Awarding Aid

The primary responsibility of paying for educational expenses is with the student and the student's family. If the financial assistance awarded does not cover all the educational expenses, the student is responsible for paying the remainder within Harper College's established payment deadlines.

Harper College determines the student's eligibility for financial aid awards based on federal and state regulations, our Cost of Attendance and the family's Expected Family Contribution. All financial aid documents must be on file and processed within the deadlines per federal regulations for the student to be awarded funds.

To be eligible and continue to be eligible for most federal and state financial aid awards you must meet these General Eligibility Requirements.

Contact the One Stop for more information about financial aid eligibility.

Your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is an index determined by the U.S. Department of Education through a process called Federal Methodology. This process takes into account your income and assets (and your parents, if dependent) and other information submitted on the FAFSA to calculate the EFC.

The EFC represents the total dollar support that the federal government feels you (and your family) can reasonably contribute towards educational expenses during the academic year.

Financial need is the end result of a simple calculation that subtracts the Expected Family Contribution from Harper College's Cost of Attendance.

      Cost of Attendance
 -    Expected Family Contribution


=    Financial Need

Using your financial need, we identify each need-based award you are eligible to receive.  Need-based aid sources include grants, scholarships, work study, and subsidized loans. After your financial aid is packaged, your awards are posted on the View my Awards on the MyHarper Portal.

Some financial aid sources are available without regard to financial need such as unsubsidized federal and private loans. Our goal is to keep student indebtedness low by instituting an awarding process designed to exhaust all other aid options before taking out student loans.

The total amount of financial aid you receive cannot exceed the Cost of Attendance.

The majority of the funds administered by the Office of Student Financial Assistance are based on demonstrated financial need. After the student's eligibility is considered, financial assistance is awarded in the following order, from the following sources:

  • Federal Pell Grant (if eligible)
  • Any outside grants and scholarships the student may be receiving
  • Any Foundation or Trustee Award the student may be receiving
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant of up to $500 (student must be eligible for Pell Grant funding and apply early)
  • Illinois Veteran's Grant/Illinois National Guard Grant (if eligible) 
  • State of Illinois Monetary Award Program (MAP) Grant (if eligible and not receiving Illinois Veteran's Grant/Illinois National Guard Grant)
  • Federal Work Study award (if eligible)
  • Subsidized Federal Direct Loan (if eligible)
  • Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan (if eligible)