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Veterans

The University of St. Francis has made a strong commitment to recruit and serve veteran students.

Student-veterans provide a unique perspective in the classroom due to their military service, and that adds to the educational perspective of all our students. In addition to participating in all of the federal veterans benefits programs, including the Yellow Ribbon Program, USF has also instituted a Military/Veterans Discount Program for selected graduate degree programs.

The University has been honored numerous times through the years for its outstanding support of veteran students, including being recognized or ranked by the following organizations:

  • Colleges of Distinction
  • Military Friendly School – since 2010
  • Military Advanced Education since 2014
  • Princeton Review

To view the university’s most current award profiles and rankings, visit our rankings page here!

military advanced education and transportation award
USF has been named a 2019-2020 College of Distinction

Program Information

Required VA information for compliance with Section 1018 of  Public Law 116-315, Johnny Isakson and David P. Roe, M.D. Veterans Health Care and Benefits Improvement Act of 2020

Federal Shopping Sheet:  You can access the Federal Shopping Sheet at MyUSF Portal, For Students, Financial Aid Summary, College Financing Plan.  Your yearly estimated VA Benefits can be viewed under the category Other Scholarships.  You can print this if you desire.

Cost of Living Budgets for University of St. Francis:

    On-Campus Resident

9 months

4 mo.- 1 term

Tuition & Fees

35,000

17,500

Room & Board

11,025

5,513

Books & Supplies

800

400

Personal

2,000

1,000

Transportation

1,000

500

Total

$49,825

$24,913

  Commuter Parents/Relatives

9 months

4 mo. – 1 term

Tuition & Fees

35,000

17,500

Room & Board

1,500

750

Books & Supplies

800

400

Personal

2,000

1,000

Transportation

2,120

1,060

Total

$41,420

$20,710

   Off Campus Apt./House

9 mo. term

4 mo.- 1 term

Tuition & Fees

35,000

17,500

Room & Board

7,200

3,600

Books & Supplies

800

400

Personal

2,000

1,000

Transportation

2,120

1,060

Total

$47,120

$23,560

Average Loan Debt:

The latest loan debt figures below are from the cohort graduating in the 2018-2019 academic year.  While these figures represent ALL students in each category, it should be noted that students receiving Veterans Benefits at the 100% level are highly cautioned to not borrow under the loan programs unless it is necessary for them to attend school.

Students entering USF as Freshmen:  113/144 (78%) borrowed—Average debt $25,655

Students entering USF as Transfers:  178/220 (81%) borrowed—Average debt $25,555

Graduate Students:  294/595 (49%) borrowed—Average debt $31,233

Adult Degree Completion Students:  60/115 (52%)—Average Debt $24,801

Estimated Full Program Cost of Attendance:

Full-time Undergraduate Students

The program cost below would be for a full-time traditional student entering USF and staying for four years.  For Transfer students the full cost of the program would depend greatly on how many courses were transferred to USF.  The model below increases tuition and fees by 2% per year of attendance.  Room & Board costs vary per student depending on living situation. The average room & board rate for USF during 2020-2021 was $10,210 per academic year (9 months).  Estimated grants are an average of gift assistance received from federal, state and USF sources.  Out-of-Pocket costs are average tuition and books per year after other gift assistance is subtracted.

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4

TOTAL

Tuition and Fees

$35,000

$35,700

$36,414

$37,142

$144,256

Books

$800

$800

$800

$800

$3,200

TOTAL

$35,800

$36,500

$37,214

$37,942

$204,896

Estimated Grants

$22,496

$22,496

$22,496

$22,496

$89,984

Out-of-Pocket

$13,304

$14,004

$14,718

$15,446

$114,912

 

Full-time Degree Completion Students

The program cost below would be for a full-time adult degree completion student entering USF and staying for three years.  For degree completion students the full cost of the program would depend greatly on how many courses were transferred to USF.  Estimated grants are an average of gift assistance received from federal, state and USF sources.  Out-of-Pocket costs are average tuition and books per year after other gift assistance is subtracted.

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

TOTAL

Tuition and Fees

$10,026

$10,026

$10,026

$30,078

Books

$800

$800

$800

$2,400

TOTAL

$10,826

$10,826

$10,826

$32,478

Estimated Grants

$5,762

$5,762

$5,762

$17,286

Out-of-Pocket

$5,064

$5,064

$5,064

$15,192

Full-time Graduate Students

The program cost below would be for a full-time Graduate student completion student entering USF and staying for three years.  In general, Graduate students do not receive gift assistance for their attendance.  The tuition rate used is an average of our graduate degree programs of $770 per credit hour and eight credit hours per semester.

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

TOTAL

Tuition and Fees

$12,620

$12,620

$12,620

$37,860

Books

$800

$800

$800

$2,400

TOTAL

$13,420

$13,420

$13,420

$40,260

Federal Financial Aid Programs:

Every undergraduate student should definitely apply for federal student aid using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  In addition to your Veterans Benefits you could qualify for the Federal Pell Grant and the Federal Supplemental Opportunity Grant (FSEOG).  In the event you would need a loan, there is also the Federal Direct Subsidized and Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan programs.

Graduate and Doctoral students are not eligible for federal gift assistance programs and rely primarily on the Federal Direct Student Loan and Graduate PLUS Loan Programs.  One exception is the Federal TEACH program and this program has a teaching requirement after graduation.

Graduation Rates:

Freshman 62%; Transfer 72%; Degree Completion 61%; Graduate Students 74%

Retention Rates:

Freshman 80%; Transfer 83%; Degree Completion 82%; Graduate Students 76%

Placement Data:

On-Campus Traditional Undergraduate Program Completers: Of those that we were able to obtain placement information for, 97% were employed and/or attending graduate school within six months of graduation. Of those that were employed, 84% were in a position related to their field of study.

Adult Undergraduate Program Completers: Of those that we were able to obtain placement information for, 98% were employed and/or attending graduate school within six months of graduation. Of those that were employed, 97% were in a position related to their field of study.

Graduate Program Completers: Of those that we were able to obtain placement information for, 99% were employed within six months of graduation. Of those that were employed, 99% were in a position related to their field of study.

Transfer Credits:

Evaluation of Transfer Credit The Advising Center will evaluate transfer credit of all new undergraduate transfer students admitted to the University according to the following University transfer credit guidelines: Transfer credit will be acceptable only from institutions that are accredited or are in candidacy status by one of the regional accrediting associations. A maximum of 70 semester hours will transfer toward the bachelor’s degree from a community college. (Nursing BSN Completion Program, BS in Business Administration, and Health Care Management programs accept a maximum of 90 semester hours.) A maximum of 96 semester hours will transfer toward the bachelor’s degree from a bachelor’s degree granting institution OR a combination of semester hours from the bachelor’s degree institution and a community college. Courses in the major and general education areas will be accepted as approved by academic departments. Courses with less than a “C” grade in major or major supportive requirements are not acceptable.

Teacher Education courses must have been taken within the last 7 years for transfer to Teacher Education Programs General Education and elective courses with less than a “C” grade are not acceptable unless the student is certified as having completed the IAI (Illinois Articulation General Education Curriculum), which became effective for students beginning their college studies the Summer 1998 (or thereafter) as degree seeking candidates. (see the following section on IAI Policy for further information)

AP (Advance Placement), CLEP, DANTES, prior learning portfolio, and other proficiency credit evaluated by the previous accredited institution will require a reevaluation by the Advising Center. Students must turn in official documentation from the credit granting party.

Courses that are remedial, developmental, or pre-college are not acceptable for transfer to the University.

Transfer courses for major, concentration, or minor programs completed more than seven years prior to acceptance must be reviewed to determine if the course(s) may be applied to those programs. Undergraduate students must petition for this review through the Academic Advising Center. The Academic Advising Center will forward this request to the appropriate department chair or college dean (in colleges without departments) for approval.

Transfer course grades are not computed into the GPA at the University of St. Francis.

Credit for Prior Learning:

Currently enrolled students may apply for credit from nationally recognized assessment programs such as Advanced Placement (AP), CLEP and DSST, or credit for non-traditional learning experiences through the USF Prior Learning Assessment Program. Students should apply for credit upon enrolling at USF but no later than prior to completing 96 semester hours of credit toward the degree. Official score reports must be submitted for evaluation. Credit for AP, CLEP and DSST exams will also be accepted from another institution of higher education as recorded on the sending institution’s transcript. AP, CLEP and DSST credit may not duplicate that awarded for a completed college course and/or equivalency. For those enrolled in an on-campus degree program, the maximum amount of credit that USF will award or accept in transfer, either through the Prior Learning Assessment Program and/or the AP, CLEP and DSST program, is 33 semester hours. Credits awarded through any of these programs will not count as resident hours.

 Advanced Placement (AP) Exams Students who have taken Advanced Placement courses in high school and successfully passed the AP examinations may have their courses applied as college credit in the subjects related to the courses. Students should request scores from The College Board, https://www.collegeboard.org/ to be sent to the Registrar’s Office at the University prior to or during the first semester of enrollment. In conjunction with the appropriate department chair, the Registrar’s Office will evaluate the AP score and award the appropriate amount of credit for each course. Most Advanced Placement Exams require a minimum score of 3 or higher to receive credit at USF.

College Level Examination Program (CLEP) and DSST Examination Programs The University of St. Francis accepts most CLEP and DSST examinations for currently enrolled students when those examinations meet or exceed institutionally established criteria. The student must request that the Educational Testing Service send a copy of the official transcript directly to the coordinator of the Prior Learning Assessment Program for an evaluation. No credit will be awarded in areas in which a student has already completed a college course. In 2010, the University became an official CLEP testing center. In 2012, the University became an official DSST testing center. Additional information on registering for a CLEP exam and a DSST exam may be obtained from the Coordinator of the Prior Learning Assessment Program.

Prior Learning Assessment Program:

The University of St. Francis recognizes that college level learning can be achieved in non-traditional settings. Examples of such college level learning might include attendance at conferences, institutes, and seminars; work experiences; volunteer work in the community; and military training. Students twenty-three and older may apply for college credit by submitting substantive documentation of prior learning through a portfolio process. The learning documented in a portfolio must be comparable to a course offered at the University of St. Francis. The number of semester hours to be awarded for these experiences will be determined by faculty assessors and the Coordinator of the Prior Learning Assessment Program (PLAP).

For those enrolled in an undergraduate degree program, the maximum amount of credit that can be earned either through the Prior Learning Assessment Program and/or the AP, CLEP or DANTES program is 33 semester hours at USF. There are fees for both the assessment of prior learning and the posting of credit.

CLEP and DANTES testing is available through the Academic Advising Center during their normal operating hours. Students in undergraduate programs must complete the prior learning portfolio assessment process prior to completing 96 hours of college credit. For more information and/or application, contact the Coordinator of the Prior Learning Assessment Program.

How VA benefits are applied to accounts:

Chapter 33 and Yellow Ribbon Benefits:

The amount of tuition will be calculated and applied to your account like all other financial assistance.  The amount of VA benefits will depend on your percentage of benefit.  In general, if you are receiving 100% benefits, your entire tuition and standard fees will be paid by a combination of gift assistance from various programs.  The amount of tuition that is charged to the VA is the amount of tuition and fees remaining after all other tuition specific grants and scholarships are subtracted from the total up to $25,162.14.  If there is remaining tuition at that point, the remainder is paid by a combination of 50% VA Yellow Ribbon and 50% USF Yellow Ribbon.  If the student is eligible for a Federal Pell Grant, this amount is not included in the calculation.

BAH payments to Chapter 33 benefits are paid directly to the student in the form of a monthly check or direct deposit.  The book allowance for each semester is also paid as part of the BAH payment.  All BAH payment and book stipends are based on rate of pursuit (i.e, Full-time, ¾ time, ½-time).

Chapters 30, 31, 32 35 and 1606 benefits:

These are paid directly to the student in the form of a monthly check or direct deposit.  In these cases, the student is responsible for paying their tuition that is above and beyond regular financial assistance from federal, state and USF sources.  USF offers a 5 pay plan that can be used to break down their balance in monthly payments.  There is a $90 per semester fee to utilize this program.

Contact for students receiving VA assistance:

Veterans Educational Benefits

Bruce A. Foote, Veterans Certifying Official, 815-740-5097, bfoote@stfrancis.edu

Academic Counseling

Jeff Chiapello, Director of Advising, 815-740-3402, jchiapello@stfrancis.edu

Admissions Counseling

Alex Campos, Admissions Counselor, 815-740-5028, acampos1@stfrancis.edu

Disability Information

Sara Alag, Disability Student Services, 815-740-3204, salag@stfrancis.edu

Leave of Absence Policy:

You can access USF’s Military Leave of Absence Policy at: https://www.stfrancis.edu/wp-content/uploads/USF-Military-Leave-Policy-.pdf

The University of St. Francis is proud to accept and certify veterans for the following programs:

  • Post- 9/11 GI Bill® Chapter 33 of title 38, U.S. Code
  • Post- 9/11 VA Yellow Ribbon Program
  • Montgomery GI Bill® (MGIB) Chapter 30 of title 38, U.S. Code Montgomery GI Bill®
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Education Program Chapter 31 of title 38, U.S. Code
  • Dependent Educational Assistance Program Chapter 35 of title 38, U.S. Code
  • Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR) Chapter 1606 of title 10, U.S. Code
  • Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP) Chapter 1607 of title 10, U.S. Code
  • Post-Vietnam Era Veterans’ Educational Assistance Program (VEAP) Chapter 32 of title 38, U.S. Code, or section 901 or section 903 of Public Law 96-342
  • USF Military/Veterans Discount (for selected degree completion and graduate programs– see links below)

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government website at benefits.va.gov/gibill.

The USF Military/Veterans Discount is available to:

  • Honorably Discharged Veterans who are no longer eligible for education assistance through the U.S. Veterans Administration programs
  • Spouses of Active Duty Military Personnel who are not eligible for any dependent education assistance through the U.S. Veterans Administration
  • Drilling members of the National Guard
  • Drilling members of the Reserves
  • Active Duty military personnel
  • Employees of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

The discount applies to students who are enrolled on either a full-time or part-time basis in graduate (master’s) degree programs and not eligible for any other discount programs at USF (and also not eligible for any educational assistance programs offered through the U.S. Veterans Administration).

The discount is applicable to 20% of tuition and does not cover fees or other associated program costs. Documentation of eligibility status is required. Click here for the online USF Military/Veterans Discount program application form.

Full-Time Student: As a full-time undergraduate student University of St. Francis adds $800 per year to your student budget to accommodate for these costs that are above and beyond tuition and fees.

Part-Time Student: As a part-time undergraduate student (6-11 credit hours) an amount of $400 per year is added to the budget.

Full-Time Graduate Student: Full-time graduate students (8 credits per term) are given an addition to their cost budget of $400 per year—half-time (4 credits per term) have $200 added to their budget.

Actual Costs: As for actual costs, a recent study coordinated with our bookstore for the 2017-2018 academic year showed that on the average, full-time undergraduates averaged $796 per year for book purchases, while graduate students averaged $512 per year.

Traditional Undergraduate yearly book costs by major:

  • Biology $700
  • Business $662
  • Nursing $1,050
  • Psychology $823
  • Social Work $616

Adult Degree Completion Undergraduate yearly book costs by major:

  • Business Administration $523
  • Health Care Leadership $537
  • Nursing Fast-Track $609
  • Federal Pell grant
  • Illinois Monetary Award Program (MAP)
  • USF Academic Scholarships
  • USF Athletic Scholarships
  • Federal Direct Loan Program (if needed)

View USF’s scholarships page now.

Required information for Active Duty Service Members, National Guard, Reservists and students utilizing Veterans Educational benefits. This information will provide you with cost and other information pertinent to University of St. Francis.

Important things to remember:

  • All students should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid at studentaid.gov.
  • Students should explore loans offered by the federal government, and only borrow if necessary.
  • Students should consult with Financial Aid Services prior to enrolling to ensure that they understand the full cost of education at USF and all opportunities for financial assistance that are available.

About this scholarship:
• Apply by submitting an essay that describes some of the mental health and substance abuse issues that today’s veterans may suffer.
• Awarded every year in June, no fee charged for applying.

Eligible to enter are:
• Must be 18 years of age
• Any veteran or active member of the United States Armed Forces
• Any direct family member of a veteran or active member of the United States Armed Forces
• Available to graduate and undergraduate students
• Available to high school students soon to be enrolled in a post-secondary institution in the U.S.
• Visit drugrehab.org/veterans-scholarship for more information

Things to know about Veterans Programs

Q:  Do Active Duty, Reservists and National Guard service members need permission to take classes?
What you should know: Active Duty/Reservists/National Guard MUST have their attendance approved and coordinated with their post/base/unit education advisor or Education Service Officer (ESO) prior to attendance at University of St. Francis. Please seek out the appropriate individual in your command to secure permission first.

Q: I’m already getting GI Bill® benefits. Should I apply for other financial aid?
What you should know: Every undergraduate veteran and service member attending USF should apply for financial assistance through the federal and state government using the FAFSA. If you are an undergraduate you may qualify for a Pell Grant and possible, depending on your benefit type, you may also be eligible to receive Illinois Monetary Award Program funds to help pay tuition your Post 9/11 benefits don’t cover.

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government website at benefits.va.gov/gibill.

Q: Do I have to be a degree-seeking student to use my benefits?
What you should know: Yes, you must be a degree-seeking undergraduate, graduate or doctoral student at USF in order to receive benefits.

Q: Can I take any classes I want to?
What you should know: The classes you take must be applicable to receiving your degree. The VA will only pay you for classes that will take you to your degree objective. All service members should coordinate their classes with their Education Service Officer (ESO) or equivalent authority.

Q: Do I have to make satisfactory progress like all other students?
What you should know: Yes, you must report all changes in enrollment, up or down, as soon as they occur. If you receive funds you are not entitled to receive, you will be placed in an “overpayment status” with the VA and they will ask for their money back. It will either be deducted from future benefits, or you will be asked to pay it back out-of-pocket. Service members must make satisfactory academic progress like all other USF students.

Q: What is the class attendance policy at USF? 
What you should know: Being in class, ready to learn, is a key part of what you need to earn a degree. It’s vital and yes, click here to read more about it.

Q: Do I have to be accepted for admissions prior to my benefits being certified to the VA?
What you should know: Yes, you must be accepted for admission

Q: Do I have to be registered for classes prior to my benefits being certified?
What you should know: Yes, you must have completed registration before certification

Q: Does USF have a commitment to veterans?
What you should know: USF has always welcomed veteran students. When given the opportunity to participate in the Post 9/11 Yellow Ribbon GI Bill® program, USF gladly signed an agreement with the VA to participate. USF does everything we can to ensure we are serving our veteran students’ needs to the best degree possible.

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government website at benefits.va.gov/gibill.

Helpful Links for Veterans

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government website at benefits.va.gov/gibill.

Additional Admissions & Aid Links

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