Financial Aid FAQs

What type of financial aid can I receive?
The primary source of graduate student aid from the federal government is the Federal Direct Stafford Unsubsidized Loan. The Federal Direct Stafford Subsidized Loan, Federal Pell Grant and other state grants are not available at the graduate level.

The Grad PLUS loan is available to graduate students. Remember, this loan is credit based and depending on your credit you may require an endorser to be approved for the loan.


How do I apply for Federal Financial Aid?
Complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) online at If you completed a FAFSA last year, complete a renewal FAFSA. You must “e-sign” your FAFSA with your pin. Completion should take about 15-20 minutes.

I don’t remember my pin or don’t have one. How do I obtain it?
Go to

What information do I need to complete my FAFSA?
You need The Chicago School FAFSA school code, your Social Security number, driver’s license, income tax returns, bank statements, and any investment records. Parents’ information is NOT needed as you are considered an independent student.

What is The Chicago School of Professional Psychology’s school code?

When should I complete/renew my FAFSA?
You should complete/ renew your FAFSA annually; however it is recommended that you complete your current tax forms prior to filing your FAFSA, so that you can retrieve your tax information directly on the FAFSA website. This option on your FAFSA will be available between seven and ten business after you have submitted your federal tax returns. The recommended date to complete the FAFSA is by March 1 of each year.

How soon does the school receive my FAFSA information?
It takes usually about seven to ten business days before the school receives your information.

When will I receive my award letter?
Once you have completed your FAFSA and have submitted any additional required documents, an “estimated award letter” will be sent within 2-5 weeks. (You will need to sign and return the letter). We begin to process awards letters for the fall start mid-March.

What steps do I need to do to ensure my financial aid is not delayed?

  1. Sign and return your estimated award letter
  2. Complete and e-Sign your master promissory note at
  3. Complete the entrance counseling at
  4. Submit all missing documents prior to the start of the term

I’m eligible for Work Study (WS), how can I get a job?
Please note that if you are eligible for WS, you are not guaranteed a job. Available student WS job listings can be viewed on The Chicago School job board.

Must I be registered as a full-time student to be eligible for financial aid?
No, but you need to be at least part time and you may not be eligible for the full amounts.

I’m a new student, how much am I eligible to receive in the Federal Direct Stafford Unsubsidized Loan?
Chicago, Grayslake, California and D.C. students regardless of program:
Full- and part-time Psy.D., Ph.D., M.A., Ed.S., and Business Ph.D. students are eligible for up to $10,250 per semester.

Chicago Only:
Clinical Psy.D. students are eligible for up to $16,500 per semester.

It depends on your Cost of Attendance (COA) budget. The loan amounts will be provided on your financial aid award letter. COA includes tuition, fees, books, technology allowance, and travel to/from school. We include some living and personal expenses in the budget for online courses.

Am I eligible for financial aid in the summer?
Yes, if you are at least part time.

Psy.D., Ph.D., M.A., Ed.S, and Business Psychology Ph.D. students can be eligible for up to $10,250 in Stafford Loans.

Online students: It depends on your Cost of Attendance (COA) budget. The loan amounts will be provided on your financial aid award letter. COA includes tuition, fees, books, technology allowance, and travel to/from school. We include some living and personal expenses in the budget for online courses.

Chicago: Clinical Psy.D. students can be eligible for up to $12,389 in Federal Direct Stafford Unsubsidized Loan.

If you are working on dissertation or internship, you will receive similar amounts to part-time students. The number of years you have been in your program and your COA (cost of attendance) budget will be used to determine this amount. The official amount will be available to view on ePortal.

Will I get financial aid if I am just registered for one credit hour?
There are some courses that are automatically considered part time, please make sure you review the Student Handbook, for a list of courses.

I need additional funding to pay my May or June rent. When will I receive my summer refund?
If all financial aid requirements have been met, summer financial aid refunds will be available within 14 days of the summer aid disbursement being applied to your student account.

Can I get an early disbursement of my financial aid?
We do not offer early disbursements of loan money nor do we disburse emergency loans.

When will I receive my refund?
Refunds are available starting the first week of each semester. You cannot receive your refund prior to the start of any semester. Please monitor your ePortal account for the most up-to-date information.

I noticed my financial aid or my refund was posted to my account, when will I receive my refund?
Please allow 10-14 business days after it has been posted to your ePortal account, to receive your refund.

Is direct deposit available for refunds?
Yes, please complete the Direct Deposit Authorization for Financial Aid Refunds form.

How much is my refund?
To determine your refund amount, subtract your tuition and fees charges from your scheduled financial aid.

My refund seems to be less this semester than last. Why is this?

  • If this is your first year, you most likely had your $500 tuition deposit credited to your account last semester
  • You are registered for more hours this semester than previous terms
  • Tuition and fees have increased
  • You received less financial aid this semester

What if I add or drop a class?
Students will be assessed the appropriate fees associated with his/her add or drop. A student may need to make an additional payment even if he/she have already received a financial aid refund check. An outstanding balance on your account as a result of adding or dropping a course may prevent you from obtaining transcripts or future course registration. You may view your student account balance and make payments via the ePortal.

What does “ACH” mean on my student account on ePortal?
ACH means your refund will be direct deposited to your bank account.

What does a stipend mean on my student account on ePortal?
A stipend means a check or ACH has been processed. Please allow 7-10 days to receive this refund.

How do I consolidate my loans?
You can only consolidate your loans if you have graduated and are still within your grace period or you have entered repayment. The last year for in-school consolidation to be accepted was 2006.

What funding options do I have other than the Federal Direct Stafford Unsubsidized Loan?
The Chicago School offers fellowships, scholarships, and faculty and teaching assistantships as part of our institutional aid program to full-time students. Another option is a Graduate PLUS or an alternative loan. We highly recommend that you first apply for a Grad PLUS Loan versus an alternative loan. The benefits for Grad PLUS are similar to the benefits of Stafford loans such as, it has fixed rate (the current rate is 7.9), and you will be able to defer and/or consolidate. With an alternative loan, the interest is variable and you are not able to defer or consolidate. Both the Grad PLUS and alternative loans require certification from the school. We cannot certify aid above a student’s cost of attendance.

How do I know if I have been awarded a scholarship?
Scholarship notifications will be mailed at least a month after the deadline to all scholarship applicants.

What if my financial aid does not cover my tuition?
Please contact Office of Student Accounts  to set-up payment arrangements.

I have a two holds – a transcript and registration hold. What does this mean?
This could mean you have an unpaid balance, an admissions contingency, etc. This hold prevents you from registering for courses and requesting transcripts. Your balance must be paid prior to being able to register or request transcripts. For more information, please visit your eportal homepage and review your Messages for “holds” to review which department you should be contacting to resolve.

I have an FA hold on my account. Can I register for classes?
An FA hold will not prevent a student from registering or requesting transcripts. It does mean that we need to look a carefully at your FAFSA information, which may require some more documentation from you.