Once you’ve finished the application and award process for financial aid at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), you will need to know how to receive your awards and apply them to your tuition at the school. Below you will find helpful information on how that process works.

Financial aid is disbursed in two ways, depending on the type of aid you receive. It can either be credited to your student account, or sent directly to you. See the table below to find out which programs fall into each category.

Applied to your student accountMade directly to you
  • Federal Title IV Financial Aid, excluding work-study earnings
  • SAIC need-based grants and merit scholarships
  • Outside scholarships
  • State assistance
  • Loans disbursed electronically
  • Loan checks made co-payable to the student and SAIC
  • Work-Study paychecks
  • Excess aid in your student account—if aid exceeds your amount due, you may receive a refund
  • Excess aid from anticipated aid—if your student account indicates aid has been processed but not disbursed, you may be eligible for an advance

Federal Title IV Financial Aid Payments

Federal Title IV financial aid, excluding federal Work-Study, is applied directly to your tuition and fees account. Your student account contains charges for tuition, allowable fees, health insurance, laptop computer (if applicable), and room and board. It may also include charges such as library fines, room damage charges, and health service fees.

You may authorize SAIC to use your Title IV aid to pay for your laptop computer if you meet the following two conditions:

Authorization forms are available in the Student Financial Services office at:

Sullivan Center
36 S. Wabash Ave., suite 1200
Chicago IL, 60603

Federal Work-Study Payments

Federal Work-Study funds are not automatically credited towards a student's account. They are issued directly to the student employee. We encourage students to have their payroll checks direct-deposited into their bank account. Funds are often available to the student a day earlier when paid through the Direct Deposit option instead of being issued a paper check. Direct deposit information and forms are available on the SAIC Student Payroll webpage.

Scholarship Checks

You are required to forward scholarship checks to the Student Financial Services office so that funds can be applied to your student account.

Student Loans

Loans are disbursed directly to your student account. Often students plan to use loan funds for living expenses. If you have a credit balance of actual funds in your student account (not a credit balance due to anticipated aid), you may receive a refund.

Refund of credit balances are processed on a regular basis each week and do not need to be requested. Students should sign up for eRefunds by accessing CASHNet through SAIC Self-Service. All students are notified of the availability of their funds by email notification to their SAIC email account.