Office of Financial Aid

The Office of Financial Aid is responsible for coordinating all applications and appropriate forms so that the student’s financial aid eligibility may be determined. The primary purpose of this office is to provide financial assistance to applicants who, without such aid, would be unable to attend Concordia University.

There are three categories of financial aid: scholarships and grants, loans, and student employment. Scholarships and grants are outright gifts of money; they do not have to be repaid. Loans are borrowed monies which must be repaid with interest. University student employment can allow students to earn money while in school to assist with educational expenses.

Students are reminded that should they interrupt, withdraw from their academic program or attend less than full-time, and if they are the recipient of any merit based scholarship, they may be ineligible for the merit based scholarship.  Likewise, student loan recipients who interrupt their academic program will begin their six month grace period and will be expected to begin paying back their borrowed amount at a monthly rate determined by their lending institution.

All staff members of the Office of Financial Aid are available at any time to counsel students regarding their financial aid status.  Students eligible for financial assistance should be familiar with state, federal, and institutional deadlines as well as the criteria for “Good Standing” and “Satisfactory Academic Progress” as printed in this Handbook and the Undergraduate Catalog. You can contact the Office of Financial Aid (1st floor Krauss) at (708) 209-3113 or email at crffa@cuchicago.edu.

Satisfactory Academic Progress for Student Financial Assistance

A student must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress to maintain eligibility for Federal Title IV, state grants and/or Concordia financial assistance.  Other assistance may also be affected.

There are three elements in which a student may not meet Satisfactory Academic Progress:  grade point average, course-completion rate and maximum time frame.

Grade Point Average:  Undergraduate students are required to maintain a 2.0 grade point average by the end of the their first year of full-time study (24-30 credit hours of coursework).  A cumulative 2.0 grade point average must be maintained from that point forward.

Course Completion Rate:  Undergraduate students are required to complete two-thirds, or 67 percent, of all credit coursework attempted.  The completion rate is calculated as a percentage of completed coursework over the student’s entire enrollment at CUC including transferred hours.  Students must maintain a cumulative 67 percent course completion rate.  Grades of W, F, IF, or U are considered as coursework attempted but not completed.

Maximum Time Frame:  Students are allowed to receive financial assistance until they have exceeded 150 percent of the number of credit hours needed to complete their degree program at CUC.  Since the average number of credit hours needed to complete the bachelor’s degree is 128 hours, student may not receive financial assistance upon attempting more than 192 credit hours.  Students in degree programs requiring more than 128 credit hours may appeal to the Director of Financial Aid for an extension, if necessary.

There are two repercussions in the event a student does not meet one or more of the above requirements:  probation status or disqualification status.

Warning Status:  A person who fails to meet the above standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress will be placed on Probation Status for his/her next semester of attendance.  During the probation period, the student is still eligible to receive financial assistance. 

Disqualification Status:  A student who fails to meet the standards of progress after a semester on probation will become disqualified from receiving further financial assistance from federal, state and/or Concordia funds.  This includes all institutional scholarships, grants, Federal student and parent loans.

If a student has mitigating circumstances which contributed to their inability to meet the required Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards, appeals for reinstatement of financial assistance may be submitted to the Director of Financial Aid.  The appeal must be a written letter explaining their circumstances and what measures they will take to improve their ability to succeed in future coursework. Students must meet with their Academic Advisor and together create an Academic Plan that will guide the student to successfully complete future coursework. In addition, students will be expected to submit supporting documentation when applicable.

If the appeal is approved, the student will be placed on probation status for the next semester.  Students will need to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress by the end of that semester or they will be placed back on disqualification status. 

If the appeal is denied, the student may submit another appeal after the following semester(s).  A significant improvement must be evident in the academic history for the future semester(s) after receiving disqualification status. 

Title IV Return of Funds Policy

During the first 60% of the enrollment period, a student earns Title IV funds in direct proportion to the length of time he/she is enrolled. A student who remains enrolled beyond the 60% point in the semester earns all aid for that period. The percentage of aid earned is determined by: the date the student officially withdraws from the University, the total number of calendar days comprising the period of enrollment, the calendar days the student completed during the period of enrollment.

The official withdraw date of the student is determined by the date indicated on the Official University Withdraw Form processed in the Dean of Student Office, 2nd Krauss.

This Return of Funds Policy does not apply to students who withdraw from individual classes. It applies only to those students who withdraw from the University completely. This policy does not take precedent over the University’s Tuition Refund Policy. Refer to the Catalog and the University website for the Tuition Refund Policy.

The Office of Financial Aid will review each student who completely withdraws from the University to determine the lesser of the following two categories: unearned amount of Title IV assistance or institutional charges incurred for the period of enrollment, multiplied by the unearned percentage. Title IV funds will be returned in the order listed below:

Stafford Unsubsidized Loans

Stafford Subsidized Loans

Parent or Grad PLUS Loans

Federal Perkins Loan

Federal Pell Grant 

Federal SEOG

Other Title IV Funds