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Financing Your Education

College education requires financial preparation. Some programs can be completed at a reasonable cost while others can be very expensive. Cost also varies from institution to institution. Community colleges and public universities generally have lower tuition and fees than private institutions.

The state of Illinois is committed to providing affordable postsecondary education by ensuring that no Illinois resident is denied an opportunity for a college education because of financial need. Hence, institutions strive to provide financial assistance for students in the form of grants, scholarships, and/or loans. Each is briefly described below:

You should also contact the institutions where you might want to enroll regarding the following financial issues:

  • The cost of attendance, including the breakdown of tuition and fees, room and board, travel, books and supplies, and personal and miscellaneous expenses
  • The types of financial assistance available
  • The procedures and timeframes for submitting applications for assistance
  • The criteria institutions use to award financial aid
  • The interest rates on various student loans, the total amount you must repay, the length of time to repay, when to start repaying, and what cancellation or deferment provisions apply
  • Other conditions that affect financial assistance

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