FAFSA 2017-18 Changes
Two major permanent changes to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will take effect starting with the 2017-2018 academic year (Fall 2017, Spring 2017, Summer 2018). The FAFSA is the application used to apply for federal student aid.
- FAFSA will be available earlier: October 1st versus the previously allowed January 1st. This means you can complete the 17-18 FAFSA now.
- FAFSA will collect income information from two years prior versus the previously required one year prior. This means you will use your 2015 income information on the 17-18 FAFSA. We encourage all students to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT).
Please note that the Office of Financial Aid will not be able to provide you with a 2017-2018 award notification until February or March of 2017.
The table below summarizes the changes in detail.
Year’s Income Required
July 1, 2016-June 30, 2017
(Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Summer 2017)
January 1, 2016-June 30, 2017
July 1, 2017-June 30, 2018
(Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Summer 2018)
October 1, 2016-June 30, 2018
July 1, 2018-June 30, 2019
(Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Summer 2018)
October 1, 2017-June 30, 2019
- You do not need to complete your taxes before filling out the FAFSA.
- Since tax data from two-years prior will be readily available upon application, the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) easily allows applicants to access the IRS tax return information needed to complete the FAFSA, and transfer the required information directly into the FAFSA from the IRS. The FAFSA includes a link to the IRS if an applicant is eligible to use the IRS DRT. It is a fast and most accurate way to input income and tax information into the FAFSA. Use of the IRS DRT will dramatically reduce the likelihood of your FAFSA being selected for verification.
Change in Loan Origination Fees Starts Oct.1: Pending Loans Impacted
As of October 1, 2016 the Federal Direct loan origination fees will increase for the remainder of the 2016-2017 academic year and will remain effective until October 1, 2017.
The new loan fee percentages will apply only to loans where the first disbursement of a loan is made on or after October 1, 2016. This means, if your loan was already disbursed for the fall semester it will not be affected. The second disbursement for spring will still have the prior fee and will not be increased.
If you have a loan for the 16-17 academic year that has not been disbursed by September 25th, your loan request will be cancelled by our office.
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans will automatically be re-processed by our office on/after October 1st. Students affected will be notified by email.
Federal Direct Plus Loans will not be automatically re-processed. Students affected will be notified by email to reply stating if they want to continue with the Federal Direct Plus Loan processing. The Federal Direct Plus Loan is a federal credit based loan and Direct Loans may require another credit check for a new loan request. For this reason we will be asking for student confirmation before we re-process the loan on/after October 1st.
Current Loan Origination Fees (expires 10/1/16):
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan: 1.068%
Federal Direct Plus Loan: 4.272%
New Loan Origination (effective 10/1/16-10/1/17):
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan: 1.069%
Federal Direct Plus Loan: 4.276%
We understand that determining whether you need the Federal Direct Plus Loan can be a confusing process, therefore, we have hyperlinked two worksheets to assist you in determining how much you need to borrow:
Estimated Cost Worksheet
Semester Refund Calculation Worksheet
The Loan Origination Fee is a mandatory fee charged by the U.S. Department of Education Federal Direct Loan Program for borrowing a Federal Direct Unsubsidized or Federal Direct 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 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 pay your remaining balance.
Loan Exit Counseling: Required for 3L students. All students are welcome to attend.
All students that have applied to graduate in the Fall semester or plan on applying to graduate in the Spring semester, and have borrowed Federal Loans at the IIT Downtown Campus are required to complete Federal Student Loan Exit Counseling. The requirement has two parts: (1) attend an in person workshop, and (2) online exit counseling session. In addition there is an optional one-on-one appointment opportunity if you need additional personalized assistance in navigating your loan portfolio. This is a great time to get all your questions answered. Please keep in mind one-on-one appointments do not replace the group session or online requirement. You only need to attend one in-person session.
Federal Student Loan Repayment: The Road To Zero
Wednesday November 9th
You have many options when it comes to student loan repayment including a number of payment plans, consolidation options, and even the possibility for Public Service Loan Forgiveness. Presented by Access Group, a nonprofit financial education provider, this workshop will guide you through creating your own Road to Zero strategy by helping you determine the payment plan that will best align with your current needs, future aspirations and financial goals.
Exit Counseling Steps:
1. Attend the in person workshop. By attending the workshop, you may gain a more in depth understanding of your student loans, your loan repayment options, and realistic loan repayment examples and scenarios. During the session, please take the opportunity to get answers to your student loan questions. You will also obtain your personal Loan Portfolio that lists all of the federal loans that you received while attending the IIT Downtown Campus. Please bring an ID and arrive early to pick up your Loan Portfolio. This will allow the presenter to go through all the material and answer all your questions.
2. At the in person workshop, students will receive instructions for completing the online exit counseling session. Once the online session is complete, the Federal Loan Exit Counseling requirement will be fulfilled and the requirement will be cleared on the myIIT portal.
The Office of Financial Aid understands that this is a very busy time for you but we strongly recommend that you take the time to complete your loan exit counseling requirement now rather than later. We have scheduled the sessions so that distractions from your finals, job interviews and bar exam studying are minimized. It is our goal that when you graduate you feel informed and more at ease about your loans and your repayment options. Please keep in mind that if you are unable to attend any of these sessions we will make accommodations for you to meet this requirement at a later date. This program will be offered again in the spring semester.
1L Students: Your Award Breakdown
Financial aid is awarded for the entire academic year. Not per semester. This means you will receive an equal half of your accepted aid for the fall semester and the other half for the spring semester, minus the loan origination fee.
The tuition billing for first year students is based on a flat rate of 30 credits for the year. Students have a set registration schedule of 16 credits for the fall semester and 14 credits for the spring semester (unless they opt to do the 1L Your Way alternative). Tuition is billed per credit hour per semester. This means your charges for the fall and spring semester will not be equal, but your financial aid disbursements will be equal. As a result, your accepted financial aid may not cover all of your charges or provide you with the refund amount you were expecting.
We strongly recommend students plan accordingly and have created this form to help you determine your aid and refund per semester.
2L Student: Awarding changes from 1L year
Your financial aid award will be less than the financial aid package you received your 1L year. Please read the below and if you need to make changes please emails us with the required information below.
These are the awarding differences going from 1L to 2L:
- 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:
- Exact dollar amount that you need
- Number of credits that you intend to take in both semesters
- If you are declining FWS
Please note, the Office of Financial Aid cautions students against borrowing up to the Cost of Attendance limit.
3L Students: May not be eligible for courses over 87 credits
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).
Chicago-Kent Scholarship Eligibility
If you are in your last year and are taking less than 12 credits per semester, no action is required of you to receive your scholarship. Your scholarship will be posted to your student account, but the total amount of scholarship funds cannot exceed your tuition.
2016-2017 Student Loan Interest Rates
Federal Direct Loan interest rates have decreased for the 2016-2017 academic year. The interest rates will be fixed for the life of the loan. Since 2013 interest rates on federal student loans have been set annually according to the 10-year Treasury note rate, plus a fixed percentage that differs by loan type.
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan: 5.31%
Federal Direct Plus Loan: 6.31%
See our website for more information.
2016-2017 FAFSA Reminder
In order to qualify for financial aid each upcoming academic year you must complete a new Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) 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.
Awarding for the new academic year typically begins mid to late March. Continuing students will receive an award notification email after this time if the FAFSA applicaiton is complete. FAFSA applications received after the start of the awarding period will be processed within 1-2 weeks.
The Department of Education has created a series of YouTube videos called FAFSA: Apply for Aid for an easy to understand step by step guide to the FAFSA process. The links to each video are below:
Perkins Loan Changes for 2016-2017
The Department of Education has implemented a wind-down policy for the Federal Perkins Loan Program. The Federal Perkins Loan Program Extension Act extends the program through September 30, 2017. This will terminate the loan program. In order to be awarded a Perkins Loan for the 2016-2017 aid year a student will need to meet all the criteria below:
1. Attended Chicago-Kent College of Law when received the most recent Perkins Loan.
2. Received a Perkins Loan disbursement before October 1, 2015.
3. Expected Family Contribution (EFC) under $4,000. This comes from the financial information on your FAFSA.
Students that are awarded the Perkins Loan and want to borrow these funds are encouraged to accept the loan on the myIIT portal as soon as possible. Students that have not been awarded a Perkins Loan did not meet all of the criteria above.
Federal Work Study Changes for 2016-2017
There is a new eligibility requirement for Federal Work Study (FWS). The cut off EFC (Expected Family Contribution) from the FAFSA will be $9,000. You can view your EFC on the FAFSA Student Aid Report sent to you by the Department of Education after you complete the FAFSA. Students that have an EFC over this amount may not be eligible. This is in addition to all other criteria:
1. Complete the FAFSA
2. Answer "Yes" to FAFSA question 31.
3. Accept the FWS award on the myIIT portal.
See website for more information.
Don't Forget to Accept Your Awards: 2016-2017
If you still have not accepted or declined your loans, please do so as soon as possible using your myIIT portal account. We recommend that students accept their loans by July 1st. This is jut a preferred deadline. 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.
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. You can still accept loans later in the academic year. If you decline them now you will need to simply email our office to reinstate them. If you leave them in the offered status you can go back to the myIIT portal and accep them later in the academic year. Please keep in mind that tuition is due to the Student Accounting Office when classes start according their billing schedule.
Click here for deadlines to accept loans for each semester.
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 via Google Docs. 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, "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. Additional 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.
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 Registrar'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.
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.
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.