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Financial Aid




 This presentation is a financial aid overview for the Class of 2024 and their families



Seniors, see the presentation below to learn about financial aid award letters.






The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid

Two applications for students to receive financial aid are available: the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid.


FAFSA vs Alternative App.001


More information is available through the Illinois Student Assistance Commission  (en español) and through this FAQs document (en español).

Illinois Student Assistance Commission

Emma Claire James

[email protected]
(847) 626- 4825

Hi, I’m a representative with the Illinois Student Assistance Commission. My job is to help make college more accessible for Illinois high school students. This includes help with career exploration, college selection, college essays, test preparation, scholarship searches, application completion, and the financial aid process. I have office hours every other Wednesday in the CCRC, starting on January 10, 2024 from 10AM-2PM. 


To schedule an appointment, you can:



Overview of Financial Aid Process


Types of Financial Aid


About Financial Aid

Financial Aid is a federally funded program.  To qualify, you must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

The FAFSA is graduation requirement for all Illinois public high schools.
The federal government prefers the online version, and you will get a faster response if you file online.  You can fill out the FAFSA beginning October 1st of your senior year (the date is changing in 2023, stay tuned for more info!)
IT IS BEST TO COMPLETE THE FAFSA AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!  Do not wait until April to complete your FAFSA.  Many colleges have deadlines for financial aid, and the money will get allocated to those who apply early.  Thus, you and your parents will need to use ESTIMATES of your income. 

Click on the video below to learn more about the FAFSA:


Steps to Getting Started

1. Create a FSA ID – The FSA ID is your electronic passport to federal student aid online​​. An FSA ID is a username and password that you must use to log in to certain U.S. Department of Education (ED) websites. Your FSA ID identifies you as someone who has the right to access your own personal information on websites such as the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®). In order to create an FSA ID, please go to:

To access an instructional video on how to create a FSA ID, click below:

2GO TO FAFSA.GOV – Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as early as October 1st (changing in 2023!) of your senior year. Make sure you select the correct year! For students graduating high school in 2024 and attending college in the fall of 2024, you will want to complete the 24-25 FAFSA.

Click below for a video on how to fill out the FAFSA:


Financial Aid Events

You don’t need to figure this all out on your own!  We have numerous district programs to help understand the financial aid process.  Parents can plan to begin attending these programs during their children’s freshman and sophomore years in order to prepare appropriately for college.


District Financial Aid Programs for 2023-24



Every other Wednesday starting on January 10th.

Financial Aid Officers will be available to help students and their parents complete the Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid or the FAFSA. A representative from ISAC will be available to answer questions and assist with your FAFSA or Alternative App.



FAFSA Workshops 2024 (1)



Materials to bring for Financial Aid Application Help Sessions:

  • 2022 federal income tax returns (1040 or 1040-EZ), W-2’s, and other records of money earned (for student and a guardian/parent)
  • Bank statements and records of businesses, farms, and other investments (if applicable, for student and a guardian/parent)
  • Records of untaxed income (if applicable, for student and a guardian/parent)
  • Current mortgage statements for properties other than the family’s principal residence (if applicable)
  • List of up to 10 colleges you would like to attend


  • Social Security Number or an Alien Registration Number
  • FSA ID (
  • Driver’s License (student)
  • If guardian/parent is a U.S. citizen or has an Alien Registration Number, the guardian/parent’s Social Security Number or Alien Registration Number


Important Websites – The Federal Government’s website for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid – The Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid from the Illinois Student Assistance Commission – The State of Illinois’ website for students and parents.  It has resources on many different topics related to college planning and paying for college. – Get your FSA ID for the FAFSA. – How much debt is safe for college loans?  Look at this website for information.

College Resources for Hispanic Students Provides a variety of resources for students and their parents.  These include scholarships, undocumented students, first-generation students, and more.