Financial Aid | Frequently Asked Questions

What is financial aid?

Financial aid is money set aside by the Federal Government to help families pay for a college education. Financial aid can come in the form of grants, scholarships, work-study jobs, or loans. In order to be considered for financial aid, you need to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

How can I know if I qualify for financial aid?

You should complete the FAFSA even if you think you may not qualify for federal financial aid. You never know what you may be eligible for.  The FAFSA is the key to unlocking financial aid in the form of grants, work-study, and loans. In order to be considered eligible for these programs, you must meet the eligibility requirements.

Do I have to be enrolled full-time to receive financial aid?

No. You do not have to be enrolled full-time to receive most forms of financial aid. In some cases, if you are eligible for financial aid, the amount of aid you receive will be determined by the number of units you are enrolled in.  However, in order to be eligible for student loans you must be enrolled at least half time.

Are all of CIU’s programs eligible for Financial Aid?

Eligible programs include all of the Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctorate programs, however at this time associate programs are not eligible for financial aid.

Will financial aid pay for all of my expenses?

This will be determined by your Financial Aid eligibility. Financial aid is intended to bridge the gap between what you and your family can afford to pay for college and the cost of college.

What is verification, and who gets verified?

Verification is a process where the university must verify certain information that was entered in  the FAFSA.

The Office of Financial Aid has asked me for an IRS Tax Return Transcript. What is this and why do I have to provide it?

Selected CIU students and families have been asked to submit an IRS Tax Return Transcript for their financial aid application. This is part of the application verification process for federal student aid. You may also visit Note: an IRS TaxAccount Transcript is not the same document as a Tax Return Transcript and will not meet this requirement 

Do I have to submit a FAFSA every year?

Yes.  You must reapply for financial aid each year.  Renewal information and instructions are sent to all currently enrolled students in January for aid for the following award year.

Do I need to have a certain GPA or meet certain academic criteria to be eligible?

Yes, students must meet the school’s Satisfactory Academic Progress policy.  You may access this policy in the school catalog.

What is a Direct PLUS Loan?

The PLUS Loan is an educational loan provided by the Federal Government to graduate students or parents of dependent students in a undergrad program. To be eligible for a PLUS Loan, students or parents of undergrad dependent students must pass a credit check and must be either: a U.S. citizen or national, a U.S. permanent resident or eligible non-citizen. In addition, students must be enrolled at least half-time in an eligible program of study. The maximum amount grad students or parents of undergrad dependent students may borrow in a PLUS Loan is the difference between the Cost of Attendance and the amount their student receives in financial aid. For more information, visit our PLUS Loan information.

Are non-US citizens eligible for federal financial aid?

If you are not a US citizen, you still may be eligible for federal financial aid if you are determined to be an eligible non-citizen. Visit this FAFSA noncitizen site for more details.

Are international students eligible to receive state or federal financial aid?

No. International students are not eligible for federal and state financial aid programs. There are, however, a number of privately funded scholarship programs for International students. One useful online resource for International student scholarships is