Student Consumer Information

Student Consumer Information



The Registration Office maintains the student address files for mailing all official documents, including financial aid disbursements. Students must keep their address up-to-date with the Registration Office.




Student Rights - You have the right to:
Know how your financial need is determined, including the cost of attendance, and how your family contribution is calculated.

  • Know how and when you will receive student assistance.
  • Request an explanation of the type and amount of financial assistance you are receiving.
  • If you have a loan, know the type, the interest rate, the amount to be repaid, when you must begin repayment and other cancellation and deferment provisions.
  • If you are offered a Federal Work Study job, know the kind of job, what hours you must work, what your duties will be and how and when you will be paid.
  • Discuss your financial aid package with a representative of the Financial Aid Office.
  • Know how the College determines if you are making satisfactory progress and what happens if you are not. Report any scholarship, fee waiver, loan, grant, employment earnings or other financial benefits, which you receive from any source other than Carl Sandburg College. Such benefits may result in a revision or cancellation of other financial aid benefits.


Student Responsibilities - You are required to:

  • Provide copies the college can keep of all documentation requested by the Financial Aid Office or other agencies.
  • Read and understand all forms that you are asked to sign and maintain copies of them.
  • Know and comply with all deadlines for application and re-application for financial aid.
  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) correctly and submit it two to three months prior to the semester you plan to attend.
  • Follow up on any corrections or adjustments as requested.
  • Perform in a satisfactory manner any work agreed upon for Federal Work Study jobs.
  • Notify your lender(s) of any changes in your name, address or enrollment status if you have a loan and complete and submit exit loan information.
  • Know and comply with the College´s refund/repayment procedure.


Ineligible Programs/Enrollment for Financial Aid:
Not all programs/courses qualify for financial assistance.  Current programs ineligible for aid include: Cosmetology teacher, noncredit courses and audited courses.


Reduced Hours of Enrollment:
The amount of your aid eligibility is dependent upon the number of hours in which you are enrolled and billed. This is normally established on the ninth day of classes. If you add classes after the ninth day, your bill may be increased. If you drop classes after the ninth day, your bill will not be adjusted unless you totally withdraw and are subject to the pro-rata refund policy. There are some exceptions to these general rules for students who are enrolled in courses that only meet for part of the semester (such as eight week courses) that start after the ninth day of classes.

  • Federal Pell Grant: You must be enrolled and billed for at least 12 credit hours in a semester to receive the full amount of the Pell Grant awarded. If you are billed for fewer than 12 credit hours, the Pell Grant amount will reduce according to your hours of registration.
  • ISAC MAP Grant: You must be enrolled and billed for at least 15 credit hours in a semester to receive the full amount of the MAP Grant awarded. The grant will reduce by 1/15 for each credit hour below 15 hours of registration. For example, if you are registered for 16 credit hours when classes begin and receive all of your financial aid, including the full MAP Grant award, but drop a three hour course before the ninth day of the semester-long course or before the fifth day of a second eight week course, your "billed" hours change and your MAP Grant will reduce accordingly. This change may create a bill in the middle of the semester.
  • Federal Direct Loans: You must be enrolled and billed for six or more credit hours of enrollment to establish eligibility.

If there is a larger reduction of financial aid than reduction in tuition, you will be billed for the difference.


Important Information for Carl Sandburg Financial Aid Applicants:
Financial aid will be awarded only when the file is complete and the student is determined eligible.
Documents submitted become the property of the Financial Aid Office and will not be returned.
Release of Financial Assistance Information to Another Agency:
You must complete and sign a Financial Assistance Release Form before any information will be released to another agency, parent or spouse. On the release form, you must indicate for which semester(s) you want the financial assistance information released. You must allow 10 days for this processing. Information regarding fees and bookstore charges must be obtained from the Business Office. Your signature on a loan application authorizes Carl Sandburg College to release to the lending institution, subsequent holder, the guarantor, U.S. Department of Education or the agents, any requested information pertinent to your student loan(s).


Understanding Tax Credits:


American Opportunity Credit

Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), more parents and students qualify for a tax credit, the American opportunity credit, to pay for college expenses.

The American opportunity credit originally modified the existing Hope credit making the benefit available to a broader range of taxpayers, including many with higher incomes and those who owe no tax. It also adds required course materials to the list of qualifying expenses and allows the credit to be claimed for four post-secondary education years instead of two. Many of those eligible qualify for the maximum annual credit of $2,500 per student.

The full credit is available to individuals whose modified adjusted gross income is $80,000 or less, or $160,000 or less for married couples filing a joint return. The credit is phased out for taxpayers with incomes above these levels..

If you have questions about the American opportunity credit, these questions and answers might help. For more information, see American opportunity credit.


What Is It?
Tax credits are subtracted directly from the tax a family owes when filing their IRS 1040.   

The exact amount of the credit depends on a family's income, the amount of qualified tuition and fees paid, and the amount of certain scholarships and allowances subtracted from tuition. The total credit is also based on how many eligible dependents are in the family, rather than a maximum dollar amount for the family.


Who Qualifies?
The Taxpayer: An eligible taxpayer must file a federal tax return to claim the Hope credit. In addition, the taxpayer must claim an eligible student as a dependent on the tax return, unless the credit is for the taxpayer or the taxpayer's spouse. (This means the eligible taxpayer may also be the eligible student.)  


How Do You Get It?
To apply for the credit, taxpayers must report the amount of tuition and fees paid as well as the amount of certain scholarships, grants, and untaxed income used to pay the tuition and fees. Schools are required to send this information by January 31, in the form of a 1098-T statement to each taxpayer and to the IRS. Taxpayers use this information and their own records about tuition and fees paid when they fill out IRS form 8863 to claim the tax credit. The statement sent by the school will also include contact information for someone at the school who can answer questions about the information on the form. A taxpayer may wish to talk to a tax advisor for help in calculating the amount of the credit.