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2020-2021 Application Steps

Graduate or professional students who wish to apply for student loans and/or Federal Work-Study should read through the following application steps. Keep in mind that you may be required to complete certain forms in order to be considered for the various types of assistance. Missing forms will result in an incomplete application, which will delay your award letter.

Complete the 2020-2021 FAFSA and UCAPP if you plan to enroll in a degree-seeking program for Summer 2020 and would like to apply for federal aid. 

Complete the 2020-2021 FAFSA if you plan to enroll in a degree-seeking program between Autumn 2020 and Spring 2021 and would like to apply for federal aid..

Domestic, international, and non-degree students applying for an alternative loan do not complete a FAFSA or UCAPP. Visit the alternative loan steps page for application instructions.

Step 1: Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) here.

When filing your FAFSA, add our Federal school code (001774)

File your FAFSA online. Beginning May 2015, the FSA user ID (user-created username and password) replaced the Federal PIN as the login process for FSA student and borrower-based websites. Create an FSA user ID here.

After the FAFSA is processed (you should plan to allow for two weeks), you will receive a SAR (Student Aid Report) summarizing your information. Resolve any incorrect information via the FAFSA web site or by returning the corrected and signed SAR. If you do not receive your SAR within four weeks, or if you need to request a duplicate, call 800-433-3243.

All graduate students are considered independent when determining federal loan and Work-Study eligibility. We do not require that you list parental income on the FAFSA.

* For the 2020-2021 aid year, if you are an Illinois resident and are not eligible to complete a FAFSA application for federal financial aid consideration, you may be eligible to complete an alternative application to be considered for State of Illinois financial aid. You can learn more and determine your eligibility to apply by clicking here

Step 2: For Summer Students 

Complete the UChicago Application for Graduate Loans & Federal Assistance (UCAPP) via your my.UChicago portal (available April 30th). All students applying for federal student loans and/or Work-Study for Summer 2020 should complete the UCAPP.

Step 3: Complete the Federal Direct Unsubsidized, Graduate PLUS & Alternative Loan Applications, Promissory Notes, and Entrance Counseling

Finish the Federal Direct and/or alternative loan processes by completing the appropriate application and promissory note for each loan for which you are applying.

First-time Federal Direct loan borrowers must complete and sign a new Master Promissory Note (MPN) in order to receive a Federal Direct Unsubsidized or Graduate PLUS Loan. The MPN is valid for ten years. You do not need to complete another Direct Unsubsidized or Graduate PLUS MPN if you borrowed this type of loan within the past ten years, whether at the University of Chicago or at another institution. After ten years, however, you must complete a new one.

In addition to the Graduate PLUS MPN, students applying for the Graduate PLUS loan are now required to complete the Graduate PLUS loan application at Students may begin completing the Graduate PLUS loan application in May 2020. A credit-check (valid for 180 days) is required for the Graduate PLUS.

You will need your FSA ID in order to complete the Federal Direct loan application and master promissory note (MPN).

When completing the MPN and selecting the School from the drop-down menu, you will have four options for the University of Chicago. Please select the option that reads: THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO 

  • Apply for Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan here.
  • Apply for Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan here.
  • First-time Federal Direct Loan borrowers complete Entrance Loan Counseling (Federal Direct Unsubsidized, and Federal Direct Graduate PLUS loan borrowers) here.
  • Apply for Alternative Loans here.

Step 4: Report Other Assistance 

Report aid from other sources (Ameri-Corps, tuition assistance, outside scholarships, etc.) that are not listed on your award letter to our office via my.UChicago. Select ‘Report Aid from Other Sources’ under Finances. We may need to make adjustments to your loan and/or Federal Work-Study funding based on the aid reported. You are not required to report Gift Aid from your department or division, as it is reported internally.

Please view information about processing your application here.

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