Financial Aid for New Students

The Office of Financial Aid is committed to helping you and your family apply for and receive financial aid鈥efore you enroll and each year of your enrollment at the College!

In the Fall of 2023, 429 first-year students enrolled, and 90% applied for need-based financial aid. 80% of those students received at least one need-based grant. Of the new class, over 90% received at least one scholarship from the College.

Regardless of your income, if “cost” is a factor in deciding where you will enroll, be sure to complete the financial aid process outlined below, so that our office can provide you with details of your eligibility!

The process outlined below is for U.S Citizens and Permanent Residents. The financial aid application ("FAFSA") for students enrolling in the Fall of 2024 is delayed until sometime in December (see details)

International students please click here.  

Undocumented students please click here.

Fall 2024 Process

Step 1. Complete the 2024-2025 FAFSA.

  • The 2024-2025 FAFSA asks for 2022 income values. If your/your parent's current income now is significantly less than 2022, see Step 2 below.
  • The FAFSA is not required if you are applying  only for scholarships
  • Your contributor   (new guidance, April 4, 2024)

Step 2.  Complete optional " Special Circumstance Forms" if applicable

If you believe the FAFSA does not give an complete, accurate picture of your family's financial situation, review the "special circumstance forms" and submit all that are applicable. Forms for the 2024-2025 academic year are available now.  We usually recomment that you contact our office before submitting a form, to determine if it will affect your financial aid eligibility.

    Step 3. Complete other required forms
    , if directed to do so. 

    • Details of additional documents may be included within your Award Letter, your , or .
    Fall 2024 Priority Deadlines

    First-Year fall semester applicants are encouraged to complete the 2024-2025 FAFSA by March 1, if possible.

    Transfer applicants for the fall should complete the 2024-2025 FAFSA by July 1, although Illinois residents should do so by May 1, to help ensure consideration for limited IL MAP Grant funds. 

    Applications are accepted after these dates, but available funding may be less.

    Spring 2025 Process

    Step 1. Complete the 2024-2025 FAFSA, if you haven't already done so.

    • If your/your parent's current income now is significantly less than 2022, see Step 2 below.
    • The FAFSA is not required if you are applying  only for scholarships
    • Your contributor   (new guidance, April 4, 2024)

    Step 2.  Complete optional "Special Circumstance Form(s)" if applicable. We recommend contacting our office with general details before completing any form. These allow you to report things that are not collected on the FAFSA: large income changes vs. 2022, large healthcare costs in 2024, private K-12 tuition or college tuition for a sibling during the 2024-25 academic year, large unusual expenses, etc. Be sure to choose the version for the correct academic year. Please contact our office to determine if your family should submit a particular form.

    Step 3. Submit additional documentation (only) if requested. We will notify you by email or within the award letter if additional information is needed. Your prompt response will be appreciated. 

    Spring 2025 Deadlines

    We strongly recommend that your FAFSA (and any "special circumstance forms") be submitted by December 1. Applications will be accepted after this date, but available funding may be less.

    Your Award Letter

    Once you have been admitted and submitted all financial aid documents, we will prepare an “award letter” showing the aid you qualify to receive. Details are .

    Please let us know if you do not wish to receive text messages related to financial aid.

    How to Read Your Award Letter provides you with descriptions of the aid we have offered, financial aid policies related to that aid, and other important information.

    We may require additional information from you. If so, we may use email or an occasional text message to notify you. The most common item is the V-1 Verification Worksheet for "dependent students" Other common forms we may have asked for are found here.

    Compare Award Letters

    Not all colleges and universities award letters are presented in the same way. This makes an “apples to apples” comparison more difficult. Make sure you clearly identify “free funds” (grants and scholarships) and loan funds. You might have two offers from two schools, each totaling $40,000, but one school is offering $30,000 in scholarship/grant funds and $10,000 in loans, while the second offer has $34,500 in scholarship/grant funds but $5500 in loans.

    Take time to see which offer truly makes the most sense for you/your family, based on the resources you have available. Create a spreadsheet of your own, or use a tool such as those created online by  or  the 

    When using these tools, consider including only “direct costs” of tuition, fees, room and board to show differences in what you will owe each college. Consider other “real costs” like books, travel and personal expenses separately, based on your best estimate or those provided by each college/university.

    What Happens Next

    After the FAFSA has been processed…

    You will receive an email notification from the federal student aid processing center with a link to your "FAFSA Submission Summary" [formerly called the Student Aid Report (SAR)]." Review it carefully as it will tell you if there are any issues to follow up on. Feel free to contact the Office of Financial Aid if you have any questions.

    Accepting Your Financial Aid

    If you decide to enroll at 91社区, you will need to pay a non-refundable deposit to “save your spot” in the class. Then, throughout the late spring and early summer months, you will complete numerous steps to prepare for your arrival in August and the beginning of the school year.

    About Tax Returns

    Unless we request them, do not send copies of your tax return.


    A small percentage of students submitting the FAFSA need to provide additional documentation as part of the “verification” process. The Verification Worksheet can be emailed as a .pdf or .jpg, or faxed to our office. Below are Worksheets for the 2023-2024 academic year. Contact us if you cannot find what you need.

    Parent Access to Student Information

    The Parent Portal at 91社区 gives families online access to a student's information so that they are kept informed of their activities at the College. But in order to gain access, they need to be enrolled in the 91社区 Parent Portal.

    In order to establish permission, your student should log into  and click on the ‘My Contacts’ tab. Provide the necessary information for each person(s) to be given access to your information.

    The Parent Portal enables students to share with parents (or other parties) the information they want online while complying with the requirements of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). The permission that is granted can be cancelled or changed at any time by the student.

    In the Parent Portal:

    • Students can share information with parents, including grades and GPA projection, class schedules, student account balances as well as financial aid awards and any outstanding documentation that may be required.
    • The College can share information with parents or guardians quickly and easily.
    • Parents can view information about a single student or multiple students in one convenient location.

    Questions? Contact Dean of Students Office - Cindy Orr, orr@lakeforest.edu or 847-735-5203.

    Federal Student Aid

    FSA ID Required!

    An FSA ID (Federal Student Aid ID) is an “electronic signature” required of all students and parents when applying for need-based financial aid. It is used to sign your financial aid application (FAFSA) and your student loan application, and to access your FAFSA throughout the year…and in future years! 

    Beginning December 2023, a social security number will not be required to obtain an FSA ID.

    Important Note: Separate FSA IDs are needed for the student and at least one parent. 

    Need to signing a FAFSA after it was processed? Choose the appropriate link:        

    Federal Student Aid (FSA) Academic Qualifications

    To receive FSA funds, a student must be qualified to study at the post-secondary level. A student qualifies if he or she:

    • has a high school diploma (this can be from a foreign school if it is equivalent to a U.S. high school diploma);
    • has the recognized equivalent of a high school diploma, such as a general educational development or GED certificate, or students who are beyond the age of compulsory attendance within that state and pass a test that demonstrates the student’s ability-to-benefit (ATB) from the educational program in which the student is enrolled.
    • has completed homeschooling at the secondary level as defined by state law; or
    • has completed secondary school education in a home-school setting which qualifies for an exemption from compulsory attendance requirements under state law, if state law does not require a home-schooled student to receive a credential for their education.

    For more information on any of the bulleted information above, click here.

    Admitted Students

    Confirm your place at 91社区 today: submit your $200 deposit now.

    Admitted student checklist

    Contact Financial Aid

    Phone and Fax



    Patterson Lodge, 2nd Floor
    Middle Campus, Map


    8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.


    Jerry Cebrzynski
    Associate Vice President for Financial Aid

    Mark Anderson
    Associate Director

    Adriana Rodriguez
    Associate Director for Financial Aid Operations
    VA Certifying Official

    Si necesita hablar con alguien en español en la oficina de ayuda financiera, usted puede llamar a Adriana Rodriguez.