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2021-2022 Application Steps

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

Step 1: Download the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

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

File your FAFSA online. To complete the FAFSA you need to have an FSA ID and will continue to use this ID to login to the studentaid.gov website. If you do not have an FSA ID you can choose “New to the FAFSA Process” and create an ID before you begin.

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. 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 Federal Work-Study eligibility. We do not require that you list parental income on the FAFSA.

* For the 2021-2022 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 for consideration for State of Illinois financial aid. You can learn more and determine your eligibility to apply by clicking here.

Step 2: For Summer Students

If you are a returning student planning to enroll for summer 2021, in addition to the FAFSA, you will need to complete the UChicago Application for Graduate Loans & Federal Assistance via my.UChicago.edu (available beginning April 1, 2021).

Step 3: Complete Promissory Notes, Entrance Counseling, and Annual Student Loan Acknowledgment

There are additional steps to complete in order to finish the Federal Direct and/or alternative loan processes.

A) If you are a first-time Federal Direct Loan borrower, you must complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Entrance Counseling in order to receive a Federal Direct Unsubsidized or Graduate PLUS Loan. Entrance Counseling only needs to be completed once and the MPN is valid for ten years.

B) If you are a previous Federal Direct Loan borrower, whether at the University of Chicago or at another institution, you do not need to complete a new MPN or Entrance Counseling. (Note: if you used an endorser on your last Graduate PLUS Loan, you will need to complete a new MPN.)

C) All borrowers, whether previous or new, who wish to apply for the Graduate PLUS Loan are required to complete the Graduate PLUS Loan Application at studentaid.gov. A credit-check (valid for 180 days) is required for the Graduate PLUS Loan.

D) NEW All students must complete the Annual Student Loan Acknowledgement (ASLA) each year that you accept a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan or a Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan.

Step 4: Alternative Loans

If you would like to borrow from a private lender, you should thoroughly review all of the information on our website about these types of loans to see if it is the best option for your situation.

  • Apply for Alternative Loans here.

Step 5: 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.edu. Select ‘Report Aid from Other Sources’ under Finances.

Based on the amount and type of aid you are receiving, we may need to make adjustments to your loan and/or Federal Work-Study amounts. You are not required to report Gift Aid from your department or division, as it is reported internally.

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