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Office of Financial Aid

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Week of August 31, 2015

Fall 2015 Disbursement Schedule & Step-by-Step Process

All loans funds for students with completed financial aid files for the 2015-2016 academic year are scheduled to be sent to the school on the disbursement date below:

Scheduled Disbursement Date: August 14th

Funds will be disbursed electronically to the student's tuition account. This is not the date you will receive a direct deposit refund for living expenses. For refund estimation times please contact the Student Account's Office at 312-567-3794 or email sa@iit.edu.

On the scheduled disbursement date, we must verify that you are eligible to receive the funds. This process can take 1-3 business days.

  1. The funds are then released and credited to your student account.
  2. If a credit balance exists from an excess in financial aid funds, the Student Account's Office will process your refund. If you have direct deposit set up your refund will be deposited into your personal bank account, if not, it will be mailed (not held for pick up) by the Student Account's Office. The university encourages all students to sign up for direct deposit on the myIIT portal.

If you have any questions regarding the status of your refund check or charges on your account, please contact the Student Account's Office at 312-567-3794 option 5 or email sa@iit.edu.

If you have any questions regarding the financial aid funds that have been credited to your account, please contact the Office of Financial Aid at 312-906-5180 or email finaid@kentlaw.iit.edu stop by suite 230.

2015-2016 Continuing Student Scholarships

Guaranteed renewable partial Chicago-Kent scholarships have been automatically included in financial aid award packages for the 2015-2016 academic year. If your renewable scholarship does not appear in your financial aid package, please contact the Office of Admissions.

Merit based Chicago-Kent scholarships based on class rank will not be included in financial aid award packages until mid-August 2015. The Office of Admissions will review grades and class ranks from the Spring 2015 term to determine scholarship eligibility. You will receive a revised award letter in August if your scholarship is renewed. For questions about your scholarship eligibility, please contact the Office of Admissions.

Full scholarships are initially based on your enrollment in the minimum number of credits required for the program (12 credits for day division and 6 credits for part-time/evening), and will be adjusted to reflect actual fall 2015 enrollment as of August 24th. Final adjustments will take place after the last day to add and drop classes.

New: Perkins Loan Program Changes

The Department of Education has implemented a wind-down policy for the Federal Perkins Loan Program. This will terminate the loan program. Below is a summary of how the changes will affect your Perkins Loan eligibility. 

1.      Deadline to accept the 2015-2016 Perkins Loan on the myIIT portal is September 15, 2015. This applies to all first time borrowers and continuing borrowers. If a student does not accept their Perkins by this deadline we cannot guarantee that the funds will be disbursed to their student account for the 2015-2016 academic year. 

2.      Students may continue to be eligible for the Perkins Loan beyond the 2015-2016 academic year (up to 5 years, through 2020) only if they meet all of the following grandfathering provisions: 

a. Had a Perkins Loan during the 2014-2015 academic year or prior

b. Attended Chicago-Kent when their last Perkins Loan was disbursed

c. Attended the same academic program as when they received their last Perkins Loan

d. Have a zero Expected Family Contribution (EFC) on the FAFSA  

e. Complete the FAFSA before March 1st

Please be aware that these changes are subject to change if the Higher Education Act is reauthorized before September 30, 2015.

 

FAFSA Reminder 2015-16

In order to qualify for financial aid for the 2015-2016 academic year, you must complete the 2015-2016 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA must be completed each academic year, and is available after January 1st of each calendar year.

You can complete your FAFSA online at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov. In order to apply you will need your Personal Identification Number (PIN). Please remember to include our school code, E00773, when completing your FAFSA and keep in mind that the school name will be listed as Chicago-Kent College of Law. 

If you need help completing the FAFSA, the Department of Education provides several helpful resources with complete instructions, videos, and contact numbers. Additionally, if you have any questions please feel free to call the Office of Financial Aid at (312) 906-5180, or send an email to finaid@kentlaw.iit.edu.

New: Plus Loan Counseling Requirement

The Federal Direct Plus Loan is a credit based loan. By accepting the loan on the myIIT portal you are authorizing a credit check to be performed and the loan to be processed with Direct Loans.Generally, students with an adverse credit history may be denied. However, in most cases if there are no other extenuating credit conditions, a student may be able to appeal the credit decision or provide an endorser for the loan to be be approved. For more information about the terms and conditions of Federal Direct Plus Loan click here. 

Due to new federal regulations as of March 29, 2015 if a student is approved by way of appeal or endorser, the student also must complete the new Plus Loan Counseling requirement online with Direct Loans in order to recieve the loan. The credit check approval will remain valid for 180 days.

This Plus Loan Counseling is distinct and not the same as the first time borrower Loan Entrance Counseling requirement. The Plus Counseling must be done in one log in session, as it cannot be saved to be finished at a later time. The Plus Counseling is only valid for the credit check approval period of 180 days. If a student chooses to accept another Plus Loan after 180 days, they are authorizing another credit check to be peformed by Direct Loans. If the credit check results in another denial and the student will need to repeat the entire process by either appealing the credit decision or adding an endorser, and completing the Plus Loan Counseling again. 

First time borrowers that are denied the Plus Loan but scessfully appeal or add an endorser will have to complete both types of counseling: the Loan Entrance Counseling and Plus Loan Counseling. Both requirements must be satisfied with Direct Loans online at studentloans.gov

Plus Loan Denial Checklist 

1. Contact Direct Loans at 1-800-557-7394 or go to studentloans.gov to find out if you are eligible to appeal the credit decision or add an endorser to the loan. 

2. Once you are approved by way of appeal or endorser you must complete the Plus Loan Counseling requirement and a new Master Promissory Note online at studentloans.gov

3. The requirements will be cleared on your myIIT portal within 1 week. Please allow some time for your myIIT portal to be updated. 

4. The loan funds will disburse to your student account usually within 1-2 weeks after you complete your approval process and requirements, or on the scheduled disbursement date if it has not passed yet. 

You will recieve an email disbursement notification when the funds have been posted to your student account. You will be able to view this on the myIIT portal. If you are expecting a credit refund as a result of excess in loan funds, the Student Accounting Office will process it accordingly for you. You may set up direct deposit of this refund on the myIIT portal. All questions about refund status should be directed to the Student Accounting Office by email at sa@iit.edu or by phone at 312-567-3794 option 5.

 

NASFAA Financial Literacy Report

The Opportunities to Improve the Financial Capability and Financial Well-being of Postsecondary Students report describes current efforts to enhance financial education among students to help them make informed decisions about choosing where and how to finance postsecondary education, and to aid students in making sound financial decisions when enrolled and beyond. Key topics include:

  • Policies and resources to help students make decisions on college choice and financing;
  • Tools for navigating the college search and decision-making process;
  • Tools for navigating postsecondary education financing and repayment;
  • Financial decisions facing currently enrolled students and recent graduates;
  • Institutional efforts to improve the financial capability of enrolled students;
  • Recommendations and next steps for higher education institutions

Effective October 1st: Loan Origination Fee Decrease

As of October 1, 2015 the Federal Direct loan origination fees on the Federal Direct Stafford and Federal Direct Plus Loan will decrease for the remainder of the 2015-2016 academic year and be effective until October 1, 2016. The new loan fee percentages will apply only to loans where the first dibsursement of a loan is made on or after October 1, 2015. For more detailed information see our website.  

Current Loan Origination Fees (expire 10/1/15):

Federal Direct Stafford Loan: 1.073%

Federal Direct Plus Loan: 4.292%

New Loan Origination (effective 10/1/15, and subject to change):

Federal Direct Stafford Loan: 1.068%

Federal Direct Plus Loan: 4.272%

We understand that this can be confusing to sort out, and that is why we have created these forms to help you determine how much you need to borrow:

Estimated Cost Worksheet

Refund Calculation Worksheet

This is a mandatory fee charged by the U.S. Department of Education Federal Direct Loan Program for borrowing a Federal Stafford or Plus Loan. The loan origination fee is a percentage of the amount of each loan you receive, and is subtracted proportionately from each loan disbursement you receive. This means that the amount you accept on the myIIT portal will be less due to this automatic fee taken out by Direct Loans before the funds are posted to your student account.

We strongly urge students to keep add this fee to their calculation when accepting their requested loan amount(s) on the myIIT portal. If your loan accepted amount totals the exact amount you owe on your student account, you may not have borrowed enough and will have to account for this fee. 

Effective July 1st: Decreased Student Loan Interest Rates

As a result of the Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act of 2013 federal student loan interest rates have been increased for the 2015-2016 academic year, and any summer 2015 loans first disbursed on or after 7/1/2015 and before 7/1/2016 to the following:

Federal Direct Stafford Loan: 5.84%

Federal Direct Plus Loan: 6.84%

The interest rates on federal loans first dibusred on or after 7/1/2014 and before 7/1/2015 were: 6.21% on the Federal Direct Stafford Loan and 7.21% on the Federal Plus Loan.

The new law amends the Direct Loan interest rate section of the Higher Education of 1965. For more information see the Department of Education website:

https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/types/loans/interest-rates#are-there-any-other-fees-for-federal-student-aid

Federal Work Study Policy

FWS is an employment program that requires students to earn their award amount through work. It is a need based, self-help financial aid program. Students must demonstrate financial need in order to be eligible. The FWS program is a way for students to gain work experience while earning money to help pay educational expenses. Funds are limited and awarded on a first come, first serve basis each academic year.

If you plan on receiving federal financial aid for the summer and/or 2015-2016 academic year, please read this announcement regarding a change in the awarding policy for Federal Work Study (FWS).

Attention FWS Students: Please be aware that FWS funds will not be available during Summer 1 (May 30th-June 30th). FWS funds will be available during Summer 2 starting July 1st. If you are planning to work during Summer 2, please be sure to accept your FWS award under 2015-2016 academic year.

How the FWS change in awarding policy will impact you:

  • FWS only awarded to students that answer “yes” to question 31 on the FAFSA: “Are you interested in being considered for work-study?”
  • Students that answer “no” will not receive a FWS award as a part of their financial aid award

Exceptions to the new FWS awarding policy:

  • Students that answered “no” but are already working in an FWS approved position
  • Students that answered “no” but want to participate in FWS during any part of the summer term and/or 2015-2016 academic year

You must contact the Office of Financial Aid if you answered “no” to FWS FAFSA question 31, but want to participate in FWS during the summer term and/or the 2015-2016 academic year. If you answered “no” and do not contact our office and are working in a FWS position, you may not be eligible for compensation under FWS.

Information for 3L Students

In order to receive federal financial aid at Chicago-Kent College of Law you must meet certain enrollment criteria. Students that do not meet these criteria are not eligible for federal financial aid. The enrollment criteria are as follows:

  • Be enrolled at least-half time in courses that count toward the 87 credits required for graduation.  Any credits taken above the 87 credits required for graduation are not eligible for federal financial aid.
  • According to the Registrar’s Office, at least half time enrollment is considered to be: 6 credits for fall and spring semester and 3 credits for the summer term. For more information about registration, see the Registrar’s Office.
  • If you plan to take between 6 and 11 credits, it is best to send your fall and spring enrollment intentions to our office via email. This will prevent delays of your disbursements and refunds. Once we receive your enrollment intentions, we will customize your cost of attendance budget to reflect your projected enrollment. It is best to let us know your enrollment intentions at least 3 weeks before classes start to ensure your financial aid is not delayed.

We understand that you may be close to graduation and not need as many credits as in past semesters. However, you must still demonstrate at least half time enrollment to maintain your federal financial aid eligibility. If you do not meet the enrollment criteria your options are make to payment arrangements with the Student Accounting Office or to apply for a private educational loan (tuition only).

Still haven't received your Financial Aid Award?

Has it been 3 weeks since you completed your FAFSA and you have not received a financial aid award? If so, follow these instructions to make sure your FAFSA information is sent to the Chicago-Kent College of Law, Office of Financial Aid.

Fall 2015, Spring 2016, and Summer 2016: Complete 2015-2016 FAFSA

  1. Go to www.fafsa.ed.gov and view your Student Aid Report (SAR). Make sure the Chicago-Kent College of Law school code E00773 is listed on your FAFSA. Once you correct the school code it will take 1 to 2 weeks to receive a Financial Aid award notification.

  2. If you have the correct school code listed on your FAFSA, check your SAR comments. Your SAR comments will let you know if the data that you entered on your FAFSA has caused an error that prevents your FAFSA information from being transmitted to the school. If there is a problem with the data that you entered on your FAFSA, please update the data elements requested. Once you update the information, it will take 1 to 2 weeks to receive a Financial Aid award notification.

  3. If your comment codes are showing no problems and you have E00773 listed as your school code please contact the Office of Financial Aid so that we can find out why you have not received an award.

Don't Forget to Accept Your Awards

If you still have not accepted or declined your loans, please do so as soon as possible.  You must use your myIIT account to accept/decline your loans. If you do not accept your loans, we cannot process them. That is why we urge you to accept them now to avoid delays with disbursement. If you do not wish to wish to receive any of the funds, you may decline the loan(s) using the myIIT portal.

Please select one of the options below on the myIIT portal at: https://my.iit.edu/cp/home/displaylogin.

Accept: If you wish to receive any portion of the loans still listed as offered, you must accept the funds. Also, please be aware that you may be required to complete a Master Promissory Note and Loan Entrance Counseling with Direct Loans at studentloans.gov before the funds can be disbursed. Please refer to your 'Requirements' section on the myIIT portal, and see our website for more information about loan requirements.

Decline: If you do not wish to receive any of the funds still listed as offered please decline the loan(s) using your myIIT portal.

Information for 2L Students

Q: It looks like my 2015-2016 financial aid package is a lot smaller than the financial aid package that I received as a first year law student, is this correct?

A: Yes, for most students this is correct and here are the reasons why:

  • A one-time lap top allowance is included in your first year Cost of Attendance (COA) budget. This line item is not included in the COA for continuing students.
  • As a first year JD student, your COA is based on a flat rate tuition charge. As a continuing student your initial COA is based on a per credit tuition charge. The tuition component of the COA is based on a minimum of 12 credits per term for full time and 6 credits for part time students.
  • Eligible continuing students are awarded Federal Work Study (FWS). It is a need based employment program that requires students to earn their award amount through work. FWS reduces the amount a student can borrow in federal student loans. If you do not plan on participating in the program and need additional funds you may email to request the amount be converted into additional loan funds.
  • If your current cost of attendance does not meet your financial requirements please send your fall and spring enrollment intentions, and if you are authorizing a FWS conversion, via email to the Office of Financial Aid. In your email, please specify the following in your email authorization request:
  1. Exact dollar amount that you need
  2. Number of credits that you intend to take in both semesters
  3. If you are declining FWS

Please note, the Office of Financial Aid cautions students against borrowing up to the Cost of Attendance limit.

Planning to Study Abroad?

In order to determine if your study abroad program/course is eligible to receive financial aid please stop by the Office of Financial Aid. If you've been granted permission to study abroad through Chicago-Kent College of Law and are borrowing educational student loans to meet your educational costs, please contact the Office of International Law and Policy and you will be provided an electronic application to complete. The financial aid process for the study abroad program can take 4 to 6 weeks.

If credit is approved by home school (Chicago-Kent), the student may be considered enrolled at the home school for financial aid purposes. You must still follow the same eligibility criteria as if you were taking classes at Chicago-Kent. You must complete a FAFSA, be enrolled at least half time, be degree seeking, and the credits must count toward the required credits required for graduation. Student registered in credits over the graduation requirement (87 credits) may not be eligible for federal financial aid for those credits. See the headline called "Information for 3L Students". Please be aware that your Cost of Attendance during your study abroad term will be based on the living expenses and tuition charges of the program, not the standard Chicago-Kent budget. Additonal fees may be charged by the program.

The Office of Financial Aid does not determine the Cost of Attendance for study abroad programs. For this reason, it is very crucial for each student to thoroughly research the programs charges and costs of living prior to their departure. It is the students responsibility to budget themselves until their financial aid is processed.

Planning to Visit Another Law School?

If you have been granted permission to study at another law school for credit toward your Chicago-Kent law degree and are borrowing educational loans to meet your educational costs, you must notify the Financial Aid Office as soon as possible. You must complete the Financial Aid Request Form to Visit Another Law School, if you wish to use federal student loans.

We will ask the host school's Financial Aid Office to complete a Consortium Agreement with cost of attendance amounts, and their Registar's Office to provide enrollment verification with dates of attendance, and credit hours.

Once we receive all the required documentation from the visiting school, we will finalize your financial aid award, and you can accept the loans you wish to borrow on the myIIT portal. The funds will be scheduled to disburse to your student account according to your enrollment period at the visiting school. If you are expecting a refund, the Student Accounting Office will process it. It is the student's responsibility to pay tuition at the visiting school. Please be sure that you have set up direct deposit of your refund.

The Office of Financial Aid does not determine the Cost of Attendance for host schools. For this reason, it is very crucial for each student to thoroughly research the host school's charges and costs of living prior to their departure. It is the students responsibility to budget themselves until their financial aid is processed.

Reminder: Direct Deposit Available

Please be aware that the university allows students the option of having their financial aid refunds direct deposited into their checking or savings account. The university encourages all students to sign up for direct deposit. Click here for more information on the new TouchNet service.

Bar study loan information

Bar Examination loans are intended to assist students in paying for bar preparation courses and meeting other financial needs while studying for the Bar Exam.

Students may submit the application for the Bar Exam Loan funds during their last year before graduation. The terms, conditions, and credit criteria for Bar Examination Loans are similar to those for alternative loan programs. Unfortunately, students with negative credit ratings are generally not eligible for Bar Exam loans.

To apply for a Bar Examination Loan, review the Bar Loan Information, on our website. Once you are approved, the lender will contact our office to certify your loan. The funds will be disbursed directly to you from the lender.

Free Credit Report

Did you know that you are now able to receive a free credit report once every 12 months? We encourage students to review their credit reports annually to check for inaccuracies and identify any suspicious activity.

To receive your free credit report, please visit the following link: http://www.annualcreditreport.com. This central site allows you to request a free credit file disclosure, commonly called a credit report, once every 12 months from each of the nationwide consumer credit reporting companies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

Please be aware that other sites may advertise free credit reports, but this is the only site that is sponsored by the federal government and the three nationwide credit reporting agencies. Other sites may charge fees.

Financial Aid Contact Information

The Office of Financial Aid is dedicated to assisting students in financing their education and making financially informed and responsible decisions. Please feel free to contact our office at any time during the office hours listed below.

Office Hours - Suite #230

Monday-Thursday ~ 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Friday ~ 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m

Phone: (312) 906-5180 - Fax: (312) 906-5274

Email: finaid@kentlaw.iit.edu


 

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