FAFSA: Your First Step to Aid

To find our what financial aid you can get, you'll need to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This application checks if you're eligible for federal and state grants, work-study programs, and loans. Not getting a grant doesn't mean you're out of options - you might still qualify for student or parent loans.

Income Doesn't Decide Everything

How much money you or your family makes is just one piece of the puzzle in determining your financial aid eligibility. There's no set income cut-off—so, yes, you can still get aid even with a higher income, especially loans. If your family's income has dropped recently, let one of our Financial Aid Advisors know.

Are You Dependent or Independent? 

The government has strict rules used to determine if you’re considered "dependent" for financial aid. Generally, you're seen as dependent student until you're 24, unless you're married, in the military, have a child you support, or are facing homelessness. Got questions? Our Financial Aid office is here to help.

Per the Illinois Higher Education Housing and Opportunities Act (Bill Number: SB 190); The Director of Financial Aid serves as Parkland College's homeless student liaison.

Special or Unusual Circumstances? We've Got You Covered

Special and unusual circumstances refer to situations where a student or their family experiences a significant change not reflected in the initial financial aid application (FAFSA). These can include, but are not limited to, loss of employment, divorce or separation, death of a parent or spouse, unexpected medical expenses, parental abandonment, parental incarceration, or other significant changes to financial status. These circumstances can affect the student's ability to pay for college and may not be accurately represented by the prior year's income information required on the FAFSA.

If you think you have experienced a special or unusual circumstance, please let one of our Financial Aid Advisors know.

Enrollment Requirements

To qualify for certain types of financial aid, you'll need to be enrolled in at least six credit hours per semester. Full-time aid requires 12 credit hours per semester. Here’s how it breaks down:

12+ hours = full-time
9 –11 hours = 3/4 time
6 – 8 hours = 1/2 time
1 – 5 hours = 1/4 time

Many financial aid awards will be prorated based on the number of credit hours in which you enroll.

In accordance with Part 668 Student Assistance General Provisions Retaking Coursework (§ 668.2), upon successful completion of a class (with a letter grade of D or better), students may repeat the course once and receive financial assistance.

Staying on Track: Academic Requirements

In accordance with the U.S. Department of Education, Parkland College is required by federal regulations (Federal Regulations 34CFR Parts 668.32f and CFR 668.34) to establish satisfactory academic progress standards for federal and state financial aid recipients enrolled in eligible degree and certificate programs. These minimum standards ensure that only those recipients demonstrating satisfactory progress toward the completion of their educational objective continue to receive financial assistance.

Dropping or Withdrawing from a Class? Talk to Us First!

Dropping or withdrawing from classes can affect your financial aid. Always consult with a financial aid advisor first to understand the potential impacts.