Financial Assistance Information for All Students

www.uis.edu/financialaid
Office Phone: (217) 206-6724
Office Location: UHB 1015

The UIS Office of Financial Assistance coordinates federal, state, institutional, and private financial aid programs.

Undergraduate students, except those entering UIS as first-time freshmen, must transfer at least 12 credit hours to UIS to be eligible for financial assistance. Students pursuing a master’s degree or graduate certificate must have earned a bachelor’s degree - doctoral students must have earned a master’s degree - and proof of that degree must be on file with the Office of Admissions.

Assistance is available in the form of grants, tuition waivers, assistantships, scholarships, loans, part-time employment, and veteran benefits. Students are encouraged to apply as early as possible for all forms of assistance and it is recommended that the federal application (FAFSA) for the award year that begins each August be completed as soon as possible after January 1 each year.

Financial Assistance will only pay for classes required to complete degree requirements in your specified program of study as indicated in the UIS Catalog.  Deadlines apply.  Financial assistance funds cannot pay for audited classes.

Veterans

The Office of Financial Assistance must certify military veterans for benefits each semester (GI Bill®, Illinois National Guard, Illinois Veterans Grant, MIA/POW, Veterans Vocational Rehabilitation). A Request for Veterans Program Benefits Form must be filed with the UIS certifying official each year the student wants benefits to be processed. Additional paperwork may be required depending on the type of benefit. Contact the Office of Financial Assistance to find out about the documentation required for a specific benefit.

Veterans must notify the office of any changes affecting the amount or disposition of benefits, including changes in address, academic status (withdrawals, added classes, etc.), and number of dependents (through marriage, divorce, births, deaths, etc.).  Students cannot audit courses.  The following require special approval: tutorials, variable-hour courses with no specified meeting time, weekend courses, online courses, telecourses, and internships.  These courses must be approved by an outside agency.  There will be a four- to six-week delay in benefits.  it is in the student's best interest to apply and complete the application early.

For information concerning the UIS policy on military course credit, please refer to the “Academic Information for Undergraduate Students” section of this catalog.

Illinois Veterans Grant

Students seeking this benefit must have been in active military service for at least one year unless discharged for medical reasons. All discharges must be honorable. Students must have resided in Illinois within six months of entering the service and must return to Illinois within six months of leaving the service.

To apply, complete an application through the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC). Application forms can be obtained from the Office of Financial Assistance or downloaded at http://www.isac.org. Once ISAC has processed the application, students will be mailed a letter of eligibility. This letter of eligibility must be submitted to the UIS Office of Financial Assistance prior to the end of the semester of enrollment. A Request for Veterans Program Benefits Form must also be filed with the UIS certifying official each year after July 1st the student wants benefits to be processed. This must be done prior to the end of the semester of enrollment for which benefits are being requested.

Illinois National Guard Grant

To apply for a National Guard Grant, the student must be on active-duty status and must have served in the Illinois National Guard for at least one year. Applications for this grant may be completed online at http://www.isac.org. Applications are renewable each year and must be processed by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC). ISAC must receive all applications by the following deadlines: fall semester - October 1; spring semester - March 1; summer term - June 15.

Federal and State Financial Assistance Programs

(Federal Pell, Federal SEOG, Federal Work-Study, Federal Direct Stafford Loans, Federal Direct PLUS Loans, TEACH Grant, and Monetary Award Program Grant)

To receive assistance from most federal and state programs, students must meet all eligibility requirements set forth in the Higher Education Act as amended. These requirements include approved citizenship status, enrollment level, status as a regularly admitted student pursuing a degree (graduate students should also refer to the section concerning Conditional/Provisional Admission for Graduate Programs), enrollment in course work required for that degree, and satisfactory academic progress. All financial aid programs have maximum time frames. In addition all degree programs have a maximum number of attempted hours to receive financial assistance (refer to the Satisfactory Academic Progress policy section for additional information on time frame). The student must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) every year that he or she wishes to receive financial assistance.

Institutional Programs

Institutional Tuition Waivers, Grants, and Student Employment

Each year the campus provides a limited number of tuition waivers made on the basis of demonstrated financial need. The Student-to-Student Grant program is funded with voluntary student contributions and matching state aid. Awards are given to undergraduates with financial need.

Part-time employment opportunities exist for students continuously enrolled in six or more credit hours. Employment opportunities are posted on CareerConnect. All current UIS students are automatically registered for UIS CareerConnect. Student must access their profiles and upload a valid resume to begin their job search. Students may visit CareerConnect at www.uis.edu/career/.

UIS Student Emergency Loan Fund

This fund provides short-term loans to students who meet the Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements and who are also enrolled at least half time (a minimum of six credit hours). Except in cases of extreme emergency, loans are limited to students working on campus and/or those with expected financial aid.

Institutional Scholarships

There are more than 150 privately supported institutional scholarships and awards available to qualified UIS students. The annual application is available beginning December 1 each year and must be submitted by no later than February 15 each year. Visit the UIS Office of Financial Assistance website at www.uis.edu/financialaid to review a current list of available scholarships or to complete the online application.

Application Procedures for Financial Assistance

To be awarded state, federal, and institutional need-based financial assistance, the student must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) indicating UIS (school code 009333) as a school choice.

The FAFSA can be accessed and submitted online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. To electronically sign the FAFSA you must obtain a PIN for both yourself and one parent if you are a dependent student. PINs can be created and retrieved at www.pin.ed.gov. The FAFSA includes instructions for submitting the information electronically to the federal processor, who will send the results directly to UIS and, for Illinois residents, to the Illinois Student Assistance Commission, initiating a state application. Additionally, students must meet the following requirements:

  1. Be fully admitted to UIS as a degree-seeking student.

  2. Enroll in at least six credit hours toward the completion of your degree.

  3. Maintain satisfactory academic progress measured by completion rate, GPA, and maximum time frame. Refer to the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy section for additional information. The standards of this policy are established by the U.S. Department of Education and may differ from the academic policies of the University. For more information on the University’s academic policy, please visit the Office of Records and Registration website.

  4. Satisfy all outstanding requirements with the Office of Financial Assistance as noted in the requirements section for financial assistance on the Student Self Service website. As a result of applying for federal assistance, the student may be selected by the federal processor or state agency to provide additional documentation.

Critical Dates Affecting Financial Assistance

Students applying for need-based assistance should be aware of the following dates:

February 15 – Deadline to apply for institutional scholarships for the upcoming year.

March 1 – FAFSA applications should be complete to ensure consideration for all forms of state assistance for the upcoming academic year.

April 15 – Last day to submit paperwork to be considered for spring financial assistance.

June 15 – Last day to submit paperwork to be considered for summer financial assistance.

November 15 – Last day to submit paperwork to be considered for fall financial assistance.

December 1 – Scholarship application available at www.uis.edu/financialaid.

Consequences of Complete Withdrawal for Aid Recipients

Recipients of Title IV (federal) financial assistance are considered to earn their aid award by attending and/or completing course work. For students who officially withdraw (i.e., drop all courses) from UIS during the semester for which federal financial assistance is received the semester is 60 percent complete (as determined by the Department of Education calculation process):

  • The percentage and amount of federal aid earned will be calculated.

  • The amount of federal aid to be disbursed or returned will be determined.

  • Unpaid institutional charges will be billed.

  • The student may owe a repayment if the federal aid disbursed exceeds the percentage the student earned.

  • In addition, any student who receives financial assistance and subsequently completely withdraws during the term will automatically be placed on financial aid cancellation (refer to the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy section for additional information).

Consequences of Unofficial Withdrawal for Aid Recipients

A financial aid recipient who does not officially withdraw and does not receive a passing grade in at least one course will be considered to have unofficially withdrawn from the University. For such unofficial withdrawals without notification, the withdrawal date is the midpoint of the semester or the period of enrollment (last date of attendance). The student may owe a repayment if the federal aid disbursed exceeds the percentage earned by the student. Such students will automatically be placed on financial aid cancellation.

Repeating Classes

The Department of Education recently published new regulations which affect students who repeat courses. These regulations may impact your financial aid eligibility and awards, including Pell Grant, SEOG Grant, Direct Loans, and Federal Work-Study. Beginning with the spring 2012 semester, regulations prevent the UIS Office of Financial Assistance from paying for a course that has been passed and repeated more than one time. In order for a repeated course to be counted towards your enrollment status for financial aid purposes you may only repeat a previously passed course once (a total of two attempts). If you enroll in a previously repeated and passed course for a third time, this course will not count toward your enrollment for financial aid purposes. Please refer to the following website for complete details: http://www.uis.edu/financialaid/guide/RepeatedClasses.html.

The Office of Financial Assistance at UIS will not pay for repeat classes for which a grade of incomplete (I) was previously assigned.

All enrollments in a class will count toward the total number of attempted credit hours when a student’s pace (completion rate) ratios and maximum time frames are calculated to determine satisfactory academic progress (refer to the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy section for additional information).

Conditional/Provisional Admission for Graduate Programs

A student must be fully admitted into an eligible degree program and enrolled as a regular student in order to receive financial aid. A “regular student” is defined as one who is enrolled or accepted for enrollment for the purpose of obtaining a degree or certificate offered by the University of Illinois at Springfield. UIS makes exceptions to this standard for students who have been conditionally admitted.

Graduate students are occasionally admitted to UIS conditionally to allow them to complete specified prerequisite courses before they are fully admitted to their program. These students may receive financial aid as long as they meet all other financial aid requirements (e.g., satisfactory academic progress), but they must successfully complete their prerequisite coursework within one calendar year (12 months). After that time, they must be fully admitted into the program to continue receiving financial assistance.

Provisionally admitted students are not eligible to receive financial assistance.

Satisfactory Academic Progress for Undergraduate and Graduate Students

In accordance with the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended by Congress, the University of Illinois at Springfield has established a minimum Standards of Academic Progress (SAP) policy. ALL federal, state, and institutional financial aid programs administered by UIS are covered by this policy. Please refer to the following web site to view the current SAP policy (www.uis.edu/financialaid/guide/documents/SatisfactoryAcademicProgressPolicy.pdf).

If you have questions about the new SAP policy, please contact the UIS Office of Financial Assistance.