Understanding financial aid 

CPS hosts financial aid workshops throughout the district to help parents, students, find money for college.

February 02, 2009

For high school seniors getting ready to graduate in June, the time to start thinking about how to pay for college is now. February is Financial Aid Awareness Month.


Financial aid is the funds provided by private organizations, federal and state government and institutions that are made available to students to help pay for college and other educational programs. Parents and students must fill out the free application for federal student aid (FAFSA) to be considered for financial aid.


This February, more than 100 financial aid workshops will be open to all seniors and their parents or guardians across the district. Every CPS high school will hold at least one workshop. CPS recommends that all seniors and their parents or guardians participate in a financial aid workshop to find out if they are eligible to receive college funding. 


Here is what you should bring to one of our workshops:

  • You and your child’s social security numbers.
  • 2008 income and asset information (from January 1, 2008 – December 31, 2008). A completed 2008 tax document (1040EZ, 1040A, or 1040) will provide this information.
  • Completed 2008 FAFSA worksheet.


By February 28, CPS hopes that all graduating seniors will have completed the FAFSA form. Students could be eligible for as much as $14,699 in free grants and scholarships for college.


In addition to the 100 CPS FAFSA completion events and locations across the district, the City Colleges of Chicago will also open their financial aid offices to CPS parents and students from February 17- 27.


Learn more about College and Career Preparation or contact your high school for more information.