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Types of Financial Aid

Table of Contents

Merit and Need-Based Financial Aid
Sources of Financial Aid
Federal Grants
Illinois State Grants
Illinois State Scholarships
IVCC Foundation Scholarships
Private Scholarships
Student Employment
Loans for Students
Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)



Merit and Need-Based Financial Aid

Financial aid is awarded to students based on merit, financial need, or both. Merit scholarships are awarded based on criteria stated on the application form or in the form’s instructions, usually a high grade point average or ACT score, or notable talent. Need-based aid (grants, employment, and loans) is awarded based upon a student's financial need. Some scholarship requirements include both merit and need-based criteria.



Sources of Financial Aid

Financial aid is intended to assist students in financing their education when family and personal resources are not adequate to meet their total educational cost. The principal forms of financial aid are:

  • Grants: Financial aid awarded to students based on financial need. They are typically funded by the Federal or State Government, however many private colleges and universities have institutional grants which are awarded according to their own criteria. Grants are "free." No repayment is necessary.
  • Scholarships: Financial aid awarded to students based on merit, talent, financial need, or other specialized criteria. Scholarships given to IVCC students are funded by the State Government, the Illinois Valley Community College Foundation, and Private Agencies. Scholarships are also "free." No repayment is necessary, (except in a small number of cases which will be specified on the application materials).
  • Employment: Employment (Federal Work-Study or College Employment) enables students to earn money while attending school. All student employees are paid the State minimum wage ($8.25) and are limited to 20 hours of work per week or less.
  • Loans: Financial aid awarded to students—or parents—to help meet education-related expenses. An educational loan is just that—a loan which must be repaid, with interest.

These three forms of assistance are combined into a financial aid package. The IVCC Financial Aid Office makes every effort to help students with limited financial resources to obtain needed funds.

Some financial aid programs are subject to the availability of funds (first-come, first-served); therefore, aid applications should be completed as soon as possible after January 1st for the upcoming academic year.  Review "When do you apply for financial aid?" for further information.



Federal Grants

  • Federal Pell Grant: For students pursuing their first undergraduate degree who qualify based on the federal formula. Awards range from $602 to $5,730 for the 2014-2015 school year.
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant: For students pursuing their first under-graduate degree who are eligible for the Federal Pell Grant and who have exceptional financial need. At IVCC these awards typically range from $100 to $200. Funding is very limited.



Illinois State Grants



Illinois State Scholarships

  • Merit Recognition Scholarship: $1,000 for Illinois college freshmen who rank in the top 5% of the Illinois high school class according to the cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) at the end of the seventh semester.
  • Minority Teachers of Illinois Scholarship Program: Tuition scholarships of up to $5,000 per year to assist individuals of African American/Black, Hispanic American, Asian American, or Native American origin who plan to become teachers at the preschool, elementary or secondary level.
  • Illinois Future Teacher Corps (IFTC) Program: Full tuition scholarships (up to $5,000 annually) to academically talented students (priority given to minority students) pursuing careers as public preschool, elementary and secondary school teachers in disciplines that have been designated as Teacher Shortage Disciplines in the State of Illinois.
  • Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship Program: $1,500 per academic year for up to four years to academically exceptional high school graduates who show promise of continued academic excellence. Subject to Federal funding.
  • Illinois Special Education Teacher Tuition Waiver Program: The Illinois Special Education Teacher Tuition Waiver Program encourages current teachers and academically talented students to pursue careers in any area of special education as a public, private or parochial elementary or secondary school teacher in Illinois. Recipients are exempt from paying tuition and fees at an eligible institution for up to four calendar years.



IVCC Foundation Scholarships

The Illinois Valley Community College Foundation awards several Foundation Scholarships which are funded by a series of endowments or annual gifts.

IVCC Foundation Scholarships are awarded in the Spring of each year for use in the Fall semester of the approaching academic year. Applications are available by contacting the IVCC Financial Aid Office between November and March of each year.



Private Scholarships

Private scholarships are available from a variety of sources and are offered to students who demonstrate financial need, achievement, or talent.

  • Visit the Reference Section at a Library: The Jacobs Library at IVCC has a few scholarship reference books. Try your home or high school library, too.
  • Private Scholarship Search Services: Many will charge you a fee for services already available for free using the Internet or reference materials. Use caution and watch out for scams.  Contact the IVCC Financial Aid Office if you have questions!
  • Other Tips: Check your employer or your parents’ and spouse’s employer to see if they offer any scholarships or tuition assistance. Read the local papers and keep your eyes open for notices.



Student Employment

Two different types of employment opportunities are available to IVCC students, each of which is described below.

  • Federal Work-Study is a federally funded financial aid employment program for students with demonstrated financial need. A variety of on-campus jobs are offered through the Work-Study Program. Student employment enables students to earn money while attending school. All student employees at IVCC are paid the state minimum wage ($8.25) and are limited to 20 hours of work per week (or less) during enrollment periods.

The following are some of the benefits of the Work-Study Program:

  • Pay for educational expenses without incurring loan debt.
  • Work-Study earnings are not used in calculating your eligibility for financial aid the next year you apply.
  • Gain work experience.
  • Develop a greater understanding of personal skills, talents, and interests.

Students who are interested in employment should contact the IVCC Financial Aid Office to obtain an application for employment.

NOTE: Applicants are not guaranteed a job but are given equal consideration for positions that are open.

  • College Employment opportunities are also available to students without regard to their financial need.

Students interested in college employment should contact the IVCC Financial Aid Office to obtain an  application for employment .

NOTE: Applicants are not guaranteed a job but are given equal consideration for positions that are open.



Loans for Students

IVCC participates in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program. The Direct Loan Program is the alternative to the traditional Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFEL) which involves a Lender (e.g., a bank or credit union) and a Guaranty Agency.

The terms and conditions of a Direct or a FFEL loan are similar. The major differences between the two are the source of the loan funds, some aspects of the application process, and the available repayment plans.

  • Stafford Loans

Direct and FFEL Stafford Loans are either subsidized or unsubsidized. A subsidized loan is awarded on the basis of financial need, an unsubsidized loan is not. You can receive a subsidized loan and an unsubsidized loan for the same enrollment period.

NOTE: IVCC can refuse to certify your loan application or can certify a loan for an amount less than you would otherwise be eligible for, if the Financial Aid Office documents the reason for its action and explains the reason to you in writing. The school's decision is final and cannot be appealed to the U.S. Department of Education.

  • Borrowing Limits

The amounts given below are the maximum yearly amounts you can borrow in both subsidized and unsubsidized loans. You may receive less than these yearly maximum amounts if you receive other financial aid that is used to cover a portion of your cost of attendance.

If you're a dependent undergraduate student at IVCC you can borrow up to:

  • $5,500 if you're a first-year student enrolled in a program of study that is at least a full academic year (only $3,500 of this amount may be in a subsidized loan; the remainder will be unsubsidized);
  • $6,500 if you've completed your first year of study and the remainder of your program is at least a full academic year (only $4,500 of this amount may be in a subsidized loan; the remainder will be unsubsidized).

If you're an independent undergraduate student or a dependent student whose parents are unable to get a PLUS Loan, you can borrow up to

  • $9,500 if you're a first-year student enrolled in a program of study that is at least a full academic year (only $3,500 of this amount may be in a subsidized loan; the remainder will be unsubsidized).
  • $10,500 if you've completed your first year of study and the remainder of your program is at least a full academic year (only $4,500 of this amount may be in a subsidized loan; the remainder will be unsubsidized).
  • Loan Counseling

Students who have not previously borrowed under the William D. Ford Federal Direct Student Loan Program are required to complete entrance loan counseling.  After students have been awarded the William D. Ford Federal Direct Student Loans, they will receive information about the entrance loan counseling.

 

Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)

PLUS Loans enable parents with good credit histories to borrow to pay the education expenses of each child who is a dependent undergraduate student enrolled at least half time.

IVCC participates in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program. The Direct Loan Program is the alternative to the traditional Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFEL) which involves a Lender (e.g., a bank or credit union) and a Guaranty Agency.   

  • Are there any borrowing requirements my parents have to meet?

Yes. To be eligible to receive a PLUS Loan, your parents generally will be required to pass a credit check. If they don't pass the credit check, they might still be able to receive a loan if someone, such as a relative or friend who is able to pass the credit check, agrees to endorse the loan, promising to repay it if your parents should fail to do so. Your parents might also qualify for a loan even if they don't pass the credit check if they can demonstrate that extenuating circumstances exist. You must meet the general eligibility requirements for federal student financial aid. Your parents must also meet some of these general requirements. For example, your parents must meet citizenship requirements and may not be in default or owe a refund to any Student Financial Aid Program.

  • How much can my parents borrow?

The yearly limit on a PLUS Loan is equal to your cost of attendance minus any other financial aid you receive. For example, if your cost of attendance is $6,000 and you receive $4,000 in other financial aid, your parents could borrow up to--but no more than--$2,000.

NOTE: IVCC can refuse to certify your parents' loan application, or can certify a loan for an amount less than they would otherwise be eligible for, if the Financial Aid Office documents the reason for its action and explains the reason to your parents in writing. The school's decision is final and cannot be appealed to the U.S. Department of Education.