they have completed a FAFSA and the results are received by Chicago State University. Students will be notified to access CSU X-Press to review their loan eligibility and to complete any requirements to finalize loan funding.

Entrance Counseling

Students who receive Federal Direct Loans are required to participate in a federally mandated Entrance Counseling (loan ) counseling) session. Students are also required to complete an Exit Interview when they completely withdraw or graduate from Chicago State University. Additional information is available on the Office of Student Financial Aid web site.

Federal Perkins Loan (formerly National Direct Student Loan)

This program provides low interest loans for up to a lifetime $60,000 aggregate (includes both undergraduate and graduate Perkins loans), based upon availability of funds, for all educational work. Loans carry low interest rates which begin nine months after the borrower ceases to be at least a half-time student, and payment is due after this period. Payments may be extended over a ten year period with the stipulation that cancellation of principal plus interest is authorized for those who teach in specified areas or for borrowers who serve as members of the armed forces in an area of hostilities that qualifies for special pay under Section 310 of Title 37, United States Code or certain law enforcement officials. Repayment may be deferred for up to three years while a borrower is serving in the armed forces, with the Peace Corps, or VISTA.

All students who received Federal Perkins Student Loan Funds are required to have an exit interview conducted if they are graduating, completing a non-degree program, officially withdrawing, or unofficially withdrawing. Students who are anticipating any of these actions should contact the Office of Student Financial Aid to schedule an exit interview.

Illinois Veterans Scholarship

Tuition and certain fees for the equivalent of four calendar years at state colleges or universities are covered. Students who wish to be considered for military scholarships must submit a copy of their separation papers (Form DD214) to the Office of Veterans Affairs, located within the Office of Student Financial Aid, ADM-207, extension 3549, and complete an application for the scholarship.

MIA/POW Scholarship

Tuition and activity fees for an equivalent of four calendar years are covered for any spouse, natural child, legally adopted child, or stepchild of an Illinois veteran or service person who has been declared by the U.S. Department of Defense or the U.S. Veterans Administration to be a prisoner of war or missing in action, or who has died as the result of a service-connected disability or is 100% disabled. More detailed information may be obtained from the Office of Veterans Affairs, located within the Office of Student Financial Aid, ADM-207, extension 3549.

Graduate Assistantships

A limited number of graduate assistantships are available for graduate students. Students interested in applying for an assistantship should contact the chairperson of the department of their specialization. For information about applying for an assistantship, contact their academic department chairperson.

Fellowships

The Diversifying Higher Education Faculty in Illinois Program (DFI) was established by the Illinois General Assembly and signed as Public Act 093-0862 on August 4, 2004. The purpose of the DFI Program is to increase the number of underrepresented faculty and staff in Illinois institutions of higher education and higher education governing boards. Chicago State University is a participant in the DFI Program. The program carries an annual stipend and a full tuition waiver for eligible students. Applicants must be unconditionally accepted to a degree program, demonstrate financial need and meet other program criteria. For additional information consult the School of Graduate and Professional Studies.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

The Chicago State University (CSU) Undergraduate and Graduate Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy measures whether eligible undergraduate and graduate students are progressing at a responsible rate towards the completion of their educational objectives. Students must be in compliance with this policy in order to maintain their continued financial aid eligibility and to participate in the following financial aid programs:


Federal Pell Grant

Federal SEOG

Federal TEACH

Federal Work-Study

Federal Direct Loans

Federal Perkins Loan

Federal Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant

Federal & State Veterans Programs

All State of Illinois Gift Assistance Grants/Scholarships  


Chicago State University’s SAP policy includes both qualitative and quantitative measures. Failure to meet any one of the criteria will result in the cancellation of the student's financial aid award for current and/or future semesters, depending upon the time of the review. However, if students are not meeting SAP at the end of the spring term, they will be ineligible for financial aid for the summer term, regardless if they already have a financial aid award and are enrolled/attending classes. Please be aware, once enrolled for a term students accept responsibility for any bill assessed regardless of their financial aid status. Students not meeting the SAP requirements will be notified accordingly via email at the end of each semester.

All periods of a student's enrollment, whether or not the student received aid, are also included in the SAP review. In addition, all credit hours transferred to CSU for the current enrollment level are included and counted towards a student's maximum time frame and are reflected in the student's cumulative grade point average (GPA). Please note, this is only the case if a GPA was able to be determined based upon the transcript(s) provided to the Office of Records and Registration.

Qualitative Measure (cumulative grade point average):

Undergraduate - Undergraduate students must have at least a 2.0 (or “C” average) cumulative GPA by the end of each semester. For example, this would apply to students whose first semester of attendance at CSU was Fall term or earlier when SAP is reviewed at the conclusion of the Spring term. If the cumulative GPA is below a 2.0 (when SAP is reviewed) after the student’s second semester, the student’s aid will be cancelled. Some grades such as “P, W/P, W/F, W/A, W/N, I, X, I/F, P1, PW, PS, and PN” will not be included in the cumulative GPA.

Graduate/Professional - Graduate and professional students must have at least a 3.0 (or “B” average) cumulative GPA at the end of each semester. For example, this would apply to students whose first semester of attendance at CSU was Fall or earlier when SAP is reviewed at the conclusion of the Spring term. If the cumulative GPA is below a 3.0 (when SAP is reviewed) after the student’s second semester, the student’s aid will be cancelled. Some grades such as “P, W/P, W/F, W/A, W/N, I, ID, X, I/F, P, PW, PS, and PN” will not be included in the cumulative GPA. Please note, most colleges and departments have stricter standards to remain in good academic standing. Students should consult with their particular college or department for the requirements to remain in good academic standing for their program.

Certification & 2nd Bachelors- Certification and 2nd Bachelors students must have a 2.5 cumulative GPA at the end of each semester. For example, this would apply to students whose first semester of attendance at CSU was Fall or earlier when SAP is reviewed at the conclusion of the Spring term. If the cumulative GPA is below a 2.5 (when SAP is reviewed) after the student’s second semester, the student’s aid will be cancelled. Some grades such as “P, W/P, W/F, W/A, W/N, I, X, I/F, P, PW, PS, and PN” will not be included in the cumulative GPA. Please note, most colleges and departments have stricter standards to remain in good academic standing. Students should consult with their particular college or department for the requirements to remain in good academic standing for their program.  

Quantitative Measures (maximum time frame and course completion ratio):

Undergraduate - Regulations state that undergraduate students must complete their program within 150% of the published length of their program. The minimum number of credit hours required for an undergraduate degree at CSU is usually 120. Therefore, in this case undergraduate students are allowed to attempt a maximum of 180 credit hours while pursuing their degree. The 180 credit hour maximum timeframe still applies, regardless of how many times a student changes majors or if he/she is pursuing multiple majors or degrees. The required number of credit hours does vary based upon degree, so the maximum number of credit hours that a student may attempt will vary in some cases. If at the time when SAP is reviewed at the conclusion of the spring term (or any other term) it is determined that a student has exceeded the maximum number of attempted credit hours based upon their degree, the student’s aid will be cancelled.

In addition to the maximum number of credits undergraduate students may attempt while pursuing their degree, they must also successfully complete 67% of the cumulative attempted credits at CSU. Credits attempted are those hours a student is registered for at the conclusion of the add/drop period each semester as defined by the Office of Records and Registration. All classes for which a student is registered after that date will be included. Successfully completed course work is defined as the total number of hours which a student receives a grade of A, B, C, D, P. If when SAP is reviewed at the conclusion of the spring term (or any other term), a student falls below the 67% cumulative standard. When a student enters a warning period the student’s aid will be cancelled unless he/she is on financial aid probation and is meeting the requirements of their probation.

Graduate/Professional - Graduate and professional students’ financial aid eligibility is contingent upon completing their degree requirements within 150% of the program’s published length in accordance with the standards established by their respective college or department. Students should consult with their particular college or department regarding the published length of their specific program. Please be aware that students seeking a second graduate or professional degree, who have exhausted their eligibility, will need to file a SAP appeal to regain financial aid eligibility.

In addition to the maximum timeframe, students must also successfully complete 67% of the cumulative attempted credits at CSU. Credits attempted are those hours a student is registered for at the conclusion of the add/drop period each semester as defined by the Office of Records and Registrations. All classes for which a student is registered after that date will be included. Successfully completed course work is defined as the total number of hours which a student receives a grade of A, B, C, D, P. If when SAP is reviewed at the conclusion of the spring term (or any other term), a student falls below the 67% cumulative standard. When a student enters a warning period the student’s aid will be cancelled unless he/she is on financial aid probation and is meeting the requirements of their probation.

Treatment of course withdrawals, incomplete(s)/not reported, repeated courses and non-credit remedial courses:

Withdrawals (W): Courses dropped before the conclusion of the add/drop period each semester as defined by the Office of Records and Registration will not count as a class attempted. Classes dropped after this point will count as a class attempted. Students who totally withdraw after the conclusion of the add/drop period in any semester will have all of their classes counted as attempted. Before students drop a class, they need to take into consideration their SAP status.

Incompletes (I) or Not Reported (NR): Courses in which a student has an incomplete or the faculty has not reported a grade at the time in which SAP is reviewed will be included in the attempted hours. However, as there is no current grade in the system, theses courses will not be included in the cumulative GPA determination at such time.

Repeated courses: For courses repeated, only the most recent grade is included in the students cumulative GPA. When determining if a student is meeting the quantitative SAP standards, all courses will be included in the attempted hours.

Non-credit remedial course (NC): Non-credit remedial courses are included in both the attempted hours and the students cumulative GPA.

Please Note:

  • Developmental coursework is deducted from the 180 credit hours limit. Students may receive financial aid for an additional maximum of 30 credit hours of attempted coursework if the 30 hours are classified developmental
  • GPA and hours attempted/completed under a Financial Aid Consortium Agreement with a school other than CSU are also included in the SAP policy compliance requirements.

*   *  *  THIS POLICY IS EFFECTIVE BEGINNING WITH THE FALL 2011 SEMESTER  *   *   *

NOTE: Policy is subject to change without notice based on changes with government regulations or university policy.