Breadcrumbs

Financial Assistance for All Students

Academic Year: 2009 – 2010

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 veterans’ 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.

For additional information, contact the Office of Financial Assistance by visiting our website www.uis.edu/financialaid, calling (217) 206-6724, or by visiting UHB1015.

Veterans

The Office of Financial Assistance must certify military veterans for benefits (GI Bill, Illinois National Guard, Illinois Veterans Grant, MIA/POW, Veterans Vocational Rehabilitation). A Request for Benefits form must be filed with the UIS certifying official each term 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 that they make to their course schedule within three (3) business days. Please note these changes may result in a change in benefits.  Veterans must also notify the office of changes in address, academic status (withdrawals, added classes, etc.), and number of dependents (through marriage, divorce, births, deaths, etc.).

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 www.collegezone.com. 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 term 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 obtained from the Office of Financial Assistance or from the unit of service, or download one at www.collegezone.com. 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 Perkins Loans, Federal Direct PLUS Loans, ACG Grant, SMART Grant, 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 coursework required for that degree, and satisfactory academic progress (refer to the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy section). Most 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 timeframe). 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.

If you wish to seek student employment you may visit the virtual employment board on the Office of Financial Assistance website (www.uis.edu/financialaid) which lists student work opportunities both on and off campus. Students must be enrolled in at least six semester hours to be eligible for student employment. Once you have secured an interview you must visit the Office of Financial Assistance to pick up an employment application and complete an I-9 form.

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 100 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 (applies to returning students only). Refer to the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy section of this catalog 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 www.uis.edu/registration.

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 at https://apps.uillinois.edu/selfservice/index.html. 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.

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

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

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 withdraw (i.e., drop all courses) from UIS during any semester before 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 any term will automatically be placed on financial aid cancellation. This means that these students are ineligible for financial assistance during subsequent terms of enrollment until they register for a minimum of six (6) credit hours at their own expense and complete all classes in which they enroll, earning no less than a C (2.00) in all classes for undergraduates, or no less than a B (3.00) in all classes for graduate students.

Repeating Classes

In accordance with federal regulations, financial aid will pay for ONE repeat enrollment in a class if the student initially earned a letter grade (A, B, C, D, or F), or a grade of NC. This is done on the premise that students are seeking to improve the original grade for that class, as well as to improve their cumulative grade-point average.

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 completion 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. The complete SAP policy is available at www.uis.edu/financialaid; students are encouraged to read and understand the policy.

Students will be considered as making satisfactory academic progress if they meet ALL of the following requirements. Failure to comply with any one may result in a loss of financial aid eligibility.

Rate of completion requirement

A student must earn a minimum number of credit hours each year to graduate within a specified time frame. A maximum number of semesters is allowed for the student to complete work toward a degree. Withdrawing from the university or repeatedly dropping courses may affect the student’s ability to maintain minimal academic progress and could jeopardize financial aid eligibility. The chart below illustrates the minimum acceptable percentage of hours completed that undergraduate and graduate students can have to maintain satisfactory progress for financial aid purposes. (Note: Completion Rate refers to the percentage of hours completed in relation to hours attempted.)

Undergraduates   
Hours Attempted(Including transfer and repeated hours)    0-30    31-60    61-90    91+   
Percentage of HoursCompleted (Completion Rate)    50%    60%    70%    80%   

Graduates   
Hours Attempted(Including transfer and repeated hours)    0-12    13-24    24+   
Percentage of HoursCompleted (Completion Rate)    50%    60%    75%   

Grade-Point Average Requirement

Undergraduate students: A student must remain in good academic standing by earning a minimum cumulative grade-point average (GPA) of 2.00 (C) or better on a 4.00 scale as determined by the university.

Graduate students: A student must remain in good academic standing by earning a minimum cumulative grade-point average (GPA) of 3.00 (B) or better on a 4.00 scale as determined by the university.

Maximum Time Frame Requirement

Undergraduate students: Students are expected to complete degree requirements within 12 semesters of full-time enrollment. Every semester of enrollment is counted, regardless of whether or not the student completed the semester. Transfer hours from other institutions will count toward the maximum 12 semesters (12 transfer hours = 1 semester). In addition, hours earned from repeated courses will be counted in the calculation of hours attempted. An undergraduate student cannot receive financial aid for more than 144 credit hours.

Graduate students: Students are expected to complete degree requirements within 150% of the specified program of study. (For example: A master’s degree in Management Information Systems is comprised of 44 credit hours. Students may receive financial assistance for no more than 66 attempted credit hours if they are pursuing this degree.) Transfer hours from any institution will count toward the maximum time frame. In addition, hours earned from repeated courses will be counted in the calculation of hours attempted, as well as all other attempted hours.

Financial Aid Probation

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is reviewed at the end of each semester. Students who fail to meet the SAP requirements will be placed on financial aid probation during their next semester of enrollment. Students may still receive financial assistance while on financial aid probation; however, all Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements must be met to continue receiving financial assistance during subsequent semesters of enrollment. Failure to meet even one SAP requirement will result in cancellation of financial aid.

Financial Aid Cancellation

A student’s financial aid may be cancelled for any of the following reasons:

• Failure to make progress toward the minimum cumulative GPA during the semester(s) of probation (2.00 for undergraduate students and 3.00 for graduate students).

• Failure to meet the completion rate required during the semester(s) of probation.

• Complete withdrawal from the University during a semester for which aid was received.

• Failure to complete all credit hours attempted with a passing grade during a semester for which aid was received.

• Exceeding the maximum time frame for completing the degree.

Appeal procedures

Students placed on financial aid cancellation may file an appeal. All appeals MUST be made in writing and addressed to the Office of Financial Assistance. The appeal should include documentation that will verify the circumstance(s) which impeded the student’s satisfactory academic progress. Examples of acceptable documentation include medical records, a letter from a faculty adviser, or a letter from an employer on company letterhead. Appeals will be reviewed and the student will receive written notification rendered by the Financial Aid Appeals Committee.