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Aid Eligibility

Most Rush University students qualify for some type of financial aid. But what do you need to do to qualify? We'll help you figure that out here.

Am I eligible for financial aid?

In order to qualify for federal, state and most types of institutional assistance, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Be formally admitted to a degree or certificate program. Not all of Rush's certificate programs are eligible for financial assistance.
  • Have a high school diploma, a recognized equivalent of a high school diploma (GED) or completed homeschooling at the secondary level
  • Have a complete financial aid application on file with the university
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress according to the Office of Student Financial Aid standards
  • Enroll at a certain level for certain aid programs. For example, many aid programs require you maintain full- or half-time status in order to qualify for funding
  • Not have a federal or state drug conviction
  • Be a U.S. citizen, national, permanent resident, other eligible non-citizen or a citizen of the Freely Associated States
  • Not be in default on a federal education loan
  • Not owe an overpayment on a federal education grant
  • Not have a defaulted federal education loan or federal grant overpayment in an active bankruptcy claim (under certain circumstances)
  • Not have federal education loans that were discharged due to total and permanent disability (under certain circumstances)
  • Not have borrowed more than the aggregate limits established for the federal loan programs
  • Have a Social Security Number
  • Have registered with the Selective Service (males only), if required by law
  • Meet all aid-specific criteria; certain programs require satisfactory credit checks, enrollment in specific academic programs and so on

Does it make a difference if I am a full- or half-time student?

This is necessary to determine for many aid programs. Know which you are.

You are a full-time student if you meet the following:

  • A medical student.
  • A graduate student at 9 or more credits, and half-time at 4.5 or more credits.
  • An undergraduate student at 12 or more credits and half-time at 6 or more credits

You are a half-time student if you meet the following:

  • A graduate student at 4.5 or more credits
  • An undergraduate student at 6 or more credits

For Pell Grant purposes, three-quarter time is considered 9 or more credits, and less than half-time is considered 1 to 5 credits.

Do I qualify for aid as an international student?

If you are an international student, you are not eligible for federal aid and most types of Rush University institutional aid.

If you have a cosigner who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, you may be eligible for private educational loans from U.S. banks.

Do I need to include parent information?

Parent information is required if you are a medical student and you want to be considered for need-based discretionary funding through Rush.

Beginning with the 2016-17 academic year, medical students who will be at least 30 years of age by the start date of their program are not required to submit parent information in order to receive full consideration for Rush's need-based discretionary aid. For students who will not meet the age requirement by the start date of their program, exceptions to the parent information requirement will only be made in extreme situations.

The new age limit applies only to students starting on or after fall 2016.  All students who began their program in a term prior to fall 2016 will remain subject to the parent information requirement for the entirety of their program.  

Submitting parental data does not affect the amount of federal Stafford loan that you as an independent undergraduate or a graduate student are eligible to receive.

We only request parent data on your FAFSA during your first year at Rush. If you are a returning student who has provided parent information in a previous year, you will not be required to submit an annual update to your parents' information. Students who choose to submit parent information on their annual application will have the parent information in their student file updated to reflect any changes.

Please note that if you are a dependent undergraduate student, you are required to submit your parent information with each financial aid application.

Why do you need parent information?

Simply put, need-based grants and discretionary loan programs are limited. We do not have enough of these dollars to distribute evenly to all students in all programs. As a result, parent data is used to determine the amount of institutional grants and loans awarded by the Office of Student Financial Aid.

We do not expect that parents of independent students will be contributing to their child's education. The purpose of collecting this information is to compare students who might otherwise look very similar on a financial aid application across economic backgrounds.

How do I complete the parent information?

To satisfy the parent information requirement, you must do the following:

  1. Include your parent information in the parent section of the FAFSA. You may make a correction to your application to add this information if you have already submitted it. Please visit the FAFSA website to make your correction.

Qualifying for credit-based aid

Maintaining a good credit history is important because many Rush students find it necessary to borrow money through a credit-based loan program. Your lender will review your credit history and score to determine if you qualify for the loan program they offer.

If you have delinquencies on your credit reports or a high debt level relative to income, you may be considered "high risk" by loan providers. As such, you may be denied a loan, offered a high interest rate or need a cosigner/endorser on your loan application.

If you are a graduate or professional student, you are likely to need a credit-based federal loan if you need to finance a significant portion of your educational costs.

If you are an undergraduate student who already has a bachelor's degree and is accepted into an undergraduate program, you are ineligible for undergraduate federal or state grants, such as Pell Grants, Illinois State Monetary Award Program Grants. Additionally, annual loan limits are unlikely to cover all of your tuition costs at the undergraduate level.

Rush University is unable to fund you if, due to a poor credit record, you are unable to receive loan assistance through federal or private credit-based loans. If you have a poor credit rating, you must take necessary steps now to improve your rating so that these credit-based loans can be approved. Students should also remember that credit checks will be necessary during their time at Rush and any time a new credit-based loan is requested.

You are able to request a free copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus annually. You are strongly encouraged to review these reports at different times of the year to monitor activity on your credit reports.