Additional Resources

For a list of answers to common questions students have about the financial aid process, please refer to our FAQ page.

Financial Aid Glossary

To help you better understand the financial aid process, we have provided a list of definitions of the most commonly used financial Aid terms. For a full list of terms see the United States Department of Education glossary.

Academic Year: The period of time beginning at the start of the fall semester and ending at the end of the spring semester (mid-August to mid-May). At Chicago-Kent College, our summer semester is the trailing or ending term of the standard (fall/spring) academic year. In other words, if you are enrolled in and receive financial aid for the summer semester, that semester is a part of the standard academic year belonging to the preceding fall and spring semesters.

Accrued Interest: The addition of daily interest calculated on the unpaid principle balance of the loan. Depending upon the type of loan, this interest is payable by the borrower. Loans that accrue interest are the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford, Federal Graduate PLUS Loan and Private Loan.

Annual Percentage Rate (APR): A percentage calculation that reflects the total costs of a loan (interest plus all fees) on an annual basis.

Billable Expenses: Direct expenses that are billable to the university and charged to your student account. Tuition and Fees are examples of billable expenses.

Borrower: Anyone who obtains money from a lender. The borrower signs a Loan Agreement or Master Promissory Note (MPN), which serves as the formal promise to repay the loan.

Capitalizing: A process where a lender adds any unpaid interest to the principal of the loan, thereby increasing the balance due and the monthly payment of your loan.

Cost of Attendance (COA): Your Cost of Attendance (or COA) is your student budget for the standard academic year and includes the budget components of Tuition and Fees (Billable Expenses), Room & Board, Books, Transportation and Personal Expenses (Non-Billable Expenses). We determine your COA based on your program. Each budget component is a maximum estimated amount (based on data we've collected) of what a student may spend throughout the nine-month academic year. A student's total financial aid package, including scholarships, loans, and any other financial aid resources, may not exceed the Cost of Attendance Budget, as determined by the Office of Financial Aid. 

Consolidation: A process where a company will combine all outstanding federal student loans into a new loan.

Credit History: A credit history is a summary of your financial strength, including your history of paying bills and your ability to repay future loans. To qualify for a Federal Graduate PLUS Loan, you cannot have an adverse credit history as your acceptance of the Graduate PLUS Loan authorizes the federal government to run a credit check.

Default: The failure of a borrower to make federal student loan payments when due or to comply with other terms under a Loan Agreement or Master Promissory Note (MPN).

Deferment: A period of time during which the repayment of the principal amount of the loan is suspended as a result of the borrower meeting one of the requirements established by law and/or contained in the Loan Agreement or Master Promissory Note (MPN). During this period, borrowers may not have to pay interest on the loan.

Delinquent Borrower: A borrower who has failed to make one or more loan installments on their due date. Once a loan is delinquent for a certain period of time, it becomes at risk of going into default.

Disclosure Statement: A statement of the actual loan costs, including the interest rate and any additional fees. This statement must be presented to the borrower on or before the date the money is sent out by the lender.

Federal Direct Loan Program: Also referred to as Direct Loans. As of July 1, 2010, all federal student loans come directly from the U.S. Department of Education under the Direct Loan Program. 

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan: A federal government-supported educational loan in which the student is responsible for all of the interest that accrues on the loan. There is a fixed interest rate charged to the loan. The student may either pay the interest while in school or have it accrue and capitalize on the principal. See our website page called Interest Rates for current rates. In addition there is a loan origination fee charged on each student loan after it is processed so that the amount borrowed is the Gross amount and the amount that is applied to your student account is the Net amount. Visit our webpage – Loan Origination Fees for more information.

Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan: A federal government-supported educational loan that is credit based. You must first apply for your maximum loan eligibility through the Direct Unsubsidized Loan before the PLUS Loan can be awarded. There is a fixed interest rate that begins to accrue as soon as the loan is disbursed to the school. Repayment of the principal begins immediately, but is deferred by Direct Loans if a student also has a Federal Unsubsidized Loan, repayment is coordinated to match the 6-month grace period of the Federal Unsubsidized Loan. Interest Rates and Loan Origination Fees apply for this type of student loan as well.

Forbearance: A temporary cessation of loan payments; an extension of time for making payments; or and acceptance of smaller payments than were previously scheduled. Forbearance may be given for circumstances that are not covered by deferment, such as hospitalization or short-term unemployment, that adversely affect the borrower's ability to meet loan payment obligations.

Grace Period: A period of 6 months after a student graduates or ceases to be enrolled at least half time. After 6 months, the student goes into repayment. Loan payments do not have to be made by the student during the grace period. However, interest will continue to accrue on loans that are not subsidized.

Loan Agreement: Also commonly referred to as a Master Promissory Note (MPN). A legal document signed by the borrower when obtaining a loan. This agreement or MPN lists the conditions under which the loan is made and the terms under which the borrower agrees to pay back the loan. As a first-time borrower of federal student loans at Chicago-Kent, you will want to complete the MPN for both the Federal Unsubsidized Loan and the Federal Graduate PLUS Loan. You can complete these both online by visiting Typically, the MPN completion of the Federal Unsubsidized Loan is a one-time requirement which should remain valid for 10 years. However, for the Graduate PLUS Loan, a new Master Promissory Note may be required each academic year and sometimes, for each individual Graduate PLUS Loan you borrow, as this is a credit-based educational loan. When completing the MPN(s), if Chicago-Kent College is not a choice, you will want to be sure you enter Illinois Institute of Technology - Downtown Campus. (001691-01). 

Loan Period: The academic year or portion thereof for which the applicant is enrolled and is seeking one or more loans.

Master Promissory Note (MPN): See Loan Agreement 

Negative Amortization: Negative amortization means that even when you pay your minimum payment, because you are not paying the interest, the amount you owe will still go up.

Non-Billable Expenses: Indirect expenses that are not payable to the university. Non-Billable Expenses include Cost of Attendance budget components of Room and Board, Books, Transportation and Miscellaneous or Personal Expenses.

Origination Fee: A processing fee calculated on the amount borrowed and charged to the student by the Department of Education. This fee is deducted from the amount of the loan proceeds you accept on the myIIT portal. Students are urged to take this into account, especially when borrowing a Federal Unsubsidized and/or Federal Graduate PLUS Loan. For more information see our Loan Origination Fee webpage.

Principal and Interest: Principal refers to the total amount borrowed plus any capitalized fees and interest. Interest refers to the amount charged for the use of the money over time, and is usually stated as an annual percentage of the principal amount.

Repayment Schedule: A plan which calculates the principal and interest due in each installment, number of payments required to pay the loan in full, the interest rate, and the due dates of the first and subsequent payments.

Servicer: The Department of Education, private lenders and secondary markets hire companies that specialize in student loans to handle billing, collections, deferments, etc. These organizations are called "servicers" since they service the loans for the lenders.

Financial Aid

  • Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be completed each academic year.
  • Federal Student Aid website where you complete loan requirements and manage your student loans.
  • The Record - Weekly bulletin of the most current and pertinent financial aid information at Chicago-Kent College of Law.
  • The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) governs how Chicago-Kent can release your student records.


Please be mindful that you should never pay for scholarship or financial aid search results.

Loan Repayment Resources

Federal Student Aid (an Office of the U.S. Department of Education) is your source for all Direct Loan repayment information, including information on all repayment plans, calculators, deferment, forbearance, consolidation, and loan forgiveness.

The Loan Repayment Assistance Program helps those in Public Interest careers pay off their school loans.

Loan Forgiveness

Public Service Loan Forgiveness is not a repayment plan, but an option you can work toward while utilizing an Income-Driven Repayment Plan. 

It was established to encourages individuals to enter and continue to work full-time in public service jobs. Under this program, federal student loan borrowers may qualify for forgiveness of the remaining balance of their Federal Direct Loans after making 120 payments on their student loans while employed full-time by certain public service employers. Borrowers must be working full time in public service upon application for loan forgiveness and up to the time the remaining balance on the loan is forgiven. 

This means one payment a month for 10 years. Qualifying payments do not have to be consecutive but only payments made after October 1, 2007 qualify. You can take time off from your employment in public service, but any on time payments made may not count toward the 120 required payments. However, payments will begin to count again when you are back in eligible public service employment.

Eligible Loans

Only Federal Direct Loans not in default are eligible. This means you may need to consolidate your past loans into Direct Loans with the Department of Education, if you do not have Direct Loans already. The following types of loans may be consolidated into the Direct Loan Program: Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program loans, which include Subsidized Stafford Loans, Unsubsidized Stafford Loans, Federal PLUS Loans - for *parents, and graduate or professional students, Federal Consolidation Loans (excluding joint spousal consolidation loans), and

Federal Perkins Loans**. IIT University Loans, Neuman Loans, BAR Loans, and private loans are not eligible.

*NOTE: To qualify for forgiveness of a Parent PLUS loan the parent borrower, not the student on whose behalf the loan was obtained, must be employed by a public service organization.

**NOTE: To consolidate just a Federal Perkins Loan into the Direct Loan Program, you must also consolidate at least one FFEL Program loan or Direct Loan.

Eligible Payment Plans

  • Income Based Repayment (IBR) 
  • Income Contingent Repayment (ICR) 
  • Pay As You Earn (PAYE) 
  • Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE)
  • Standard Repayment Plan with a 10-year repayment period (However, if a student makes 10 years worth of payments, there will be nothing to forgive, thus it is not a good choice for Public Service Loan Forgiveness.
  • Any other Direct Loan Program repayment plan, but only payments that are at least equal to the monthly payment amount that would have been required under the Standard Repayment Plan with a 10-year repayment period may be counted toward the required 120 payments.

SPECIAL NOTE: Amount forgiven does not count as taxable income through Public Service Loan Forgiveness. However, if a borrower does not complete the commitment to public service, and is under the Income Based Repayment Plan, any amount forgiven after the programs 25 year repayment term, will be count as taxable income.

Loan Consolidation does not count as a qualifying loan repayment plan.

Eligible Jobs

The borrower must be employed full time (in any position) by a public service organization, or must be serving in a full-time AmeriCorps (vista volunteer) or Peace Corps position. You may also hold two part time positions that equal at least 30 hours per week. Past service at a qualifying job does not count, due to the program being effective as of October 2007. For purposes of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, the term "public service organization" means:

  • 501(c)(3) Non-Profit
  • A federal, state, local, or Tribal government organization, agency, or entity (includes most public schools, colleges and universities);
  • Judicial clerkship (non-volunteer)
  • A public child or family service agency; A non-profit organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code that is exempt from taxation under
  • section 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code (includes most not-for-profit private schools, colleges, and universities);
  • A Tribal college or university; or
  • A private organization that is not a for-profit business, a labor union, a partisan political organization, or an organization engaged in religious activities (unless the qualifying activities are unrelated to religious instruction, worship services, or any form of proselytizing) and that provides the following public services -
  • Emergency management;
  • Military service;
  • Public safety;
  • Law enforcement;
  • Public interest law services;
  • Early childhood education (including licensed or regulated health care, Head Start, and state-funded pre-kindergarten);
  • Public service for individuals with disabilities and the elderly;
  • Public health (including nurses, nurse practitioners, nurses in a clinical setting, and full-time professionals engaged in health care practitioner occupations and health care support occupations);
  • Public education;
  • Public library services; and
  • School library or other school-based services.

Eligible Payments

  • Must be scheduled
  • Must be on time
  • Must be made on or after 10/1/2007

Application Checklist

  1. Review your loans on the National Student Loan Database Service to make sure you have right type of loans to be eligible.
  2. Consolidate your loans into the Direct Loan Program, if needed.
  3. Make the right payment: sign up for one of the qualifying loan repayment plans with Direct Loans. 
  4. Fill out the Employer Certification Form (ECF) annually and any time you change employers. This form is sent to the servicer who handles Public Service Loan Forgiveness, FedLoan Servicing. They will confirm if you are eligible. If so, your federal student loans will be transferred to them for servicing. See Employer Instructions.
  5. Be employed in the right job until forgiveness occurs.
  6. Renew your Income Driven Repayment Plan annually and promptly.

For the most up to date information see the Federal Student Aid website.


IRS Tax Information

Financial Literacy Resources

Tracking Your Loans

The National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) is the U.S. Department of Education's central database for student aid. NSLDS provides a centralized, integrated view of Title IV loans and Pell grants that are tracked through their entire cycle. All federal loans are submitted to NSLDS by the loan servicer.

Information for Veterans

Illinois Institute of Technology Chicago-Kent College of Law proudly participates in the Montgomery GI Bill Program and the Yellow Ribbon Program. We strive to achieve the highest level of customer service to all our students. Therefore, we ask that students consider self-identifying themselves as an active or former military service member or family member. If you are a student planning on using VA benefits to pay for your tuition, please visit the Main Campus Registrar Office website to learn about each program, eligibility requirements, find out how to apply for your benefits and obtain the VA Certifying Officials contact information. For general questions, Conviser Law Center students may also contact the IIT Downtown Registrar's Office at (312) 906-5080 or email at