Frequently Asked Questions

How do I become eligible for financial aid?

  • Academic scholarships: Upon admission to Aurora University, you will automatically be considered for an academic scholarship. We carefully consider the academic credentials of each candidate.
  • Need-based Aid: Eligibility for federal, state, and institutional need-based grants, loans and student employment is determined after submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Need-based assistance is determined on the basis of "financial need," which is defined as the difference between family resources and educational costs. Final consideration for all financial aid occurs only after your admission to Aurora University has been confirmed, and we have received your processed FAFSA.

Can I estimate my financial aid eligibility?
Yes, you can use our Net Price Calculator.

What is the EFC?
The EFC or Expected Family Contribution is the dollar amount representing how much of a family’s financial resources should be available to help pay for school. It is derived from a formula created by the U.S. Department of Education and it utilizes various data acquired from the FAFSA for its calculations, such as the student’s and/or parents’ Adjusted Gross Income (AGI), assets (savings and checking accounts), and benefits. The EFC is subtracted from the college’s Cost of Attendance (tuition, books, fees and living expenses) to determine eligibility for Federal need-based aid.

What is AU’s Federal School Code?
Aurora University’s federal school code is 001634. You will need this number when filling out your FAFSA. By listing AU’s code, we will receive your application electronically.

Are there any deadlines?
Submit the FAFSA for the upcoming academic year as soon as possible after it becomes available on October 1 for maximum consideration of federal, state, and institutional aid. We suggest that all required paperwork be submitted as soon as possible.

Should I wait until I have been accepted to apply for financial aid?
No. Complete the FAFSA as soon as you can. The financial aid staff will keep your application on file until they receive notice that you have been accepted to AU.

When will I know what financial aid I am eligible to receive?
Allow approximately two weeks for the federal processing of your FAFSA, which you can file online at Once the financial aid staff receives this information, a financial aid package will be determined unless further information is required. The amount of time between receipt of application and determination of aid varies, but it is generally within two weeks. Returning students are processed when fall semester grades have been posted and Satisfactory Academic Progress has been verified. Typically, award offers for returning students will be processed beginning in February.

Verification...What is it?
The Federal Processing Center selects FAFSAs for verification. You can tell if your application has been selected by reading the comment section on your Student Aid Report (SAR). Your financial aid counselor may also select your application for verification – this is called institutional verification.

If your FAFSA is selected for verification by the U.S. Department of Education, you may be asked to complete the IRS Data Retrieval Tool for student and/or parent tax information on your FAFSA. Click here to view a step-by-step guide to completing this requirement.

If you are ineligible or choose not to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, you are instead required to submit the applicable IRS Tax Return Transcript(s) and a copy of all W-2s used in filing taxes. You can request a Tax Return Transcript from the IRS free-of-charge using one of the methods below:

How do I report a special circumstance?
Loss of a job or benefits, death in the family, divorce or separation, or extreme medical bills are examples of special circumstances that can change your financial aid eligibility. Please complete and submit the Special Circumstance Request form (PDF) if you would like the Office of Financial Aid to review your situation. Completed forms may be scanned and emailed to or faxed to 630-844-6191.

How will receiving outside scholarships affect my financial aid?
If you receive outside scholarships, a student financial services counselor will first focus on reducing any remaining unmet need. After that, it might be necessary to replace any self-help (i.e. loans or Federal Work-Study) in a student's aid package. It is the student’s responsibility to report all outside scholarships.

Will my financial aid change from year to year?
Your financial aid eligibility is based on many variables, including your FAFSA information, academic performance, and housing arrangements. Your aid may be influenced by a change in your EFC, an increase or decrease in federal and state funding, or by missing a required deadline.

Students who wish to continue to receive financial assistance must submit the FAFSA every year.

What steps do I need to take if I am switching from an undergraduate student to a graduate student in the same academic year?
You need to update your FAFSA to reflect that you are a graduate student after your undergraduate financial aid has been applied to your account.

  • Step-by-step instructions for switching to a graduate student for the spring term can be found here.
  • Step-by-step instructions for switching to a graduate student for the summer term can be found here. If you are attending in the summer term, you must also complete a Summer Aid Application.

You will be notified when your offer letter showing your financial aid eligibility as a graduate student is ready. You will also be notified if you need to turn in requested financial aid items.