Pursuing a college education is an investment in your future. Yet, achieving that goal can be a great concern for students and their families. Financial aid may be the means to make your education a reality.
- 98% of undergraduate students and 100% of incoming freshmen receive some form of financial assistance at USF.
- 100% of full-time freshmen and 96% of all full time undergraduate students receive some type of gift assistance from USF sources.
- USF provides its students more than $16.7 million in institutional funds.
- The university offers many scholarship opportunities based on talent, leadership, community service and specific areas of interest, such as athletics and music.
For incoming freshmen who meet the USF admission criteria, academic awards and scholarships range from $5,000 to $25,000 per year*
In addition to academic recognition, USF offers more than 10 types of special scholarships ranging from $1,000 to full tuition each year! Scholarships are renewable based on academic performance.
Applying for Financial Aid
Begin the Financial Aid Process
It is important that Financial Aid Services establishes a working partnership with you. We are committed to doing everything we can to assist you in funding your education, and in turn, we ask the following:
- File your application early. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) may be completed online for faster processing at fafsa.ed.gov. Beginning this year, students can file their FAFSA starting October 1. Be sure this is done by November 15 to be considered for all available aid programs.
- Respond promptly to requests for information. If additional documents, such as federal tax returns and W2s, are needed, we will notify you in writing. In order for the financial aid process to continue, please return all documents and correspondence in a timely manner.
- Contact Financial Aid Services with questions or concerns. Our office hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (CST) Monday through Thursday and Friday 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Please call us toll free at 866-890-8331 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember, we are here to assist you and want to help you through the financial aid process.
Note: It would also be worthwhile for you to take a few minutes and read the material on this website. Not only does it contain important information about the programs and policies at USF, but you will also find a variety of other financial aid-related facts that every student should know. Best wishes on your academic career and thank you for your interest in University of St. Francis!
Apply for Financial Aid
In order to apply for all forms of federal, state and USF assistance a student must complete a FAFSA application every year. The FAFSA is available online at fafsa.ed.gov. The application becomes available October 1 each year. USF priority filing deadline is November 1. All students, freshman, transfer, and graduate students are encouraged to apply for financial aid.
USF’s FAFSA School Code is: 001664
Once the FAFSA is completed, students will be directed to check their MyUSFPortal for updates and document requests from Financial Aid Services. The most common documents and forms requested from financial aid are:
1. USF Student Data Profile – this is an electronic form completed via the MyUSFPortal
2. Federal verification documents
3. Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note applications for student loans
4. Parent PLUS Loan Application
If any documents are requested from Financial Aid Services, we ask that you turn them in within a timely manner. No aid can be credited to a student’s account without completion of their financial aid file. This can result in late fees being assessed by the Business Office or holds.
All corrections to students FAFSA’s are made electronically through financial aid services. Changes are processed for the federal verification process, grade level changes, etc. Any changes made to a student’s FAFSA by financial aid services, are notified via email.
Notification of Changes to Awards
If the student’s award changes for any reason, a new award letter is processed electronically via the MyUSFPortal, and students receive a notification of the changes. If students or parents wish to change their federal loan amounts after acceptance via the MyUSFPortal, they are required to contact financial aid services and request the changes in writing.
FALLACY #1: I can attend a public university much cheaper than I can attend a private university.
FACT: While this can be true in some cases, financial assistance programs help equalize the financial burden on the family. The purpose of financial assistance programs is to provide ACCESS AND CHOICE to students from all economic backgrounds. In many cases, the financial assistance you will receive from USF will make the cost of attending our university very similar to attending a public four-year university. In many cases, all you will be offered at a public four-year university will be student loans.
FALLACY #2: Our neighbors said they didn’t qualify for financial assistance, so we probably won’t qualify either. Both our families own a $140,000 home and make over $50,000 per year.
FACT: Family situations are much different than what meets the eye. Financial need is determined on a case-by-case basis. If you do not apply and submit a FAFSA, you cannot be evaluated for need-based financial assistance. At USF, 95 percent of all entering freshman and transfer students receive some type of need-based gift assistance to help them meet their cost of attendance.
FALLACY #3: Even after financial assistance is taken into consideration, we can’t come up with the money to attend USF.
FACT: In addition to the financial assistance a student can receive, there is always the option of a Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS). This loan is currently available through the Federal Direct Loan Program with deferment options available. If you’re not interested in a loan, USF has a “10 Pay-Plan” available at a cost of $90 per semester through the Business Office to help spread out the cost for the entire academic year.
FALLACY #4: I’ve been told that if I bring in outside scholarships, the university will reduce the other grants and scholarships that I’m receiving.
FACT: At USF, we encourage students to search for outside scholarships to help offset their costs. USF policy does not subtract outside gift assistance from aid the student has already received from the university. There are cases where your loans or work-study may have to be adjusted, but that is a matter of federal law
FALLACY #5: I’ve been told that if I’m part-time I won’t qualify for any financial assistance at USF.
FACT: Many students qualify for financial assistance while attending on a part-time basis. Specifically, students are often eligible for Pell Grant and Illinois Monetary Award Program funds, and students are eligible to receive a loan under one of the William D. Ford Direct Loan programs
FALLACY #6: I didn’t receive financial assistance while I attended a community college or state university. Therefore, I won’t qualify for financial aid at the University of St. Francis.
FACT: At the University of St. Francis, many of our transfer students receive financial assistance and we work with each of them to make a private school education more affordable. We offer many special financial aid and scholarship opportunities designed to meet the needs of students transferring to USF.