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 October 1 as it may take up to two to three months to complete.

IVCC’s Financial Aid Office recommends that students complete the FAFSA within the first 8-weeks of the Financial Aid application cycle.  The financial aid application cycle lasts 18 months.  If you cease enrollment before you complete the application you will not be eligible for assistance.   (See chart below for Financial Aid application cycles.)

Applications are processed in the 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 by mail if any additional documents are needed to complete your application.

It is best to apply as soon as possible after October 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.





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 2019


October 1, 2017 – June 30, 2019

July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2020

Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Summer 2020


October 1, 2018 – June 30, 2020

Plan College

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 2019-20 school year, apply as soon as you can after October 1, 2018.
  • 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: