To apply for financial aid at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, most commonly known as the FAFSA at Consult the 2016–17 Financial Aid Instructions [PDF] for complete instructions.

Expected Family Contribution

The FAFSA collects information about the student (and parents for dependent students) regarding income, number of family members, number of family members in college, and plans for college and determines a level of financial need for the student. SAIC uses the resulting Expected Family Contribution (EFC) to determine the amount of financial assistance to be provided to the student for their education.

Your FSA ID - Your and Your Parent's (if applicable) Digitial Signature

Completing the FAFSA is easy and convenient. You (and your parents if applicable) will need an FSA ID to sign your FAFSA. Your FSA ID is a digital signature used for signing the FAFSA each year, loan applications, and other financial aid documents. You can also use it to access your financial history and information at the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS), and

Priority Deadline: February 1 for undergraduate Illinois Residents, March 1 for All Others

SAIC's suggested priority deadline is February 1 for Undergraduate Illinois Residents and March 1 for all others. Some types of assistance are limited in funding, so the earlier you apply, the better. SAIC begins issuing financial aid awards for eligible students in March each year. In order to meet these very important deadlines, you may need to use estimated tax information and then correct your FAFSA after you have completed your federal income tax filing.Students and families are STRONGLY encouraged to use the IRS Data Retrieval process available within the FAFSA application to update tax information. Federal tax information is normally available two to four weeks after you have filed, depending on the time of year.

Online FAFSA Submission and the IRS Data Retrieval Tool

When completing the FAFSA, students will need to include SAIC's school code (001753). The previous year's federal tax information for both the student and parents (if applicable) should be available if possible. Otherwise use estimates and update the FAFSA once taxes are filed. If federal taxes have already been filed at the time of completing the FAFSA, student and parents should use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool in the FAFSA to transfer their tax figures over from the IRS database. Be sure to use the EXACT address (including abbreviations) as it appears on the federal tax return in order for this to work. This functionality is available 2–3 weeks after federal taxes have been electronically filed, and 4–6 weeks after those that have been mailed to the IRS.

Watch this quick video about using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool:

Students and families may want to complete the FAFSA On The Web (FOTW) worksheet before inputting the information online. Once the FAFSA is submitted online, as long as the school code was included, SAIC will receive an electronic copy from the federal government. After completing the FAFSA and receiving confirmation it has been processed from the federal government, students and families must review and submit corrections at within five days to ensure accurate financial aid estimates.

After successful completion of the FAFSA, all degree-seeking students will be sent an official Award Letter packet outlining financial aid options and the next steps required in the process. Typically, the award is based on full-time enrollment/standard enrollment for the program; any deviation from that condition will, most likely, result in a change in the financial aid award. Most aid sources require the student to be enrolled at least half-time. See for additional details.

Summer and Winter Terms

Students desiring financial aid estimates (including merit scholarships) for summer and winter terms must complete an SAIC Institutional Financial Aid application for the term.

On Campus Classes Only
If you are only planning on enrolling in classes on-campus, you will need to submit an SAIC Institutional Financial Aid application for on-campus classes only. It is available online at in PDF format or may be picked up in person at the Student Financial Services office.

Study Trip Classes (with or without on campus classes)
If you are planning on enrolling for a winter or summer study trip, you will need to complete the online Study Trip Pre-Registration application by logging into SAIC Self-Service and clicking on the "Study Abroad" link in the Academics section of the Student Center. This application will allow you to pick up to 3 study trips for financial aid estimates as well request a financial aid estimate for additional on-campus classes (summer only). You should visit the SAIC Study Abroad/Off-Campus webpage for additional details on registration and study trip deposit information.