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Financial Aid

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Information for completing and submitting the
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

Access to the 2017-18 FAFSA will become available on October 1, 2016. You must complete and submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to apply for all federal student aid and to apply for most state and college aid. Apply online- FAFSA on the Web- at soon as possible after October 1st of the student's senior year. 
The FAFSA is free. If you are asked to pay a fee you are at the wrong site!
Students planning on starting college in the FALL 2017 will complete the FAFSA for the 2017-18 academic year - the year they will start college. 
Each college has their own deadline for submitting the FAFSA - watch for and mind these deadlines! Estimate your figures if you must to meet the deadlines. You can make corrections when exact figures are available.
Federal Student Aid provides free help online at or you can call 1-800-4-FED-AID.
For any Illinois state aid questions, you can contact ISAC - Illinois Student Assistance Commission) at 847-948-8550 or 1-800-899-ISAC.

In addition, ISAC has a new initiative to help students with any questions they may have.  It is a texting service (which is free).  Students can text any financial aid question they have and get an answer (hopefully, right away).  There may be a slight delay if students are texting late at night or on the weekend.  Through this initiative, they will also receive a text when the MAP grant will be suspended and other information on important upcoming events.

Students just have to text their name to (847) 243-6470 to register. 

Under Documents to the right of this section, several financial aid handouts will soon be available for your use: Helpful Websites for Financial Aid and Applying for Financial Aid in 7 Easy Steps should answer most of your questions.
Midwest Student Exchange Program:
The best resource for college institutions that offer tuition reduction programs to Illinois students is at the Midwest Student Exchange site at It allows you to search by state and degree type and lets you know what the parameters are for reciprocity, some are totally open while others are for certain majors or have GPA/ACT requirements.

Managing College Costs   

ISAC (Illinois Student Assistance Commission) is a State of Illinois site that provides students with information about planning for college, finding a good college fit, applying to college, and financing college.



In accordance with the Higher Education Act of 2008 (HEOA), each postsecondary institution that participates in Title IV federal student aid programs must post a net price calculator on its website that uses institutional data to provide estimated net price information to families based on a student's individual circumstances.  All NPC's consist of two main components:  "institutional information" (cost of attendance, average amount of aid distributed, etc.) and "user information" (9 questions related to dependent status, income/tax info, number of dependents, etc.).  Families will plug this information into cells and move along to a new screen with the next question.  Families are encouraged to use the most accurate information they have in order to make the NPC outcome as close to a true figure as possible.  A very brief but helpful explanation of NPCs is available on College Board's website:


Preparing for college takes planning and organization.  Paying for college takes financial aid. FAFSA4caster will help you get an early start on the financial aid process.  

What is FAFSA4caster?

FAFSA4caster is a financial aid estimator that you can use before officially applying for financial aid using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  FAFSA4caster will provide you with an estimate of your Expected Family Contribution (EFC), which is an index that colleges use to determine what types of student aid you may receive.

How do I access FAFSA4caster?     

Go to and click on the Parents/Students link to locate FAFSA4caster. You can also call 1-800-4-FED-AID.   

Need a Lift?   The American Legion Scholarship and financial aid information at your fingertips!  For more information visit

For Scholarship information, see the "Scholarship" link.



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