Awards and Refunds


There are three types of financial aid:

  • Grants and Scholarships: These awards typically do not require repayment. These funds are often based on merit, financial need, or specific criteria set by the awarding body.
  • Student Loans: Unlike grants and scholarships, student loans must be repaid after you leave school.
  • Federal Work-Study Program: This program provides part-time employment opportunities within Parkland College for eligible students, allowing you to earn money to help pay for educational expenses.

Eligibility and Award Process

Your eligibility for financial aid is determined by your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) (or Student Aid Index (SAI) if completing the 2024-2025 award year). This value is calculated from the information you provide on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). A higher EFC or SAI suggests greater financial ability to contribute to your education costs, potentially reducing the amount and types of aid you qualify for.

Once your financial aid file is complete, the Financial Aid office will determine your eligibility for financial aid, and you will be automatically offered what you are eligible for. Notifications will be sent to your Parkland email address instructing you to review your financial aid offers within the Connect student portal. If you are offered a Federal Direct Student Loan or Federal Work-Study award, it is crucial to accept or reject these offers via Self-Service promptly to avoid cancellation. If you do not accept these awards promptly, they will be canceled.

First-time student loan borrowers at Parkland College must complete entrance counseling and sign a master promissory note, both accessible through the Federal Student Aid website, to fulfill the loan requirements.


Refunds are issued when there is a surplus of financial aid funds after covering tuition, fees, bookstore charges, and any other charges by Parkland College. The refund process requires:

  • Completion of all necessary paperwork in our system.
  • Your financial aid award amounts have been applied to your student account, and there is a surplus of funds after all charges for the semester have been paid.
  • Must have maintained enrollment past the add drop period
  • You're enrolled in the correct number of credit hours at the time the refund is to be processed.

Parkland College processed the first refunds of a semester approximately 30 business days after the start of the semester. This date is posted to our Important Dates webpage.

After the initial refund date, refunds are processed following a specific schedule. If all requirements are met by Wednesday, refunds are processed that Friday. For credits generated on Thursday or Friday, checks are mailed the following week's Friday.
Ensure Parkland College has your correct mailing address by verifying it online on Self-Service through Connect or call 217/351-2482.

Direct Deposit is available for financial aid refunds. To sign up for Direct Deposit, you will need to add your banking information within your student account.

NOTE: Loans for a single semester are disbursed in two separate payments. The second refund date can be located on our Important Dates webpage.