Financial Aid

Illinois Student Assistance Commission’s  College Q & A Texting Initiative 
Some of the benefits of this are…
  • the student will be one of first people to know when the MAP grant will be suspended.
  • they will be reminded to update their FAFSA’s in October
  • if they have a question about the college-going process, they can shoot a quick text the them and they will answer their question promtly.
All the student would do is text his/her name to 309-306-7066.   They will not be asked to do anything else.


FAFSA Timeline is Changing

  • FAFSA– use tax information from two years prior
    • Increase accuracy of information reported by students & parents
    • More time for students to understand their financial aid options
School Year Attending College When Student can Submit a FAFSA Which Year’s Tax Information is Required
July 1, 2015 – June 30, 2016 January 1, 2015 2014
July 1, 2016 – June 30, 2017 January 1, 2016 2015 (Class of 2016)
July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2018 October 1, 2016 2015 (Class of 2017)

  • Important to Note:
    • FAFSA Information and Completion Nights will be held in October at PCHS.
    • Keep your 2015 tax information!!!
    • For more information go to StudentAid.Ed.Gov



  • $83 billion – how much money the US Department of Education will distribute in student aid this year
  • $5,800 – the average amount of a student loan
  • $4,000 – the average amount of a student grant
  • $154 – the average amount that student receive from mom and dad per month

Financial aid could make the difference in your life. It may mean being able to continue your education when you otherwise would not be able. Or it could mean being able to attend the school of your choice, despite higher tuition costs.

Financial aid covers the educational costs that you can’t pay for. Most finanical aid is awarded to families on teh basis of eligibility or need. Need is determined by the school you attend based on information you provide about you and your family’s ability to pay for your educational costs and formulas set by law. That information will need to be presented to the federal government through completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

In general, there are 4 types of financial aid -

1. Scholarships are considered gift aid and do not have to be repaid. Scholarships may be based on merit or special interests and / or talents.

The next 3 types of financial aid require completion of the FAFSA -

2. Grants are also gift aid that are given to students judged to have financial need.

3. Loans – Government sponsored student loans are based on eligibility requirements and must be repaid.

4. Work Study – Students with financial need work to help pay for education expenses.

Pekin Community High School will be offering 2 programs that could benefit you and your parents when dealing with the financial aid process. Your parents will receive an invitation through the mail – please check the Guidance Office Important Dates Webpage for the official dates for these meetings.

Because most financial aid is based on need, it is necessary to have an objective way to determine how much a family can afford to pay. The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is the federal form that’s used to determine this amount. The FAFSA asks for information on income, assets, etc. This information is then applied to a formula, adn teh amount a family should be able to afford (their Estimated Family Contribution or EFC) is electronically calculated. You need to get a PIN and begin working on the FAFSA as soon after January 1 as possible (you need to complete your tax returns first). Financial aid is generally awarded on a “first come, first serve” basis, so get your FAFSA in early. One to four weeks after you’ve submitted your FAFSA, you will receive a copy of your Student Aid Report (SAR). You will get a SAR, faster if your file electronically. Colleges will use the information from your SAR to determine your child’s eligibility for financial aid.

Financial Aid Links

These sites can lead you to specific scholarships and financial aid packages that you might not even know existed!