Financial Aid

Financial aid is money to help pay for college or career school. Grants, work-study, loans, and scholarships help make college or career school affordable.

Financial Aid Options

Federal Loan/Grant Programs
Monetary Award Program (MAP)
External Scholarships
Work Study


A grant is a form of financial aid that doesn’t have to be repaid (unless, for example, you withdraw from school and owe a refund, or you receive a TEACH Grant and don’t complete your service obligation). A variety of federal grants are available, including:

Pell Grants,
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG),
Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grants, and
Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants.

Pell Grant

Federal Pell Grants usually are awarded only to undergraduate students who display exceptional financial need and have not earned a bachelor's, graduate, or professional degree. (In some cases, however, a student enrolled in a postbaccalaureate teacher certification program might receive a Federal Pell Grant.) Additionally, you may be eligible to receive a Federal Pell Grant if you are confined or incarcerated and enrolled in an approved Prison Education Program, or are subject to an involuntary civil commitment upon completion of a period of incarceration for a forcible or nonforcible sexual offense.

How to Apply

You should start by submitting a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form. Schools use the information on the FAFSA® form to determine your eligibility for a Pell Grant, and if so, how much you’re eligible to receive. You will have to fill out the FAFSA form every year you’re in school to stay eligible for federal student aid, including Pell Grant awards. 

Filling Out the FAFSA® Form

Filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form can be a straightforward and easy process.

Creating a Account

Every contributor—anyone (you, your spouse, a biological or adoptive parent, or your parent's spouse) who's required to provide information on the FAFSA form—needs a account before accessing and completing their section of the online form. We strongly recommend you and your contributor(s) create accounts before starting your FAFSA form. When you create your account, be careful to enter your name and Social Security number (SSN) exactly as they appear on your Social Security card. Contributors can access their account by using their FSA ID (account username and password).

Note: Contributors without an SSN can create a account to fill out their portion of your FAFSA form online.

To start the online FAFSA form, select “Start New Form.” You’ll be taken to the “Log In” page to enter your account username and password. After logging in, you’ll be given the option to select your applicable role to fill out the FAFSA form: “Student” or “Parent.” You (the student) should select “Student.” If a parent wants to start their dependent child’s FAFSA form, they should select the “Parent” option.

The FAFSA form asks a series of questions that determine whether you are a dependent or independent student for purposes of applying for federal student aid. If you are a dependent student, you must report parent information, as well as your own information, on your application.

If you are married (and not separated) and filed taxes jointly with your spouse, then you’ll report your spouse’s information on the 2024–25 FAFSA form, but they will not be identified as a contributor. But if you’re married (and not separated) and didn’t file taxes jointly with your current spouse, your spouse will be considered a contributor on your 2024–25 FAFSA form.

Gathering the Documents Needed

You might need the following information or documents as you fill out the FAFSA form:

  • Your parents’ SSNs if they have SSNs and you're a dependent student
  • Tax returns
  • Records of child support received
  • Current balances of cash, savings, and checking accounts
  • Net worth of investments, businesses, and farms

Keep these records! You may need them again. Do not mail these supporting records to us.

Automatically Transferring Your Tax Information

The Financial Aid Direct Data Exchange will transfer contributors' federal tax information from the IRS directly into your FAFSA form.

All contributors must provide consent and approval to

  • disclose their personally identifiable information provided on the FAFSA form to the IRS for matching purposes;
  • obtain their federal tax information from the IRS via direct data exchange;
  • allow the U.S. Department of Education (ED) to use their federal tax information to determine the student's eligibility and amount of federal student aid;
  • allow ED to share their federal tax information with colleges, career/trade schools, and state higher education agencies for use in awarding and administering financial aid; and
  • allow ED to reuse their federal tax information on another FAFSA applicant's form (e.g., if a parent has multiple dependent students or a parent's own FAFSA form).

NOTE: Even if contributors don't have an SSN, didn't file taxes, or filed taxes outside of the U.S., they will still need to provide consent and approval.

IMPORTANT: If a required contributor doesn't provide consent and approval to have their federal tax information transferred into the FAFSA form, you (the student) will not be eligible for federal student aid—even if the contributor manually enters tax information into the FAFSA form.

Award Amounts

Award amounts can change yearly.

2023–24 Award Year

The maximum Federal Pell Grant award is $7,395 for the 2023–24 award year (July 1, 2023, to June 30, 2024).

2024–25 Award Year

The maximum Federal Pell Grant award is $7,395 for the 2024–25 award year (July 1, 2024, to June 30, 2025).

The amount you get, though, will depend on

  • your Expected Family Contribution (2023-24 FAFSA form) or your Student Aid Index (2024-25 FAFSA form),
  • the cost of attendance (determined by your school for your specific program),
  • your status as a full-time or part-time student, and
  • your plans to attend school for a full academic year or less.

In certain situations, an eligible student can receive up to 150 percent of his or her scheduled Pell Grant award for an award year.

For example, if you are eligible for a $2,000 Pell Grant for the award year and are enrolled full-time for both the fall term and spring term, you’ll likely receive $1,000 in the fall and $1,000 in the spring. However, under certain circumstances, you may be eligible to receive up to an additional $1,000 for attendance in an additional term within that award year (resulting in your receiving 150% of your original award). You might hear this situation being referred to as “year-round Pell.” For details, contact your school’s financial aid office.

Please note that you can receive the Federal Pell Grant for no more than 12 terms full-time terms or the equivalent (roughly six years). You’ll receive a notice if you’re getting close to your limit. If you have any questions, contact your financial aid office.

Provide Required Verification

You might see a note on your FAFSA Submission Summary saying you’ve been selected for verification; or your school might contact you to inform you that you’ve been selected. Verification is the process your school uses to confirm that the data reported on your FAFSA form is accurate. If you’re selected for verification, your school will request additional documentation that supports the information you reported.

Don’t assume you’re being accused of doing anything wrong. Some people are selected for verification at random; and some schools verify all students' FAFSA forms. All you need to do is provide the documentation your school asks for—and be sure to do so by the school’s deadline, or you won’t be able to get federal student aid.

In most cases, you won't have to verify income and tax information. However, if you are selected for verification, the school may ask you to submit a tax transcript or other documentation to confirm the information you reported.

Federal FSEOG Grant

A limited number of FSEOG grants may be available to PELL Grant recipients who demonstrate the greatest financial need. The maximum award is $500 per semester.

Each participating school receives a certain amount of FSEOG funds each year from the U.S. Department of Education’s office of Federal Student Aid. Once the full amount of the school’s FSEOG funds has been awarded to students, no more FSEOG awards can be made for that year. This system works differently from the Federal Pell Grant Program, which provides funds to every eligible student.

Illinois Monetary Award Program (MAP)

Only Illinois residents without prior baccalaureate degree are eligible. A student must take a minimum of 3 credits and demonstrate financial need, as determined by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission. Parents of dependent students must be residents of Illinois. Independent students must presently live in Illinois and must have lived in Illinois for the 12 continuous months prior to September 1 of the school year for which the student is applying for aid. 

The maximum MAP Grant available:

  • Fall 2024 semester is $4,200

Hebrew Theological College Work-Study (HTCWS)

Hebrew Theological College may offer a limited number of work-study jobs to allow the student to earn money to apply toward tuition and living expenses. The student must be attending school at least half-time. These job opportunities are based on financial need.

Extenuating Circumstances

If you have extenuating circumstances, please contact the Financial Aid office. You will be advised how to proceed.  

Federal Loan Programs

A loan is money you borrow and must pay back with interest. If you apply for financial aid, you may be offered loans as part of your school’s financial aid offer. When you receive a student loan, you are borrowing money to attend a college or career school. You must repay the loan as well as interest that accrues. It is important to understand your repayment options so you can successfully repay your loan.

If you need to borrow money to pay for college or career school, start with federal loans.

Federal student loans are
Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans and
Direct PLUS Loans (for graduate and professional students).

Federal parent loans are
Direct PLUS Loans (for parents). Parents are fully responsible for paying these loans, even though they are taken out to benefit students.

What are the differences between federal and private student loans?

Federal student loans are made by the government, with terms and conditions that are set by law, and include many benefits (such as fixed interest rates and income-driven repayment plans) not typically offered with private loans.

In contrast, private loans are made by private organizations such banks, credit unions, and state-based or state-affiliated organizations, and have terms and conditions that are set by the lender. Private student loans are generally more expensive than federal student loans.

Direct Subsidized and Direct Unsubsidized Loans

Direct Subsidized Loans are available to undergraduate students with financial need.
The U.S. Department of Education pays the interest on a Direct Subsidized Loan
while you’re in school at least half-time,
for the first six months after you leave school (referred to as a grace period*), and
during a period of deferment (a postponement of loan payments).

Direct Unsubsidized Loans are available to undergraduate and graduate students; there is no requirement to demonstrate financial need.

How do I get a federal student loan?

To get a federal loan, you must first complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form.
If you a first time borrower, you will be required to complete Master Promissory Note (MPN), and Entrance Counseling.
Entrance counseling ensures you understand the terms and conditions of your loan and your rights and responsibilities. You'll learn what a loan is, how interest works, your options for repayment, and how to avoid delinquency and default.
The Master Promissory Note (MPN) is a legal document in which you promise to repay your loan(s) and any accrued interest and fees to the U.S. Department of Education. It also explains the terms and conditions of your loan(s).
You may receive more than one loan under an MPN over a period of up to 10 years to pay for your or your child’s educational costs, as long as the school is authorized to use the MPN in this way and chooses to do so.
You are responsible for paying the interest on a Direct Unsubsidized Loan during all periods.

Good to know

During periods of time when you are not required to make payments—such as while you are in school, in a deferment, or in a forbearance—your interest will accrue (accumulate) and it will in certain instances be capitalized (which means that your interest will be added to the principal amount of your loan). Whether your unpaid interest capitalizes or not, you are still responsible for paying the interest that accrues. You can always choose to pay the interest that accrues even when you are not required to make a payment.

Waiver to Speak to Third Party Regarding Financial Aid

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 establishes the rights of students with regard to educational records. The act makes provision for inspection and review of educational records by students and requires, in most instances, prior consent from the student for disclosure of such records to third parties. The consent must be in writing, signed and dated by the student, and include the names of the parties to whom such records can be released. The Act applies to all persons formerly and currently enrolled at an educational institution. Access to educational records -not copies- does not give permission to make changes to the student’s record.

Download the FERPA records release waiver

Supplemental Scholarship Forms

Only applicable to students on campus at HTC's Beis Midrash and Blitstein Institute.  All students that are submitting a discretionary grant application must have already submitted a FAFSA in order to be considered. Please note: HTC does not offer additional scholarships for the Israel Experience Program. For additional scholarships, please speak with the Israeli Yeshiva or Seminary that you are attending.

Application for Scholarship Assistance (Dependent)

Yeshiva Honors Program

Students admitted into the Yeshiva Honors Program will receive a very generous academic scholarship for the Fall and Spring semesters.


For questions, please contact Ira Clair in the financial aid office at (224) 406-8924 or email