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Processing Your Application

After completing the application steps, please read the information below so that you understand when and how you are notified about your loan and/or Work-Study eligibility as well as what additional actions, if any, you may be required to take.

Application Processing Timeline

Applications are processed on a first-come, first-served basis. Therefore, we encourage you to apply as early as possible. Please refer to the detailed processing timeline below.

Processing Your Application

Application Type Application Timeline Awarded Timeline
Summer Applicant On or before April 6, 2020 Early May through June
Entering/New Students On or before May 4, 2020 Early June through July
Continuing/Returning Students On or before June 29, 2020 Early August through September

Please allow 2-4 weeks for requests for revisions to your financial aid award letter.

Understanding Your Award Letter

Financial Aid processes applications in chronological order, based on the date received. After reviewing and processing your application, we will send you an award letter by email. The letter will list the amount(s) you have been offered and the quarters in which the funds will be available to you. Please refer to the Application Processing Timeline above for details on when letters are emailed.

Accepting Your Awards Online

Your award letter outlines your financial assistance for this academic year. Financial Aid requires that you either accept, decline, and/or reduce the amount of your award. You may accept, decline, and/or reduce your award in your portal at

There are a few exceptions. You can Accept/Decline your total FWS award online. However, if you would like to accept a reduced amount of your FWS award, please send an email including the total amount of FWS that you would like to request to If you would like to convert your FWS eligibility to a Federal Direct PLUS (Grad PLUS) Loan, please decline the entire FWS award in my.UChicago and include the amount in your request for a GradPLUS Loan.

Students cannot accept their GradPLUS Loan eligibility in my.UChicago. You may, however, decline your GradPLUS eligibility if you choose not to borrow this loan. Students who wish to apply for the GradPLUS loan must complete the Federal Direct PLUS Loan Application at after receiving their financial aid award letter. New Grad PLUS loan borrowers must also complete the Federal Direct PLUS loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) and entrance counseling at Once we receive your completed and approved Federal Direct PLUS Application, we will accept the loan on your behalf.

Your loan funds will not disburse to your account if you have not accepted your award(s) or completed the required documents listed on your award notification.

Federal Work-Study

The FWS program allows you to earn funds to use towards your educational expenses.  Once you have accepted your Federal Work-Study award online, you will have access to your Employment Authorization form. You must bring a copy of your Employment Authorization form to each interview and it is required to be hired into any Federal Work-Study position.  Your form should be completed by both you and your employer and submitted to your supervisor for processing.
To access your form:
  • Log into your student portal
  • Click Finances> Financial Aid> Student Reports
  • Select "FWS Authorization Form" from the report dropdown and click "View Report" (make sure pop-ups blockers are disabled on the page) *if experiencing trouble make sure to clear your cache, or use a different browser*

Graduate students can search for open positions via

If you have additional questions about your Federal Work-Study award or student employment, please contact us at

Receipt of Additional Assistance

It is your responsibility to report any additional assistance (grants, tuition assistance, scholarships, outside sources, etc.) you will receive to Financial Aid that aren’t listed on your award letter. You may report this assistance in your my.UChicago portal. We may need to adjust your financial aid award based on the aid reported.

Your Obligation

You must notify Graduate Financial Aid if you reduce or increase your course load, change the quarters in which you will enroll or are no longer enrolled in a degree-granting program.

Tuition Bill

If your application is incomplete, your funds will not disburse to your tuition account. Contact the Graduate Financial Aid Office if you believe your application is incomplete. It is important to note that your advance tuition bill will be credited with the estimated amount of your Federal Direct Stafford Loan and will not reflect deductions for origination and guarantee fees.

You can view tuition billing dates and information the Bursar's website.

Availability of Funds/Refunds

Loan funds are disbursed to your student account at the beginning of each quarter you are enrolled. Refunds resulting from excess student loan funds are generally available beginning the first week of the quarter, provided you are enrolled at least half-time. At the beginning of each quarter, you should be prepared to support yourself until your loan funds become available.

 Please visit the Bursar’s website for more information regarding refunds.

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