Financial aid census date and adding/dropping courses

Your financial aid award is prepared based on anticipated full-time enrollment. If your actual attendance is less than that (e.g. half-time), your awards will be adjusted accordingly. In addition, Sandburg adjusts awards each semester, as required, based on the student’s enrollment as of the “Census Date” for that semester. Specifically, Pell Grant payments will be based on the number of credit hours for which a student is enrolled as of the Census Date for that semester.

  • The Census Date for Fall 2023 is August 29, 2023.
  • The Census Date for Spring 2024 is January 24, 2024.
  • The Census Date for Summer 2024 is June 16, 2023.

To ensure receipt of the maximum Pell Grant eligible to receive as well as avoid having to pay back Pell Grant funds already posted to accounts, you're strongly encouraged to finalize your course schedule no later than the Census Date.

  • Dropping before the Census Date: The Pell Grant payment made at the beginning of the semester is based on your enrollment as of the Census Date. If you drop any classes between the beginning of the semester and the Census Date, the financial aid will be recalculated.
  • You're paid upfront for courses that begin throughout the term: Financial Aid awards are adjusted and money must be repaid if you fail to start a course that begins after the Financial Aid Census Date.
  • Adding classes after the Census Date: If you add a class after the Census Date for the semester, your Pell Grant will not be increased. Classes added after the Census Date will not be eligible to be counted for Pell Grant eligibility purposes, although they may still be counted for Federal Direct Loan and Illinois Monetary Award eligibility purposes.
  • You initially enroll for the semester after the Census Date for the semester: The Census Date will be the date of your initial enrollment.