Why should i do the FAFSA in the fall?
Early filers have a greater opportunity of securing Federal Work-Study, Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (SEOG) and funds from the new Illinois AIM HIGH initiative. Because the FAFSA will be completed earlier, you will know your Illinois MAP Grant eligibility before any suspense date and qualify for scholarships along with other University-based assistance. For the 2024-2025 award year, the FAFSA is scheduled for release in late December 2023.
Because the FAFSA will ask for two-year old income tax information, you will already have done your taxes by the time you fill out your FAFSA, and you will not need to estimate your tax information and then go back into the FAFSA later to update it. You may provide consent (by contributor) to use IRS data exchange for automatic import your tax information into the FAFSA. Worried that the household income two years ago has substantially changed and there are special or unusual circumstances that need to be considered? Reach out to your Financial Aid Advisor regarding the ability to request professional judgment.
How to apply for aid
When applying for financial aid, it is important to understand and follow these steps in order to maximize your funding benefits. View NEIU’s Cost of Attendance to determine tuition, fees and other expenses associated with attending college.
Step 1: FAFSA
Your path to financial aid begins with filling out the Free Application for Student Financial Aid (FAFSA). It takes about 30 minutes to complete online. Upon submission of the application, eligibility will be determined for federal and state assistance (grants, loans, and work-study funds).
Federal Student Aid Eligibility Requirements
- enrolled in a degree-seeking program
- a United States citizen or permanent resident (eligible non-citizen)
- maintaining Minimum Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress
- not in default on any student loan nor owe a repayment on any grant
Watch: Preparing for 2024-2025 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) Form
State of Illinois Alternative Application
The Retention of Illinois Students and Equity (RISE) Act, signed into law by Governor J.B. Pritzker, provides a pathway to apply for Monetary Award Program (MAP) grant funding. This program is intended for qualifying undocumented students and for transgender students who are not eligible for federal financial aid because they did not register for selective service.
Undocumented students who have not completed a FAFSA, and who want to determine their eligibility to complete the Alternative Application, can review the information at Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ILSAC). While the Alternative Application itself includes pre-screening questions to determine if a student is eligible to complete it, students are also encouraged to consult their school counselor or financial aid office to determine whether they should complete the FAFSA or the Alternative Application.