The Application Process

Table of Contents


Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
FAFSA Instructions
What happens after you apply?
When do you apply for financial aid?
Special Financial Aid Reviews
Helpful Hints


Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) 

To apply for Federal and State financial aid you must first complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). There are a variety of ways you can complete the FAFSA:

  • Go to FAFSA on the Web to file your English FAFSA online (or for Spanish FAFSA en Español and click on Espanol).  It's safe and it's fast! 
  • Traditional Paper FAFSAs are available in High School Guidance Offices, by calling IVCC's Financial Aid Office, or by calling 1-800-4-FEDAID.


FAFSA Instructions

FAFSA Instructions are available on-line or by contacting the Financial Aid Office at IVCC at (815) 224-0438.

  • When you complete the FAFSA you will be asked to specify the college(s) you are considering. The easiest way to identify these colleges on the FAFSA is by using the school's Federal School Code.
  • The Code for IVCC is: 001705.

If you have questions about the status of your FAFSA, or if you have technical questions about submitting your FAFSA using FAFSA on the Web call 1-800-433-3243 (1-800-4-FEDAID).

What happens after you apply?

Once your FAFSA is processed the results are sent to you in a Student Aid Report. This will take about three to four weeks (sooner if you use FAFSA on the Web). The same results go to each school you identified on your FAFSA.

The IVCC Financial Aid Office will review your application data when it arrives and determine your eligibility for assistance.  Once this review is complete you will receive a Financial Aid Award Notification detailing all aid you are eligible to receive.  If your file is selected for verification the Financial Aid Office may need additional information from you before you receive an award notification.

  • Note: Your FAFSA does not guarantee that you will receive financial assistance. You are responsible for the payment of tuition, fees, books, and supplies if, for any reason, your financial aid is delayed or denied.

When do you apply for financial aid? 

We strongly recommend you start the process as early as possible after January 1, 2016 as it may take up to two to three months to complete.

IVCC’s Financial Aid Office recommends that students complete the 2016-2017 FAFSA by February 14, 2016. If you have not filed a 2015 tax return yet, you may complete the FAFSA and check the “Will File” box when prompted for type of tax return and enter estimated 20154 income and asset information.  Once your tax return has been completed, you will need to update the FAFSA to show “Completed Tax Return” and update the return type and income information accordingly.

Applications completed after February 14, 2015 are still processed in order received. 

 If the FAFSA has not been received at least six weeks prior to the payment due date, you may need to make payment arrangements with the Cashier’s Office prior to the payment due date.

Once your FAFSA results have been received by the IVCC Financial Aid Office, you will be notified if any additional documents are needed to complete your application.

The financial aid application cycle lasts 18 months, so for the 2016-17 academic year you can apply between January 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017.   If you cease enrollment before you complete the application you will not be eligible for assistance.

It is best to apply as soon as possible after January 1st at the start of the application cycle.

NOTE: Be sure you have applied to the college. If you have not yet done so, contact the Admissions Office at (815) 224-0439.

Special Financial Aid Reviews

In some cases a financial aid application may not reflect a student’s or family’s current financial situation. In some cases a family faces Special Circumstances (e.g., lost or reduced income, death, divorce, illness, natural disaster, etc.) which may increase a student's eligibility for financial aid.

A Special Circumstances Form is used by the Financial Aid Office to report unusual situations faced by applicants and/or their families. Special Circumstances reviews are conducted on a case-by-case basis.

If you have a situation about which you are uncertain, or if you have any questions regarding Special Circumstances, contact us to discuss the matter.

Helpful Hints

  • Apply early! File the FAFSA as soon as possible for the approaching school year. For the 2016-17 school year, apply as soon as you can after January 1, 2016.
  • Complete forms carefully. Read all instructions before you begin. Use your name and social security number as they appear on your social security card. Provide all information requested.
  • Keep a separate financial aid file. Photocopy the forms, correspondence, and other information you submit to the Financial Aid Office. Record the dates you submit information and the name of any person with whom you speak.
  • You must re-apply every year. Your financial aid is not renewed automatically, however you may get an e-mail reminder from FAFSA on the Web.
  •  If you change schools, your aid doesn’t transfer.  Check with your new school to find out what steps you must take to continue receiving aid.

  • Check out the rest of this website, especially the following: