Financial Aid FAQ

For further questions, or to set up an appointment with the Office of Financial Aid, located on the 2nd Floor of Goodwin Hall, please contact us at [email protected] or (630) 829-6100.


What is the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy and Appeals form for?

Federal regulations require that Benedictine University establish standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) for students to receive federal financial aid funds. Minimum standards of academic progress are established to encourage students to successfully complete coursework for which financial aid is received and to make progress toward a degree.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy and Appeal Form

What is the average cost of attendance?

The Benedictine University estimated cost of attendance (COA) is an average figure used to determine your financial aid eligibility. It includes average amounts for standard expenses — including tuition, fees, books, supplies, room, board and other living expenses for an academic year. Keep in mind that your actual costs may vary by program.

For a list of all tuition rates, please visit Student Accounts.

Direct vs. indirect costs: The total COA is not the amount you will owe the University for the year.

  • Direct costs are those you pay directly to the University and include tuition and fees. Room and board are direct costs for those living in campus housing.
  • Indirect costs are expenses you will incur during the academic year but are not paid directly to the University. Indirect costs include books and supplies, transportation and miscellaneous personal expenses. Room and board are indirect costs for those not living in campus housing.

How is eligibility determined?

Expected Family Contribution (EFC)

The EFC is a measure of your family’s financial strength and is calculated from the information you report on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The EFC is calculated according to a formula established by law.

Federal Formula Need

The amount that remains after the expected family contribution has been subtracted from the cost of attendance is the student’s federal formula need. A typical need-based aid package will consist of aid from various sources, usually a combination of educational loans, scholarship and grant assistance, and federal work-study.

Federal Pell Grant

The Pell Grant is the largest of the federal grant programs, and award amounts vary from one year to the next. Awards are determined based on the financial information submitted on the FAFSA, cost of attendance and whether the student will be full- or part-time during the academic year.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)

The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG) is awarded to Federal Pell recipients who demonstrate high need. SEOG awards vary based on the availability of funding.

State Grants

Illinois’ Monetary Award Program (MAP) is one of the largest state-administered need-based grant programs. Illinois residents enrolled at least half-time at an approved Illinois post-secondary institution may be eligible to receive MAP funding if they complete their FAFSA in a timely manner, demonstrate financial need and meet certain other criteria established by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC). Maximum award eligibility is determined each year based upon the availability of MAP funds.

Institutional Grants

Below is a complete listing of Benedictine University’s Institutional Scholarships:

For New + Current Students

Click here to learn more about scholarship opportunities at Benedictine.

Federal Loans

Loans are considered a form of self-help assistance. Loan programs provide funds for educational purposes and borrowers pay them back with interest.

Federal Work-Study

Students are awarded Federal Work-Study (FWS) as part of their financial aid package. The average FWS award is $3,000. Students that work 20 hours a week typically earn the full $3,000 award. Students can find out about current jobs available by checking the bulletin board outside the Personnel Resources. Students are responsible for contacting the hiring supervisor and obtaining their own job. FWS students employed to receive a bi-weekly paycheck.

How is financial aid distributed?

Generally, financial aid is awarded for the full academic year and funds are disbursed in two installments.

Each term, the Business Office will send the student a tuition statement detailing tuition and fee charges. Estimated financial aid, excluding Federal Work Study, will reflect as a credit posted to the account. Outside scholarships will not show as a credit until funds have been received. Financial aid funds will first be used to pay for tuition, fees, room and board charges, and other school charges. If there is an excess of financial aid, your account will be reviewed for a refund.

For traditional undergraduate students, graduate quarter and graduate semester students, financial aid will be posted each term after the add/drop period is over. Financial aid for students in the Adult Accelerated (undergraduate) program will be posted after the first week of courses in the second module of the semester. Students can review their statements online at MyBenU.

What are the Student Rights + Responsibilities outlined by Benedictine University?

Rights + Responsibilities

As a student, you have the right to:

  • Know what financial assistance is available to you, including all federal, state and institutional financial aid programs.
  • Know the deadlines for submitting applications for applicable financial aid programs and the process required.
  • Know how your financial need is determined, including how cost of attendance budgets are developed.
  • Know what resources are considered in the calculation of your financial need and how much of your need has been met.
  • An explanation of the types of aid contained in your financial aid award, as well as how to retain eligibility for those funds (if applicable).
  • Request a review of your current financial situation if you meet certain criteria based on changes since filing the current aid year FAFSA application.
  • Know what portion of your aid package is grant or gift aid, and what portion must be repaid. In addition, you have the right to know interest rates, total amount to be repaid, procedures for repayment, when repayment begins and how long you have to repay the loan.
  • Know the criteria for continued financial aid eligibility, including guidelines for the determination of Satisfactory Academic Progress as defined by the Department of Education.
  • Know the method and frequency of financial aid disbursements.

As a student, you have the responsibility to:

  • Be aware of your ability to pay any institutional charges based on your available financial aid and personal resources.
  • Review and understand the terms and conditions of your financial aid award.
  • Complete all requirements accurately, in a timely manner and by the appropriate deadlines.
  • Inform us if you intend to enroll less than full time for any given term so that your aid can be properly adjusted and disbursed.
  • Inform us of any outside scholarships, assistantships or additional resources that you receive.
  • Fill out the FAFSA application completely and accurately. If selected for verification you will provide all requested documents in a timely manner and ensure that all submitted materials are complete and accurate. Falsification of information on application forms for federal financial assistance is considered a criminal offense, and you may be subject to penalties under the U.S. Criminal Code.
  • Read and understand all forms that you are asked to submit or sign, realizing that you are legally responsible for all agreements that you sign.
  • Know and comply with all policies and procedures of Benedictine University.

Are there terms and conditions for work-study employment?

The Federal Work-Study (FWS) program provides an opportunity for Benedictine University students to earn a portion of their education expenses by working part-time on campus. Interested students should stop by Benedictine University’s Employee Services department to inquire about available FWS job openings.

Important points about your FWS award:

  • If a student is eligible to participate in the FWS program, the FWS award amount will appear on their Financial Aid Notification Award letter.
  • The amount of the FWS award represents potential earnings from a FWS job. The actual amount of earnings will be based on the student’s actual hours worked and rate of pay. It is the student’s responsibility to work sufficient hours to earn their maximum FWS award funds.
  • The FWS award amount will not appear as a credit to the student’s statement of account. Students will receive a regular (bi-monthly) paycheck for their FWS earnings. Students may arrange with the Business Office to have their FWS earnings applied to their student account.

Are students enrolled in study abroad programs eligible for financial aid?

Students enrolled in a study abroad program may still be eligible for financial aid. Depending on the program, the student may not be eligible for all types of financial aid.

Students may enroll in an exchange program in which classes are registered at Benedictine University and tuition is paid to Benedictine University. Course credit is generated from within Benedictine University, appearing as home institutional credit. Students enrolled in these programs may be eligible for financial aid as a currently enrolled student.

Students may work with external programs and course credit is viewed as transfer credit. Courses are not registered through Benedictine University and tuition is not paid to Benedictine University. Students may be eligible for financial aid (excluding all Benedictine University institutional grants and scholarships) through a consortium agreement with the external program. Students with questions should contact the Financial Aid Office for information about the consortium process and requirements.

How do I know if my situation qualifies for a special circumstance appeal?

Only certain situations qualify for a special circumstance appeal. Some examples of special circumstances include loss of income due to job loss, medical expenses not covered by insurance, and divorce or separation, among others. You must follow up with a financial aid counselor and provide documentation to verify the circumstances submitted in your appeal. It is best to gather as much written evidence of your situation as you can. More information, including documents required for submission, can be found on our Information + Forms page.

Does Benedictine University keep a record of my federal loans?

The National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) is the U.S. Department of Education’s (ED’s) central database for student aid. NSLDS receives data from schools, guaranty agencies, the Direct Loan program, the Pell Grant program and other ED programs. You can find a detailed history of your federal student loans on this site.

Benedictine University is required to inform student/parent borrowers that the loan will be submitted to NSLDS and will be accessible by guaranty agencies, lenders and institutions determined to be authorized users of the data system.

What is Benedictine's Return of Title IV Funds policy?

Return of Title IV Funds Policy

Federal Title IV funds are awarded to a student under the assumption that the student will attend school during the entire period for which assistance is awarded. If a student who received Title IV funds withdraws, either officially or unofficially, on or before completing the payment period, the Office of Financial Aid is required to recalculate and review the student’s eligibility for the financial aid.

Students Subject to this Policy
All students currently receiving federal funds are subject to this policy.

Financial Aid Programs Included Under this Policy
All Title IV Federal financial aid programs are subject to this policy. This includes:

  1. Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan
  2. Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan
  3. Federal Perkins Loan
  4. Federal Direct PLUS Loan
  5. Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan
  6. Federal Pell Grant
  7. Federal Supplemental Educational Grant (SEOG)
  8. Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant

Consequences of Withdrawing from Courses
Withdrawing from courses may affect a student’s financial aid awards and eligibility. Prior to withdrawing from courses, students are advised to speak with their financial aid counselor and academic advisor or Student Success Center representative. (Refer to the Withdrawal Guidelines at the end of this document to understand how withdrawing can effect a student’s education.)

Financial Consequences of Withdrawing
Financial aid is awarded to assist with educational expenses for the length of an entire payment period. If a Title IV recipient withdraws prior to completing 60% of the payment period, the Office of Financial Aid must determine how much of the federal funding was “earned” up to the time of withdrawal.  This review and recalculation is called a “Return of Title IV Aid” (R2T4).

If the recalculation determines the student did not earn all of the funds that were disbursed, the excess aid received must be returned to the federal government within 45 days of the date of the student’s withdrawal. The Office of Financial Aid will notify the student on the return of funds process.

If the student previously received a refund from financial aid, the student may be required to return a portion of those funds to the University.

Title IV funds that must be returned to the government may create a balance due to the University.

Number of Weeks a Student Must Complete to Earn Financial Aid for Each Payment Period
The chart below represents the approximate number of weeks for each program type students need to complete to retain all aid that was disbursed for the payment period (minimum of 60% of the payment period).

Determination of Withdrawal Date

  • Official Withdrawal
    A withdrawal is considered “official” if the student completes an official withdrawal through the Student Success Center, their academic advisor or verbally notifies the Office of Financial Aid. Acceptable official notification includes oral notification to the designated contacts listed above. The Office of Financial Aid runs a report each week to identify students that have withdrawn from their courses but have not completed an official withdrawal form. The counselor then uses the date indicated on the report as the official date of withdrawal.
  • Unofficial Withdrawal
    A withdrawal is considered “unofficial” if the student stops attending classes but does not withdraw from those courses or notify the university. In these circumstances, the withdrawal date is based on a documented student academic activity (i.e. took an exam, submitted a term paper, etc.). If the date is unknown, the withdrawal date will be the midpoint or 50% of the payment period. If the student could not notify the University of their intent to withdraw because of extenuating circumstances (illness, accident, grievous personal loss or other circumstances beyond student’s control), the withdrawal date used will be based on documentation related to the event once the Office of Financial Aid is notified.

Students with all Failing Grades
Most academic programs at Benedictine do not require monitoring of student attendance. For Title IV recipients, federal regulations state if a student fails to earn a passing grade in at least one course within the payment period, the institution must assume that the student has unofficially withdrawn unless there is documentation that the student completed the period.

Return of Title IV Funds Policy
If a recipient of Title IV funds withdraws from the University or will be out of attendance for over 45 calendar days, the amount of Title IV assistance the student earned must be determined. If the amount disbursed to the student is greater than the amount the student earned, unearned funds must be returned.

Conversely, if the amount earned is greater, the student may be eligible for a post-withdrawal disbursement. The Office of Financial Aid will notify the student, in writing, of their eligibility for a post-withdrawal disbursement.

The percentage of financial aid the student is eligible for is determined by:

  1. The number of days attended divided by the number of days in the payment period.
  2. Institutional breaks of five or more consecutive days, excluding a leave of absence (LOA), are excluded from the calculation.
  3. Unearned aid percentage is calculated by subtracting the earned aid percentage from 100%.
  4. Institutional charges include tuition, fees and school contracted room and board charges.

Any unearned funds that need to be returned to the federal government are completed in the following order:

  1. Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan
  2. Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan
  3. Federal Perkins Loan
  4. Federal Direct PLUS Loan
  5. Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan
  6. Federal Pell Grant
  7. Federal Supplemental Educational Grant (SEOG)
  8. Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant

A student may have their financial aid reinstated or re-awarded once they are back in attendance at the University. Students returning after a Title IV calculation has been processed should contact the Office of Financial Aid at (630) 829-6100.

Definitions for Financial Aid Purposes
Leave of Absence (LOA):  For all nontraditional students, a leave of absence is a process designed to allow students to interrupt their academic program for a limited period of time during which the student is considered to have an active status with the University.  Please see the University policy on LOAs for more information.

Post-Withdrawal Disbursement: Funds that a student is eligible to receive but were never disbursed prior to the last day of attendance.

If you have any questions about this policy, please contact:
Office of Financial Aid
2nd Floor, Goodwin Hall
5700 College Road
Lisle, Illinois 60532

Withdrawal Guidelines

Withdrawing from courses while attending Benedictine may have implications beyond the academic realm. It is important to take these other areas into consideration prior to withdrawing. Please refer to the checklist below to assist you in determining these other areas.
  1. Financial Aid – Call the Office of Financial Aid (630) 829-6100) or meet with a financial aid counselor to discuss the following:
    • Your eligibility for federal or state financial aid: If you are considering withdrawing from courses, be sure to discuss the federal Title IV refund policy and its implications for your current financial aid payment period with your financial aid advisor.
    • Your current and future eligibility for financial aid: Undergraduate students should be aware that Federal Pell Grant, Federal Direct Subsidized Loan and the Illinois Monetary Award Program (MAP) have lifetime limits.
    • Enrollment changes from full-time to part-time status: Changes in enrollment can affect the amount of your financial aid eligibility and may affect your eligibility for any enrollment-dependent benefits, such as prior-loan deferment or certain types of insurance coverage.
    • Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) regulations: Federal regulations require that students make steady progress toward a degree to remain eligible for financial aid. You may review the financial aid SAP Policy in the Forms section of our financial aid website. 
    • Student loan deferment: Your withdrawal will result in implications with your federal student loan status. This may mean that your loan repayment grace period will begin, or even the repayment period of time on prior loans. Please contact your federal loan servicer for information to determine how withdrawal will affect your loan repayment. You may view your loan information on the National Student Loan Data System.
    • Increased educational expense: Remember that your educational costs will increase when you withdraw and may result in increased time to complete your degree. The expense of unearned coursework, increased educational debt and the potential loss of long-term student aid eligibility. Work with your financial aid counselor and academic advisor to minimize this cost.

2.  Business Office – Check with the Business Office representative at (630) 829-6503 to:

    • Review any outstanding balance you may have.
    • Make sure you understand the implications of withdrawing, if you participate in a payment plan.

Remember that you must repay outstanding balances prior to any future registration and/or release of transcripts.

3.  Housing – If you are living in a University residence hall, your housing could be affected by withdrawal. Contact Residence Life at (630) 829-6660 to discuss:

    • The implications for your housing obligation if you withdraw or drop below full-time.
    • Any cancellation requirements or financial responsibility you may have for your housing contract if you withdraw.

4.  Academic Advising – If you are considering withdrawing, contact your academic advisor to discuss:

    • Your anticipated withdrawal and return plans.
    • Readmission procedures if you will be out of school for one year or more..

Are there additional financial assistance contacts I can contact?

Yes! Please see the below contact information:

Office of Financial Aid
Goodwin Hall –2nd Floor
[email protected]

Academic Support Center
Goodwin Hall

Business Office
Lower Lever, Lownik Hall
[email protected]