You must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for our office to be able to determine what types and amounts of financial aid you’re eligible for. Completion of the FAFSA will determine your eligibility for all Federal and state grants, as well as Federal Work-Study and student loans. If you are not eligible for grants, you could still be eligible to get student and/or parent loans. 

Income requirements

Income is only one of the factors that determines a student's eligibility for financial aid. There is no fixed income amount that will determine eligibility. Students with a high income are still likely to be eligible for a student loan, even if they don't qualify for grants. 

If there has been a reduction in your family's income in the past year, a Financial Aid Advisor can see if you qualify for a special circumstance.

Dependency Status

The Federal government has very strict standards that determine a student's dependency status for financial aid. Under normal circumstances, a student will be classified as dependent until they are 24 years of age, married, a member of the military, have a child whom they are supporting, or are experiencing homelessness. Advisors are available in the Financial Aid office to answer questions about dependency.

Per the Illinois Higher Education Housing and Opportunities Act (Bill Number: SB 190); The associate director of financial aid serves as Parkland College's Homeless Student(s) liaison.

Special or Unusual Circumstances

Students may pursue an adjustment based on special or unusual circumstances.

  • Special Circumstances refer to the financial situations (loss of a job, etc.) that justify an aid administrator adjusting data elements in the COA or in the EFC calculation.
  • Unusual Circumstances refer to the conditions that justify an aid administrator making an adjustment to a student’s dependency status based on a unique situation (e.g., human trafficking, refugee or asylee status, parental abandonment, incarceration), more commonly referred to as a dependency override.

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.
The following are minimum standards required by a student to be eligible for the following types of student financial aid regardless if a student has previously received student financial aid: Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), Federal Work-Study Program (FWS), Federal Direct Stafford/Ford Loans, Federal Parental Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS), and Illinois Monetary Award Program (MAP).

Enrollment Requirements

Federal policy requires that you must be enrolled in at least six credit hours per semester to be eligible for most financial aid programs.

To receive full time financial aid benefits you must be enrolled in 12 credit hours per semester.

Enrollment is determined by the number of credit hours you’re enrolled in each semester, as follows:

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

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

Don’t lose your benefits!

There are financial aid consequences for dropping or withdrawing from any class! You must meet with a financial aid advisor before dropping or withdrawing from a class. Stop in during the walk-in hours to discuss the possible implications.