Eligibility Criteria

Eligibility for federal student aid is based on financial need and several other factors. The financial aid administrator at the college or career school you plan to attend will determine your eligibility.

To receive aid from our programs, you must:

  • Demonstrate financial need.
  • Have a high school diploma or a General Education Development (GED) certificate, pass an ability-to-benefit (ATB) test approved by the U.S. Department of Education, meet other standards the state establishes and that the Department approves, complete a high school education in a home school setting that is treated as such under state law, or have satisfactorily completed six credit hours or the equivalent course work toward a degree or certificate.
  • Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a regular student working toward a degree or certificate in an eligible program. Note: You might be able to receive aid for distance education courses as long as they are part of a recognized certificate or degree program.
  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen.
  • Have a valid Social Security Number.
  • Register with the Selective Service if required. You can register online, by completing the electronic FAFSA, or by calling 1-847-688-6888 (TTY users can call 1-847-688-2567).
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress.
  • Certify that you are not in default on a federal student loan and do not owe money on a federal student grant.
  • Certify that you will use federal student aid only for educational purposes.

Staying Eligible

You must stay eligible order to continue receiving financial aid. Be mindful of these issues so you don't adversely affect your eligibility status.

  • Stay enrolled in an eligible degree or certificate program.
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress. Your academic standing will be reviewed at least once a year.