Financial Aid Policies

The award notification process

All new undergraduate students receive their financial aid offer by mail to the address on file with the College. All graduate and continuing undergraduate students receive an email to their college email account with directions to view their financial aid offer in Self-Service.

Financial Aid Distribution

Each semester, the Office of Student Accounts will notify students that their "Online Statement" is available in Self-Service. The statement will detail charges and the distribution of aid. Federal work-study will not appear as a credit on the statement. Additionally, outside scholarships will not be credited until funds have been received. 

Credit Hour Requirements

Undergraduate financial aid offers are based on full-time enrollment for the standard academic year (at least 12 credit hours each semester). Aid based on full-time enrollment must be revised or canceled if a student enrolls in less than the minimum 12 credit hours. For students eligible for the Illinois Student Assistance Commission Monetary Award Program (State of IL MAP Grant Est), maximum eligibility requires 15 credit hours each semester.

Graduate aid offers are based on full-time (6 credit hours) enrollment for the academic year or the anticipated enrollment of your program. 

Veterans benefits vary with the number of credit hours carried by the veteran; a reduction in a student's course load during the semester may result in a reduction of benefits for that semester.

Students are encouraged to contact a financial aid team member before making enrollment changes below full-time.

Amount of Financial Assistance From Year to Year

Merit scholarships are renewed as long as a student maintains satisfactory academic progress. Departmental scholarships (music, art, etc.) are renewed based on student participation and departmental funding. Need-based (North Central College Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, Federal Pell Grant, ISAC MAP) assistance renewal is based on meeting eligibility criteria and funding availability.  Please note that federal and state eligibility may change annually.

Student Aid Index (SAI)

An index number calculated based on FAFSA data. The Office of Financial Aid uses this figure to determine a student’s
eligibility for need-based aid.

Difference Between Federal Subsidized and Unsubsidized Direct Loans

Subsidized loans are need-based. To be eligible, an undergraduate student must show financial need as determined by the federal formula. The federal government pays the interest while a student is in school at least half-time and during any authorized grace period.

Unsubsidized loans are not need-based. Any degree-seeking undergraduate or graduate student can qualify by completing the FAFSA. Students are responsible for the interest on the loan, which begins accruing at the time of disbursement. If students choose to defer paying interest until repayment begins, the interest is capitalized and added to the principal amount.

Student Loan Repayment

Students are not responsible for the principal amount of their federal loans while enrolled at least half-time. They are given one six-month grace period that begins once they have dropped below half-time. Loan repayment begins six months after withdrawal, graduation, or dropping to less than half-time enrollment. The Federal Perkins Loan grace period is nine months. Please visit the U.S. Department of Education for repayment and consolidation options.

Financial Aid Merit Scholarship Renewal Requirements

Below is a list of our merit scholarship and their renewal requirements. 

Campus Enrichment Scholarship (First-Year) (Transfer)

ELI to Degree Scholarship 

First-Year Scholarships - Academic, Achievement, Dean, Honor, and Presidential and Cardinal Award

IDEA Scholarship 

International First-Year Scholarships - Presidential, Dean, and Honors 

International Transfer Scholarships - Excellence, Success, and Merit

Montaigne Scholarship

Opportunity Award

Phi Theta Kappa Award

Presidential Housing 

Second Degree Scholarship 

Transfer Honor Society 

Transfer On Campus Award

Transfer Scholarships - Excellence, Merit, and Success

Financial Aid Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress

Please review our satisfactory academic progress guidelines.

Undergraduate, teacher certs and second degree students

Graduate students

Financial Aid Handbook

Please review the information in the handbook for financial aid policies.

Federal Compliance

The Financial Aid Office follows federal, state, and institutional guidelines for the distribution of aid, and the College provides general compliance information.

Financial Aid Code of Conduct

The Financial Aid Code of Conduct was established to provide standards of ethical conduct for all Financial Aid Office employees and to guide them in their dealings with colleagues, students, the College and the community.

Withdrawal from North Central College

Please review information for a student withdrawing from the College.


Check out our Frequently Asked Financial Aid Questions for answers to our most frequently asked questions.