The Student's Guide to Financial Aid

Get the most out of your financial aid application by knowing more about how the process works.

What is financial aid?

  • Money to help you pay for college expenses.
  • A supplement to your and your family’s financial
    resources.

I probably don't qualify for aid. Should I apply?

Yes, apply. Many students mistakenly think they don't qualify for financial aid and prevent themselves from receiving aid by failing to apply. There are also funds available regardless of financial need. Type of aid include:

  • Grants - based on financial need.
  • Scholarships - usually for a special talent, skill or achievement
  • Work Study - earnings from a part-time work study job on campus.
  • Loans - borrowed money that has to be repaid over time. Unsubsidized Stafford and PLUS loans are available regardless of need. Unsubsidized Stafford and PLUS loans are available regardless of need.

How and when do I apply for financial aid?

Complete the FAFSA. Every college in the United States requires financial aid applicants to file the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). You can apply anytime after January 1. And, it's to your advantage to apply as early as possible. 

What about scholarships and other funds?

More than 9,000 students were awarded nearly $23 million in scholarships, grants and tuition waivers through Harper College in 2015-2016. Apply online for a Harper scholarship.

Federal loans require additional steps. Remember, borrow only what you need.

How and when will I receive financial aid?

Financial aid is disbursed approximately two to three weeks after the start of the term. If you expect financial aid to cover your entire balance, payment arrangements are due at the time of registration.

Can I lose financial aid?

Your aid can change if you

  • withdraw from classes.
  • don't meet Satisfactory Academic Progress standards at the end of each semester.
  • receive a private scholarship or third party funding.
  • experience unusual financial circumstances.

I have questions about financial aid. Who should I contact?

Staff in the One Stop will assist with questions or issues you have regarding financial aid, registration, student records, or payment.

One Stop
Building A, Room A250
847.925.6710