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Financial assistance is available for those who qualify. At Western, we encourage every student to apply for Federal Financial Aid FIRST. Federal financial aid is the best, most cost-efficient way to pay for college. Financial aid comes in several forms. Your aid package may include a grant, which is “free money” you don’t have to repay. It can also include work-study and federal student loans. Federal student loans offer the lowest interest rates and allow you to defer repayment. Your parents can also help with expenses by applying for a Federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students, or PLUS. This loan is another type of financial aid. Other types of financial aid may come from private sources.
The information in this section is based on the 2016-17 award year criteria. Should federal, state, or university regulations and procedures change, Student Financial Aid will administer programs according to updated regulations.
We are dedicated to meeting the needs of our diverse and talented campus community by providing excellent customer service in an accurate and timely manner through the use of advanced technology and a knowledgeable staff. To view the most current information about opportunities and application procedures, visit the Student Financial Aid website: www.wmich.edu/finaid. If you have questions, you may visit Bronco Express in the lower level of the Bernhard Center, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call (269) 387-6000.
Types of Financial Aid
These financial aid programs provide free assistance to eligible undergraduate students.
Federal Pell Grant - provides grants up to $5,920 per academic year to eligible undergraduate students who have not obtained a bachelor’s degree.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG) - a federal grant with limited funding and is not repaid. Provides grants to eligible, undergraduate students who have not obtained a bachelor’s degree. Funds are limited and the amount may vary.
Western Grant – based on financial need and provides grants up to $2,000 per academic year to eligible, undergraduate students.
Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) - provides federally funded grants of $3,724 per academic year ($16,000 total for undergraduate programs) to full-time juniors and seniors who are enrolled in TEACH-eligible programs. In exchange for receiving a TEACH grant, students must agree to serve as a full-time teacher in a high-need field in a public or private elementary or secondary school that serves low-income students. As a recipient of a TEACH grant, students must teach for at least four academic years within eight calendar years of completing the program of study for which they received a TEACH grant. If students fail to complete the service obligation, all funds received from TEACH grants will be converted to a federal direct unsubsidized loan. Students must then repay this loan to the U.S. Department of Education. Students will be charged interest from the date the grants were disbursed.
Medallion Scholarships - The full Medallion Scholarship can be used toward graduate studies at WMU. For more details, visit: http://wmich.edu/medallion.
New Student Scholarships - Awarded at the time of admission. All students are considered for these awards when they are admitted. Scholarships are based on full-time enrollment and are awarded for fall and spring semesters. For information and questions regarding these scholarships, please contact the Office of Admissions at (269) 387-2000, or visit http://wmich.edu/finaid/scholarships-grants/new-students.
Community College Competitive Transfer Scholarships - There are a variety of scholarship opportunities available to students who are transferring to WMU. For complete and up-to-date details, visit: http://wmich.edu/finaid/scholarships-grants/transfer.
WMU Scholarships for Currently Enrolled Students - For complete and up-to-date information about scholarship opportunities, please visit: http://wmich.edu/finaid/scholarships-grants.
College work-study is a need-based financial aid program funded by the Federal Government and Western Michigan University. It is awarded to eligible students who are enrolled at least half-time during the period of their employment. Unlike grants and scholarships, work-study awards are earned and paid through the payroll process in the form of a bi-weekly paycheck. Work-study awards and amounts are subject to eligibility requirements and fund availability. Early application is very important. For more information, visit the work study website: http://wmich.edu/finaid/workstudy.
These financial aid programs designed to assist students, allowing them to borrow at a lower interest rate with opportunities to defer principal payments and possibly interest payments until after enrollments ends. Federal interest rates are subject to change and were current as of the time of publication.
Federal Perkins Loan - allows undergraduate and graduate students with unmet need to borrow funds on an annual basis with an interest rate of 5 percent. The annual amount ranges up to $5,500 per academic year for undergraduate students. Interest and principal payments are deferred as long as a student is enrolled at least half-time. Repayment of the loan plus interest begins nine months after the student ceases to be enrolled a least half-time.
Federal Direct Subsidized (FDS) Loan - allows undergraduate students with financial need to borrow funds on an annual basis with a fixed interest rate of 3.76 percent. The annual amount is dependent upon cost of attendance, expected family contribution, grade level, and other resources received. Payments are deferred as long as a student is enrolled at least half-time. Borrowers pay an origination fee of 1.069 percent that is deducted from each disbursement. Repayment of the loan plus interest begins six months after the student ceases to be enrolled at least half-time.
Federal Direct Unsubsidized (FDU) Loan - allows undergraduate and graduate students to borrow funds on an annual basis with a fixed interest rate of 3.76 percent. The annual amount is dependent upon cost of attendance, grade level, and other resources received. Interest accrues while the student is enrolled in school and the student has the option of paying the interest payments or letting the interest payments be added to the loan amount. Loan principal payments are deferred as long as a student is enrolled at least half-time. Borrowers pay an origination fee of 1.069 percent that is deducted from each disbursement. Repayment of the loan plus interest begins six months after the student ceases to be enrolled at least half-time.
Federal Direct Parent Loan (PLUS) - not based on need and allows parents of dependent students to borrow funds on an annual basis with a fixed interest rate of 6.31 percent. The annual amount is dependent upon cost of attendance and other resources received. Repayment of interest and principal payments are due within 60 days of the last disbursement of the loan. Deferment options are available by contacting the Direct Loan servicer. Borrowers pay an origination fee of 4.276 percent that is deducted from each disbursement. Borrowers must pass a credit check. Dependent students whose parents have been denied a PLUS loan due to an adverse credit history may borrow additional FDU loan funds.
Private Alternative Loans - available through a variety of private loan programs. These loans supplement financial aid. Each program will vary. For more information about how to choose a private loan lender, see our website: http://wmich.edu/finaid/loans/private.
Applying for Financial Aid
To receive any federal aid, most state aid, and WMU need-based grants, you will need to complete the Free Application of Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) which can be found online at fafsa.ed.gov. Remember, you MUST reapply each year to receive aid. Some aid programs have limited funding, so be sure to apply early. You can apply for the upcoming year beginning October 1. The FAFSA-filing deadline to qualify for Michigan state aid is March 1. When completing FAFSA, please enter school code 002330 when prompted to make sure we receive your information. Some scholarships require FAFSA to be complete by February 15. Other types of aid are awarded until funds are exhausted, so apply as early as possible. Returning students should file a renewal FAFSA each year as well.
The FAFSA gathers income, asset and other information from the parents and students. This information is used to establish the student’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The EFC determines a student’s need-based eligibility versus the cost of attendance (COA). The COA is based on tuition, fees, books, supplies, housing, food, transportation and personal expenses. Financial aid may be awarded up to the cost of attendance. The amount of need-based aid may be affected by other financial aid resources. The cost of attendance, net price calculator and a personal budget worksheet can be found on our website at http://wmich.edu/finaid/costs.
Along with the FAFSA, other documents and processes may be required before an award notice or payment is processed. Notification of these additional requirements will be emailed to the students through their WMU email address. Students may also check on the status of their financial aid online through GoWMU at any time.
Student Financial Aid automatically considers applicants for all types of federal, state, and institutional grants, work-study, and loans. Any scholarships, stipends, or other resources will be assessed first before awarding need-based financial aid. Additional eligibility factors will be considered in determining the type and amount of aid in the award package.
In general the eligibility factors that are reviewed are citizenship, residency, class and grade level, enrollment hours, semesters of enrollment, degree status, default status, academic merit and satisfactory academic standing.
Most financial aid programs require a minimum enrollment equivalent of half time. Awards are initially based on full time enrollment; however, payments to the student’s account will be based on actual enrollment.
Any additional resources, changes to funding or regulations may affect student’s financial aid awards. If the information received affects student’s financial aid awards, a revised award letter will be emailed to the student’s WMU email address.
Disbursement of financial aid payments to a student’s WMU account begin as early as 10 days before the beginning of the semester, if all requirements have been met. Payments are disbursed based upon program eligibility requirements and enrollment. Payments will be applied to tuition, fees, housing, food and other authorized charges. Any excess funds remaining will be refunded to students (or parents if requested for the Parent PLUS loan) via direct deposit or a mailed check. For complete details on the refund policy and procedures, please visit Accounting Services online: http://wmich.edu/finaid/costs/payments.
In accordance with federal and state regulations, Student Financial Aid must monitor academic progress toward graduation. Standards of satisfactory academic progress are applied to all students who wish to establish or maintain financial aid eligibility at Western Michigan University, regardless of whether or not they have received financial aid funds in the past. SAP is monitored term by term. Students must:
- Complete at least 67 percent of attempted hours at WMU.
- Maintain a minimum 2.00 cumulative grade point average by the end of the second academic year as an undergraduate.
- Complete all degree requirements (this includes credit hours transferred to WMU) within 150% of the minimum numbers of credits to graduate (i.e. 122 minimum x 150% = 183 credits).
The standards are established to encourage students to progress toward their educational objective and complete their degree within a reasonable time frame and with the least amount of loan debt. If the standards are not met, students are not eligible for most types of financial aid. Students who lose financial aid eligibility and who have experienced unusual circumstances may submit a written appeal with the documentation to Student Financial Aid to be considered by an appeal committee.
Withdrawing or Dropping from Courses
Financial aid recipients considering a partial or complete withdrawal should discuss their plans with financial aid counselor first. Make an appointment by calling Bronco Express, (269) 387-6000.
Financial aid recipients who drop some classes during the drop/add period (or indicate having never attended some classes) may lose some or all financial aid eligibility. Financial aid recipients who drop all classes prior to the start of the semester (or having never attended any classes) are no longer eligible for financial aid for that semester. All scholarship, grant and loan payments and refunds of financial aid must be returned to Western Michigan University.
A federal financial aid recipient who completely withdraws from all classes after the beginning of the semester will have the amount of federal aid earned up to that point determined by a specific formula. If more federal aid was received than earned, the excess must be returned. The amount of federal aid earned is determined on a pro-rata basis. For example, if 30 percent of the semester is completed, 30 percent of the federal aid is earned. Once a student has completed more than 60 percent of the semester, all of the federal aid is earned.
Students must be admitted to a degree-seeking program or an eligible certificate program to receive most types of financial aid. Students who are admitted to WMU in a non-degree program are not eligible for federal or state financial aid programs but may be eligible for other types of financial aid such as alternative loans.
A student who wants financial aid must meet certain eligibility requirements. The student must be a regular admitted, degree-seeking student enrolled in courses at WMU. Once the student has completed degree requirements, he is no longer eligible for aid. Guest students are not eligible. Certificate programs are not eligible, except for the Specialty Program in Alcohol and Drug Abuse. Students who are completing hours for professional teacher certification are eligible for undergraduate loans.
International students are not eligible for federal or state aid. There may be scholarships or grants available through WMU departments. International students may also be eligible for an alternative loan if a U.S. citizen that is credit-worthy is willing to co-sign the loan.
As a consumer, students have the right to certain disclosures and information per federal regulations. Students may view a list of rights and responsibilities, as well as other consumer disclosures related to financial aid on our website, http://wmich.edu/finaid/resources/consumerinfo. A request for printed information may be submitted in writing to:
WMU Student Financial Aid
1903 W. Michigan Avenue
Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5337