Nov 21, 2019  
2019-2020 Governors State University Academic Catalog 
    
2019-2020 Governors State University Academic Catalog

Financial Assistance



The primary purpose of the financial aid program at Governors State University is to assist students in obtaining the financial resources necessary to cover their educational costs.

The Financial Aid Office encourages all students to apply early for financial assistance. Financial aid programs are designed to supplement student or family resources by bridging the gap between costs and the student's or family's measured ability to pay. The analysis of a student's or family's financial strength includes consideration of current income, assets, family size, number of family members in college, and any other factors that seriously alter a student's or family's financial situation.

Eligibility Criteria

Requirements for federal and state sponsored financial aid vary, but generally, a student must:

  1. be a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident;
  2. be admitted to a degree program; and
  3. be enrolled at least on a half-time basis (six hours) for most forms of aid.

Programs Available

The Office of Financial Aid administers and coordinates aid funds from federal, state, university, and private sources. The various aid programs available may be divided into four broad categories: grants/scholarships, loans, student employment, and tuition waivers. Grants and scholarships are referred to as "gift aid" since they are not repaid. Loans must be repaid, with payments usually beginning six months after leaving school. Student Employment is often available during the academic year. In addition, tuition waivers covering in-state tuition for both undergraduate and graduate students are available.

Application Procedures

The Office of Financial Aid processes aid on a year-round basis. Students are encouraged to apply for financial assistance annually, as early as October 1st to maximize their financial aid eligibility.

To determine eligibility for all forms of need-based aid, students must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA is available at www.fafsa.gov. Additional information and supporting documentation may be requested if the application is selected for verification.

Students should refer to the Office of Financial Aid website at www.govst.edu/finaid for detailed information on available types of aid and application forms/deadlines. The financial aid application is not complete until all required forms and supporting documents are on file and verified by the Office of Financial Aid.

Financial Aid Disbursement

The first financial aid posting for each semester is after the census date for students who are enrolled at least half-time, have accepted their financial aid, and are maintaining satisfactory academic progress. Direct deposits and refund checks are completed within two weeks after financial aid is posted to student accounts.

Federal Grants, Loans, and Tuition Waivers

Veterans Assistance

For information concerning veterans benefits, contact the Veterans Resource Center or call 708-235-7597.

United States Department of Veterans' Affairs Educational Benefits

Available to undergraduate and graduate students. Veterans, reservists, current members of the National Guard, those eligible for vocational rehabilitation for disabled veterans, and spouses and dependents of disabled or deceased veterans with benefits determined by the United States Department of Veterans' Affairs. Recipients of the monthly educational benefit must complete an application each term of enrollment at GSU for continued eligibility, monthly stipends, and other benefits. No repayment obligation.

Contact: GSU Veterans Resource Center for details.

Illinois Veterans Grant

Available to undergraduate and graduate students. Must be a veteran with an honorable discharge or be serving in a foreign country in a time of hostility and be an Illinois resident six months before entering the service and have claimed residency six months after discharge. Must have served at least one year after, or less than one year before, August 11, 1967. Covers tuition and mandatory fees. No repayment obligation.

Details available through the Illinois Student Assistance Commission - Illinois Veteran Grant.

Illinois National Guard Scholarship

Available to undergraduate and graduate students. Enlisted member, lieutenant, or captain with at least one year of service in the National Guard. Covers tuition, activity, and graduation fees. No repayment obligation.

Details available through the Illinois Student Assistance Commission - National Guard Grant or through your National Guard Unit.

Dependents of MIA/POW Scholarship

Available to undergraduate and graduate students. Dependents of Illinois residents officially declared a prisoner of war, missing in action, killed, or 100 percent disabled. Awarded by the Department of Defense. Covers tuition, activity, and graduation fees, consisting of four calendar years of full-time enrollment, including summers or 120 credit-hours. No repayment obligations.

Details available through the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs.

Pell Grant

Available to undergraduate students based on need. Must be enrolled in a degree-seeking program. Applies to tuition, fees, and other educational expenses. No repayment obligation.

Complete the FAFSA form available online at www.fafsa.gov.

Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)

Available to undergraduate students with exceptional need and eligibility for the Pell Grant. Must be a degree-seeking student and enrolled for at least six credit hours. SEOG is a source of funds to supplement other federal aid programs (such as the Pell Grant) if the student continues to show need. Applies to tuition, fees, and other educational expenses. No repayment obligations.

Complete the FAFSA form available online at www.fafsa.gov.

Federal Work-Study (FWS)

Available to undergraduate and graduate degree-seeking students. Students qualify based on financial need. Part-time positions are available in a variety of areas throughout the university.

Complete the FAFSA form available online at www.fafsa.gov.

Federal Direct Subsidized Loan

Available to undergraduate students based on need. Must be a degree-seeking student and enrolled in at least six credit hours. Repayment will begin six months after graduation or when a student drops below half-time status. Annual loan limits vary, based on academic level.

Complete the FAFSA online at www.fafsa.gov.

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan

Available to undergraduate and graduate students. Do not have to demonstrate financial need. Must be a degree-seeking student and enrolled for at least half-time. Annual loan limits vary based on grade level for undergraduate students. Graduate students can receive up to $20,500 annually. Interest accrues from the time the loan is disbursed. Students may pay the interest while in school, or it will be added to the principal balance when entering repayment.

Complete the FAFSA form available online at www.fafsa.gov.

TEACH Grant

Available to undergraduate and graduate students, who are committed to teach full time in high-need subject areas for at least four years in school districts that serve students from low-income families. Must be enrolled in a TEACH Grant eligible program. Must have at least a 3.25 cumulative grade point average and must annually complete an agreement to serve and TEACH Grant counseling.

For more information, please visit https://studentloans.gov/myDirectLoan/launchTeach.action

Complete the FAFSA form online at www.fafsa.gov.

State Scholarships, Grants, and Tuition Waivers

State of Illinois Monetary Award Program (MAP) Grant

Available to undergraduate students based on need. Must be a degree-seeking student enrolled in at least three credit-hours and a State of Illinois resident. Applies to tuition and fees only. No repayment obligation.

Complete the FAFSA forms online at www.fafsa.gov.

Police, Fire, Correctional Officer Grant Program

Available to undergraduates and graduate students. Students qualify if they are a surviving child or spouse of an Illinois police, fire, or corrections officer. Surviving children must be the natural or adopted child of the deceased and no more than 25 years old at the time of enrollment. Grant covers tuition and mandatory fees. No repayment obligations.

Details available through the Illinois Student Assistance Commission - PFC Program.

Golden Apple Scholarship

Available to undergraduate and graduate students who are Illinois residents and who are certified teachers or students preparing for certification. Students must be enrolled in at least six credit-hours and agree to teach in a teacher shortage area. Scholarship is $5,000 to $10,000 per year, which covers tuition, fees, and other educational expenses. Repayment is required only if the student does not teach in the shortage area for a specified period of time.

Details available through the Illinois Student Assistance Commission - Golden Apple

Minority Teachers of Illinois

Available to undergraduate minority students who are Illinois residents preparing for teacher certification. Student must agree to teach upon graduation. Student must be enrolled for 12 or more credit-hours. Scholarship is $2,500 per term for tuition, fees, and other educational expenses.

Details available through the Illinois Student Assistance Commission - MTI Scholarship

Special Education Teacher Tuition Waiver

Available to undergraduate and graduate students who are Illinois residents seeking initial certification in an area of special education. Students must agree to teach in special education upon graduation. Waiver covers tuition and fees.

Details available through Illinois Student Assistance Commission - SETTW Program.

Department of Rehabilitation Services Scholarship

This program provides financial assistance for individuals with physical or mental disabilities and who have been approved for vocational training by the Department of Human Services/Office of Rehabilitation Services to attend accredited Illinois colleges, universities, and technical schools.  Financial need is a factor.

This program is administered by the Illinois Department of Human Services/Office of Rehabilitation Services (DHS/ORS); contact Rob Kilbury at 800.843.6154, option 4 for more information about the available benefits.

GSU Student Assistantships, Employment, and Foundation/Alumni Scholarships

Graduate Assistantship

Available to graduate students only. Must be degree-seeking and enrolled for at least six credit hours. Students earn a monthly stipend and a tuition waiver in return for 20 hours of work per week. Details can be found at http://www.govst.edu/grad-assistant/

Student Employment

Available to undergraduate and graduate students. Do not have to demonstrate financial need, but must be degree-seeking and enrolled for a minimum of six credit hours and not on academic probation or in default on any education loans. Part-time positions are available in a variety of areas throughout the university.

Details available through Career Services - Jobs for Jaguars.

Job Location and Development

Available to undergraduate and graduate students who are enrolled for at least six credit-hours at GSU. Part-time, off-campus positions.

Details available through Career Services - Jobs for Jaguars.

GSU Foundation and Alumni Scholarships

Many scholarships are offered by the GSU Foundation and the Alumni Association. Each year the GSU Foundation devotes great effort to raising funds in order to recognize academic excellence and to assist deserving students who need financial help to continue their studies. A list of actual scholarship offerings for the academic year is posted on the GSU website at http://www.govst.edu/foundationscholarships/.

GSU Student Waivers

Purpose: This policy establishes the University processes for authorizing tuition and fee waiver programs and the purposes of such programs, establishing waiver budget and expenditure levels, and allocating waivers to waiver programs. Tuition and fee waivers are an agreement between the student and the University to reduce or eliminate assessed tuition and/or fees. All Illinois public universities are authorized to award two general types of tuition and fee waivers: Mandatory Waivers and Discretionary Waivers.

  • Mandatory Waiver means a waiver that an institution is required by State statute to grant to students who meet the specific parameters and criteria included in the statute.
  • Discretionary Waiver means a waiver that is granted at the discretion of the institution. Discretionary waivers include the following categories:
  • Faculty and Staff Waiver means a discretionary waiver awarded to public university faculty, staff, or other employees, or their dependents.
  • Student Talent or Merit Waiver means a discretionary waiver awarded to students based on talent in a particular field, academic merit, or special status.
  • Student Need Waiver means a discretionary waiver granted to students demonstrating financial need.
  • Student Service Waiver means a discretionary waiver granted to students to support the University mission, goals, and objectives through participation in outside contracts; graduate or undergraduate research, teaching, or other assignments; training or grant programs; external internship programs; clinical portions of degree programs conducted at other institutions; or other student experiences.

Mandatory Waivers

  1. Teachers Scholarships - Special Education Grants: Provides tuition and necessary fee awards to encourage current teachers and academically talented students to pursue careers in any area of special education as a public or private elementary or secondary school teacher in Illinois. Recipients are exempt from paying tuition and fees at an eligible institution for up to four years. Purpose: To provide financial incentives to pursue special education teacher training. Eligibility and Criteria: As determined by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC), participants must be a United States citizen or an eligible non-citizen; an Illinois resident; agree to take courses to prepare for the teaching of handicapped children or children with learning disabilities; be an Illinois high school graduate and rank in the upper half of the graduating class, or hold a valid teaching certificate that is not in the discipline of special education; and not have received a waiver under this program in the past. Participants are required to contract with the Illinois Student Assistant Commission and teach special education for two years within the five-year period following graduation. See details in Special Eduction Tuition waiver section above.
     
  2. General Assembly Scholarships: Each member of the General Assembly may grant, annually, two four-year scholarships, one for the University of Illinois, and the other for any state-supported university, to persons from his/her district. The scholarships exempt the holder from paying tuition or fees, with the exception of fees for book rental, service, laboratory, supply, union building, hospital and medical insurance, and any fees pledged for the payment of interest and principal on bonds for the operation and maintenance of buildings. Purpose: To extend opportunities to attend the University of Illinois or other state-supported universities. Eligibility and Criteria: Students must live in the nominating legislator's district and are required to sign a waiver of confidentiality concerning scholarship information. This program was abolished in 2012. Only persons nominated to receive or awarded such a scholarship before September 1, 2012 are entitled to the scholarship.
     
  3. Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) Scholarships: Scholarships are offered to residents of Illinois whose scholastic standing enables them to enroll in ROTC programs. The scholarships exempt the holder from paying tuition or fees, with the exception of fees for book rental, service, laboratory, supply, union building, hospital and medical insurance, and any fees pledged for the payment of interest and principal on bonds for the operation and maintenance of buildings. Purpose: To encourage their participation in the ROTC programs. Eligibility and Criteria: Residents of the State of Illinois whose scholastic standing will enable them to enroll in the ROTC programs available at universities supported by the State of Illinois are eligible. Applicants are required to take an examination each year according to rules prescribed by the presidents, or designees, of participating institutions. Scholarships are awarded on a merit basis to those eligible recipients receiving the highest grades with evidence of leadership ability. Applicants also must submit to the institution Selective Service registration compliance documentation. Waivers shall be awarded at each university on the basis of the equivalent of 10 scholarships per class, per branch of service, each academic year.
     
  4. Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) Scholarships and Fee Waiver: DCFS annually selects 48 children, at least four of whom are children of veterans, for scholarship and fee waivers for four consecutive years at any university or college maintained by the State of Illinois. Selection is based on scholastic record, aptitude, and general interest in higher education. Purpose: To give financial assistance for college expenses to selected children under the care of the Department. Eligibility and Criteria: DCFS may select 48 students under their care, at least four of whom must be children of veterans, on the basis of scholastic record, aptitude, and interest in higher education, and who have completed four years of high school.
     
  5. Partial Tuition Waivers for Children of University Employees: Public University governing boards must offer fifty percent tuition waivers for undergraduate education to the children of employees who have been employed by the granting university and/or any public university in Illinois for an aggregate of at least seven years. Participants must be under the age of 25 and qualify for admission to the University. Purpose: To grant partial tuition waivers to the children of employees to attend the University. Eligibility and Criteria: The parent or guardian of the waiver recipient must have been employed by any public university for at least seven years. Children receiving the waivers must be undergraduates, under age 25 at the commencement of the academic year in which the waiver takes effect, must qualify for admission, and can only receive a maximum of four years of partial tuition waiver benefits.
     
  6. Senior Citizen Courses Act: Permits senior citizens, over the age of 65, to enroll in regularly scheduled credit courses at public institutions of higher education without payment of tuition. This does not include payment of fees. Limited to persons whose annual income is less than the threshold amount in the Senior Citizens and Disabled Persons Property Tax Relief and Pharmaceutical Assistance Act.  Purpose: To provide tuition-free credit courses for senior citizens that attend public institutions of higher education in Illinois. Eligibility and Criteria: Must be age 65 or older with an annual household income below the threshold amount of the Senior Citizens and Disabled Persons Property Tax Relief and Pharmaceutical Assistance Act.
     
  7. Illinois Veterans Grants (also see Veterans Assistance section above): Veterans of the Armed Forces of the United States are entitled to grants to pay for eligible tuition and mandatory fees for undergraduate or graduate education. Benefits are limited to use at Illinois public two- and four-year institutions, and can be used for a maximum of four academic years of full-time enrollment. This program is administered by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission. Purpose: To provide tuition and fee grants to veterans of the Armed Forces of the United States. Eligibility and Criteria: Veterans must have served at least one year of federal active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States, or have served in a foreign country during a time of hostilities in that country regardless of length of service. Individuals who were medically discharged for service related reasons or were discharged prior to August 11, 1967 are also eligible. Recipients must have been honorably discharged or be honorably serving. Members of the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) are not eligible for these grants. Eligible applicants must have been a resident of Illinois or a student at an Illinois public two- or four-year institution at the time of entering federal active duty service. If not currently serving federal active duty service, eligible applicants must also have returned to Illinois within six months after leaving federal active duty service, or if married to a person in continuing military service stationed outside Illinois, returned to Illinois within six months after the spouse left service or was stationed in Illinois. Recipients must satisfy the institution's minimum grade level requirements and maintain a satisfactory student loan repayment record.
     
  8. Illinois National Guard Grants (also see Veterans Assistance section above): Members of the Illinois National Guard are entitled to grants to pay for eligible tuition and certain fees for undergraduate and graduate education. Benefits are limited to use at Illinois public two- and four-year institutions, and can be used for a maximum of four academic years of full-time enrollment. This program is administered by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission. Purpose: To provide tuition and fee grants to members of the Illinois National Guard. Eligibility and Criteria: Active members of the Illinois National Guard who have completed one full year of service are eligible. Former members of the Illinois National Guard may also be eligible if they were active for at least five consecutive years and had their studies interrupted by federal active duty for at least six months. These individuals must be within 12 months of their discharge date from the Illinois National Guard to be eligible. Eligibility is also contingent on enrollment in an Illinois public two- or four-year institution. Recipients must satisfy the institution's minimum grade level requirements and maintain a satisfactory student loan repayment record.
     
  9. MIA/POW Scholarships (also see Veterans Assistance section above): Dependents of an "eligible veteran or serviceperson" may be awarded a MIA/POW Scholarship consisting of the equivalent of four calendar years of full-time enrollment at an Illinois public two- or four-year institution. The scholarship covers eligible tuition and certain fees. This scholarship program is administered by the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs. Purpose: To provide tuition and fee scholarships to dependents of MIA/POW veterans. Eligibility and Criteria: Any spouse, natural child, legally adopted child, or any step-child of an "eligible veteran or serviceperson" shall be awarded a MIA/POW scholarship consisting of the equivalent of four calendar years of full-time enrollment at an Illinois public two- or four-year institution. "Eligible veteran or serviceperson" is a person who was an Illinois resident at the time that he/she entered active duty and has been declared to be a prisoner of war, missing in action, dead as the result of a service-connected disability, or disabled with a 100 percent disability as the result of a service-connected cause as recognized by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs or the U.S. Department of Defense.

Discretionary Waivers

  1. Faculty/Staff Waivers: Tuition and fee waivers awarded to University faculty, staff, or other employees or their dependents. Purpose: To provide educational benefits to the employees of the University, their dependents, and employees of other institutions. Eligibility and Criteria: Must be a member of the University faculty or administrative staff or an employee covered by the State Universities Civil Service System. This includes:
    • Civil Service Staff: University Employees
    • Civil Service Staff: Interinstitutional and Related Agencies
    • Faculty and Staff
    • Retired University Employees
    • Children of Deceased Employees
  2. Student Talent/Merit Waivers: Tuition and fee waivers awarded to students based on talent in a particular field, academic merit, or special status. Purpose: To provide financial assistance to students with academic talent or special status. Eligibility and Criteria: Based on academic record, other academic talent, or special status. This includes:
    • Athletic
    • Gender Equity in Intercollegiate Athletics
    • Freshmen
    • Dual Degree Program (DDP) - Honors
  3. Student Need Waivers: Tuition and fee waivers granted to students demonstrating financial need. Purpose: To provide financial assistance to students who demonstrate financial need or hardship. Eligibility and Criteria: Recipients must demonstrate financial need and/or be enrolled in special academic programs or other University activities. This includes:
    • Dual Degree Program (DDP) - Promise
    • Special Program Waiver
  4. Student Service Waivers/Assistantships: Tuition and fee waivers granted to students to support the University mission, goals, and objectives through participation in outside contracts; graduate or undergraduate research, teaching, or other assignments; training or grant programs; external internship programs; clinical portions of degree programs conducted at other institutions; or other student experiences. Purpose: To provide educational benefits and financial incentives to students and to provide students with valuable educational experiences. Eligibility and Criteria: Recipients must be enrolled in the University or under contract and, for the educational experiences and benefits, agree to perform related services. This includes:
    • Teaching Assistantship
    • Research Assistantship
    • Laboratory Assistantship
    • Tutoring Assistantship
    • Graduate Assistantship