Frequently Asked Questions
Who should apply for financial assistance?
Entering, continuing or returning Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU) students who are in degree-seeking programs and either have the status of U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen (applied for permanent resident).
What forms in addition to the FAFSA are required at NEIU?
Once the student completes the FREE Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA at www.fafsa.gov, he or she is encouraged to complete scholarship applications with the University Scholarship Office or the department of major declaration. Further if the student wishes to borrow through 'no interest' or 'low interest' Federal Student Loans, he or she will need to complete the NEIU Stafford Loan Request. Note that first time Stafford loan borrowers will also have to complete an online entrance counseling session and a master promissory note.
What does it mean if a student is selected for verification?
Once the FREE Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA is completed, a student can either be selected for verification by the Federal Processor or by NEIU. The term 'verify' means to compare actual tax documents and household information with the information entered on the FAFSA application and make the required corrections. The initial FAFSA is transaction ONE. Once corrections are made, subsequent transactions are generated and returned both to NEIU and the student electronically.
When viewing NEIUport, where is the total balance due or credit balance (for refunds and book waiver eligibility) displayed?
Students should click on the 'My Account' or 'My Statement' channel within the Current Student tab to review paid financial aid assistance. Students with credit balances (looks like a negative number) - after tuition and fees are paid - are eligible to receive a book waiver during fall and spring terms. There are no book waivers during the summer term.
Does NEIU have recommended or preferred alternative/private lenders?
No. Students who have exhausted their Stafford Loan eligibility or who are not eligible for Federal Student Loans, may apply online with any lender of their choice. NEIU does recommend that student apply with at least three lenders. Be advised that alternative/private educatonal loans require a credit worthiness check and oftentimes a co-signer. Borrowers may meet with a Financial Aid Advisor to discuss appropriate questions to ask when looking for alternative/private loans.
What is an Expected Family Contribution (EFC)?
First, it is not an invoice amount or direct cost - it is commonly referred to as an eligibility index and is subtracted from the Cost of Attendance to determine financial need. This eligibility index or EFC is determined based on the data entered in the FREE Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA. The EFC is used to determine whether the student is eligible for grant, scholarship or other need-based assistance.
What are the need-based financial aid programs?
The need-based programs include the Federal Pell Grant, State of Illinois Monetary Award Program Grant, the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG), the Federal Perkins Loan, the Federal Work-Study Program and the Federal Subsidized Stafford loan. Need-based graduate and undergraduate Tuition scholarships are also included in this group of programs.
Are part-time employment opportunities for students available on campus?
Yes, Federal Work-Study and Student Aide represent two such employment opportunities for students on campus. Federal Work-Study is a need-based award and would limit the amount that a student can earn. Student Aide is not dependent on financial need and is only limited by the employer's budget. Visit the Student Employment Office at D-012 or call (773) 442-4695.
What Summer Financial Aid Assistance is available?
Summer financial assistance is limited to students who have submitted the FAFSA by the institutional priority file date (February 28); have remaining Federal Pell Grant or Stafford Loan eligibility from the current award year.
Do loans have to be repaid while the student is in school?
In general no, loans do not have to be repaid while the student is in school. Exception to this would be unsubsidized Stafford loans or Parent loans that may require payment on the interest and/or principle while the student is enrolled.
Should students wait to be admitted to NEIU before applying for financial assistance?
No, students are encouraged to submit the FAFSA as early as possible so that once they are admitted their application is not further delayed. Applications can be submitted in paper format or electronically.