Once a financial aid award letter is either sent to the student or posted to a student's account, as in the case for continuing students at Illinois Tech, there may be instances where changes to the original notification are warranted.
A financial aid counselor may review a student's circumstances, make an adjustment to an award, and release a revised award letter or email to a student indicating that a revision has been made to a student's award.
This revised award letter or email notification—with the posting on a student portal in myIIT—invalidates the original award notice.
Revisions Initiated by the Financial Aid Office
The Office of Financial Aid will automatically consider revision in a student's aid package when the following occurs:
- There is conflicting information in the file.
- There are changes resulting from verification.
- There is a change in availability of funds.
- There is an Office of Financial Aid staff member error.
The Illinois Tech policy on the revision of financial aid award side acknowledges the right of the Office of Financial Aid to make a change to any award.
Students are sent a revised award letter or email notification—in the case of an enrolled student—as soon as possible with an award message explaining the change. In the case of an office error, it is customary to contact the student personally or send a personalized letter.
Revisions Initiated by Request from Student
Students may decline any portion of their award. If the student wants to add an award, the request will be forwarded to a financial aid counselor and the counselor will make this adjustment on the student's behalf.
- It is the student's responsibility to notify the financial aid counselor of changes in a student's resources (i.e. scholarships). If the student makes an appointment with a Financial Aid Counselor and reveals a change in circumstances that may affect the student's family contribution, the student should document the situation via a letter reiterating the conversation and including supporting documentation. If a change to the award is allowable, the financial aid counselor will release a revised award letter.
- If a student wants to address an award issue or discrepancy, the student must address this problem by the end of the given semester or award year. Students are encouraged to report discrepancies to the Office of Financial Aid to rectify any errors that may have been overlooked. Failure to report an unresolved issue within the same semester/award year in question will result in financial aid awards to remain as posted during that time period and cannot be refuted.
An overaward occurs any time a student's disbursed financial aid (federal, institutional, and outside aid) and other resources exceed the cost of attendance for the award period by more than an allowable tolerance. There are several causes of an overaward:
- Student wages—the student earns more than the awarded FWS allocation.
- Change in the enrollment status—the student withdraws or drops below the projected enrollment status.
- Reduction in cost of attendance—the student changes budget categories.
- Additional resources—the student has resources greater than those used to calculate the award.
- Administrative error—a member of the Office of Financial Aid inadvertently makes an error.
- Fraud—the student intentionally deceives or misrepresents information to obtain funds.
Eliminating an Overaward
Before reducing a student's aid package because of an overaward, the financial aid counselor or assistant director will always attempt to alleviate the situation by reducing or eliminating the overaward. The following possible allowances will be checked.
- Increase budget using allowable expenses.
- Adjust EFC (Expected Family Contribution).
- Adjust undisbursed funds. All undisbursed financial aid funds must be withdrawn in the case of an overaward.
Treatment of an Overaward
If eliminating the overaward is not possible a financial aid counselor at IIlinois Tech must reduce the overaward using the following sequence:
- An overaward due to an administrative error must first reduce or eliminate next semester's overpayment. The financial aid counselor must then contact the Office of Student Accounting to correct any adjustments to the student's bill for any remaining amount.
- If an overaward occurs due to fraud, the Office of Financial Aid will consult the Office of the General Counsel and adhere to federal and institutional policy.
Impact of Outside Scholarships
The Office of Financial Aid encourages students to pursue scholarships outside of Illinois Tech. If you are awarded and receive a scholarship check, please submit it to the Office of Financial Aid. A student may not receive financial aid including scholarships, grants, or loans from any sources that exceeds his or her cost of attendance. Cost of attendance will vary from student to student but does include tuition, fees, room and board, books, and transportation. If a student is eligible for aid that exceeds his or her cost of attendance, the Office of Financial Aid will reduce his or her awards in the order listed below until total aid equal cost of attendance. However, students may choose to decline an award listed lower in favor of one listed higher.
- Private Loan
- Federal Parent PLUS Loan
- Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loan
- Subsidized Federal Stafford Loan
- Federal Work Study
- Federal Perkins Loan
- Illinois Tech Grants or Scholarships*
- Federal SEOG Grant
- State of Illinois MAP Grant*
- Private Scholarships*
- Federal Pell Grant
*Illinois Tech grants and scholarships are restricted to tuition and the State of Illinois MAP Grant is restricted to tuition and mandatory fees. These awards combined may not exceed tuition and mandatory fees. Private scholarships may also be restricted to specific expenses by the organization awarding it, and the Office of Financial Aid will apply the scholarships according to the organization's rules.
If a student has begun a Federal Work-Study position, loan awards will be adjusted before the work-study allocation. In this situation, students may not choose to decline work-study in favor of loans.
Subsidized Federal Stafford Loans, Federal Work-Study, Federal Perkins Loans, and Federal SEOG Grants are need-based awards. They may only be awarded to students whose total scholarships, grants (including Federal Work Study), or subsidized loans (including Perkins) are less than or equal to a student's financial need. Financial need is defined by the Department of Education as the difference between a student's cost of attendance and their Expect Family Contribution (EFC), which is calculated from information provided on the Federal Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Receipt of scholarships or adjustment of EFCs may cause students to no longer be eligible for a need-based award.
Post-9/11 GI Bill and Montgomery GI Bill Benefits
These educational benefits will be applied to student accounts in accordance with the rules established by the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Education. These benefits when combined with applicable institutional scholarships may not exceed tuition and fee charges and or the cost of attendance. If a student is eligible for the Illinois MAP Grant, the VA educational benefits, applicable institutional scholarships, and Illinois MAP Grant combined may not exceed mandatory tuition and fees. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our office.