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The Student Financial Aid Office is here to assist students by providing financial
resource information and access to funding. We are dedicated to meeting the
needs of a diverse and talented campus community by providing excellent customer
service, in an accurate and timely manner, through the use of advanced technology
and knowledgeable staff.
Four types of financial aid programs are available for students: scholarships, grants, employment opportunities and loans. The federal and state governments, colleges and universities, private associations, companies, and private citizens are sources of financial assistance
The information in this section is based upon the 2007-2008 award year criteria
at the time of this editing. Should federal, state, or university regulations
and procedures change for the subsequent award years, the Financial Aid Office
will be responsible for administering these programs according to updated descriptions
To learn the most current information about opportunities and application
procedures, visit the Student Financial Aid Office website at www.wmich.edu/finaid.
If you have questions you can visit Bronco Express in the Bernhard Center, email:
email@example.com or call (269)
FastWeb is a free computerized scholarship search found on the Internet. FastWeb can be accessed at www.fastweb.com. This interactive scholarship search analyzes a student’s major, grade point average, race, handicap, gender, hobbies, work experience, religion, residence, nationality, veteran status, and athletic ability to locate scholarships for which the student may apply.
The Michigan Higher Education Assistance and Student Loan Authority offers a free comprehensive search on their website. Michigan residents receive national and Michigan-specific scholarship information. Michigan students will receive information about any Michigan-specific scholarships listed in the database that matches the student’s profile. MI-SEARCH can be accessed at www.MI-StudentAid.org.
WMU Scholarship Search
The WMU Scholarship Search is intended for students who plan to attend or currently attend Western Michigan University. Scholarships described are opportunities within WMU departments and federal and state grants. Please visit our website at www.wmich.edu/finaid for a complete listing of these scholarships.
Applying for Financial Aid
To determine eligibility for all need-based and some non-need-based financial
aid programs, students must file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid
(FAFSA). The FAFSA is available online at www.fafsa.ed.gov,
from high schools, from WMU’s Bronco Express, and from other higher education
institutions. Returning applicants will receive a Renewal FAFSA PIN notification
via email or mailed to their home addresses. The FAFSA may be completed as soon
as January 1 of the award year for which they are planning to attend WMU..
The FAFSA gathers information regarding the parents’ and students’ income,
assets, and other related information to determine the expected family contribution
(EFC). The EFC is used to determine the amount of need-based eligibility for
the student based on the cost of attendance (COA). The COA is based on an estimate
of tuition, fees, books, supplies, housing, food, transportation, and personal
expenses. The amount of need-based aid may also be affected by other financial
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.
Program related documents may include electronic loan promissory notes. Entrance
counseling is also required for first time loan borrowers at WMU.
The Financial Aid Office automatically considers students for all types of
federal, state, and institutional grants, employment, 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 programs in the award package.
In general the eligibility factors that are reviewed are citizenship, residency,
class level, grade level, enrollment hours, semesters of enrollment, degree
status, default status, and satisfactory academic standing.
Most financial aid programs require a minimum enrollment equivalent to half
time status to be eligible for payment. Awards are 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 additional information received affects student’s
financial aid awards, a revised award letter will be emailed through the student’s
WMU email address.
Financial aid payments are made to a student’s WMU account as early as 10
days before the beginning of the term. Payments are disbursed each term based
upon the program eligibility requirements and minimum enrollment requirements.
Payments will be applied to a student’s 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 check
will be created and mailed.
In accordance with federal and state regulations, the Financial Aid Office
must monitor academic progress towards graduation. Standards of satisfactory
academic progress are applied to all students who wish to establish or maintain
financial aid eligibility at WMU, regardless of whether or not they have received
financial aid funds in the past. Effective beginning with the Fall 2006 semester,
undergraduate students must:
- Complete at least 67% of attempted hours at WMU.
- Maintain a cumulative grade point average based on the University’s Academic
Standards for degree intent.
- Maximum total hours attempted to include hours attempted at Western along
with any transfer credit hours based on degree intent. For undergraduates,
no more than 183 hours total.
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 the Student
Financial Aid Office to be considered by an appeal committee.
Withdrawal from Courses and Impact on Financial Aid
Financial aid recipients considering a partial or complete withdrawal should
discuss withdrawal plans with a Financial Services Specialist in Student Financial
Aid before withdrawal.
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 Federal aid must be returned. The amount of Federal
aid earned is determined on a pro-rata basis. That is, if 30% of the semester
is completed, 30% of the Federal aid received is earned. Once having completed
more than 60% of the semester all of the Federal aid is earned.
Receipt of Assistantship/Fellowship
An assistantship, associateship, or fellowship awarded by a department or college
will not be indicated on the financial aid award letter until the financial
aid office has been notified of the award. If a student has been awarded Federal
loans, the loans may be reduced when the assistantship, associateship, or fellowship
(or any other awards) are added to the award file. even if the loans have been
disbursed, they may be reduced at the time the financial aid office receives
notification of the receipt of additional assistance.
Students need to be admitted to a degree-seeking program to be eligible for 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
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. There are also scholarship search engines for
international students such as www.edupass.org
or www.supercollege.com online.
Career and Student Employment Services
Western Michigan University’s Career and Student employment Services maintains
a list of part-time jobs both on and off campus; work-study employment; temporary
employment; seasonal/summer jobs; and internship.pre-professional/cooperative
education employment opportunities. For more infomation, visit the office website
Programs of Assistance Available from Sources other than WMU
For information about financial opportunities available through programs from courses other than WMU, visit the website: www.finaid.org
Types of Financial Aid
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Grants/Need Based Scholarships
Financial aid programs funded by the Federal and state government to provide free assistance to exceptionally needy undergraduate students.
Federal Pell Grant provides grants up to $4,050 per academic year to eligible undergraduate students who have not obtained a bachelor’s degree
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant provides grants up to $1,800 per academic year to eligible, undergraduate students who have not obtained a bachelor’s degree.
Michigan Educational Opportunity Grant provides grants up to $1,000 per academic year to eligible, undergraduate students who are Michigan residents and who have not obtained a bachelor’s degree
Michigan Adult Part Time Grant provides grants up to $600 per academic year to eligible, undergraduate students who are Michigan residents, self-supporting, enrolled part-time and have not obtained a bachelor’s degree. Recipients are limited to two years of eligibility.
Michigan Competitive Scholarship is based on financial need and a student’s composite ACT score. The scholarship provides up to $1,300 per academic year to eligible, undergraduate students who are Michigan residents and have not obtained a bachelor’s degree. Recipients are limited to ten semesters of eligibility that must be used within ten years of their high school graduation.
Financial aid programs funded by the Federal and state government to assist needy students through employment opportunities:
Federal College Work Study provides employment opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students. Students who work from ten to twenty hours average a week while attending school may earn up to $3,000 per academic year. Western’s Student Employment Referral Service office assists students who have been awarded employment in selecting jobs either on or off-campus (including community service opportunities).
Michigan College Work Study provides employment opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students who are Michigan residents. Students who work from ten to twenty hours average a week while attending school and may earn up to $3,000 per academic year. Western’s Student Employment Referral Service office assists students who have been awarded employment in selecting jobs either on or off-campus (including community service opportunities).
Financial aid programs designed to assist students through borrowing at a lower interest rate with opportunities to defer principal payments and possibly interest payments until after enrollments ends:
Federal Perkins Loan allows needy undergraduate and graduate students to borrow funds on an annual basis with an interest rate of 5.0 percent. The annual amount ranges up to $4,000 per academic year for undergraduate students and $6,000 per year for graduate 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 and graduate students with financial need to borrow funds on an annual basis with a variable interest rate capped at 8.25 percent. The annual amount is dependent upon cost of attendance, EFC, grade level, and other resources received. Interest and principal payments are deferred as long as a student is enrolled at least half-time. Borrowers pay a 3 percent origination fee (less a 1.5% interest rebate) 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 is a program not based on need and allows undergraduate and graduate students to borrow funds on an annual basis with a variable interest rate capped at 8.25 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 a 3 percent origination fee (less a 1.5% interest rebate) 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) is a program not based on need and allows parents of dependent students to borrow funds on an annual basis with a variable interest rate capped at 9.0 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. Borrowers pay a 4 percent origination fee (less a 1.5% interest rebate) that is deducted from each disbursement. Borrowers must have no adverse credit history. Dependent students whose parents have been denied a PLUS loan due to an adverse credit history may borrow FDU loan funds.
Other Alternative Loans Banks and private organizations have set up a variety of alternative loan programs. These programs require payment while the student is in school, the interest rates are at a higher rate than the federal programs, and they offer different repayment options. Contact Student Financial Aid for a listing of known alternative loan programs.
Other Financial Opportunities
Michigan Merit Award is a $1,250 scholarship award for high school seniors based upon MEAP scores or a combination of MEAP and ACT or SAT scores. For further details contact the Department of Treasury 1-888-4-Grants or visit their website at www.michigan.gov/mistudentaid.
On and Off Campus Student Employment opportunities exist. The Career and Student Employment Services Office actively recruits both on- and off-campus employment, including community service, opportunities. Students may review the jobs listed with the service in Room A-100, Ellsworth Hall or on the web at http://jobs.dosa.wmich.edu. Openings include food service and clerical positions of all levels, retail sales positions, and technical positions requiring computer science skills.
Students may also directly contact specific areas of the university where they wish to work. Students are employed by University departments, offices, libraries, laboratories, residence halls, the recreation center, and the Bernhard Center.
The Career and Student Employment Services Office can also help students find an existing co-op or internship program or design a program on their own and contact prospective employers.
Residence Hall positions are also available either as advisors or assistant directors. Advisors receive free room and board on campus (single room). Assistant directors receive free room and board on campus (single room) and a stipend each semester. Contact Residence Hall Life for further information.
U.S. Armed Forces offers students a variety of educational assistance programs. For further detail, contact your local armed forces recruiter.
Western’s Short Term Loan Program provides emergency short-term loans to Western enrolled students. Both graduate and undergraduate students who have no financial obligations to the University may apply for loans at the Financial Aid office. Loans average $300.00, are charged a simple interest rate of 5 to 7 percent, and require repayment generally in thirty days.
WMU Scholarships for Beginning Freshman
Medallion Scholarship Program
The Medallion Scholarship, the University’s most prestigious scholarship for new freshmen, exemplifies Western’s commitment to recognize and encourage superior academic achievement. Medallion scholars receive $10,000 each year for up to four years. Some Medallion scholarships carry the name of the donor and are awarded to students entering programs designated by the donor; others are open to students in all degree programs. The top 300 Deans Scholarship recipients will be invited to the Medallion Scholarship Competition to compete for this award. Students must apply for admission by December 15 to be considered for the scholarship.
The Dean’s Scholarship Program
The Dean’s Scholarship, new to WMU, is a $4,000 award given to incoming freshmen for each year up to four years who have a 3.50 and higher overall high school grade point average and an ACT composite of 23 and higher (SAT Math and Critical Reading total of 1060 and higher). Students who apply for admission by December 15 are given priority consideration for the scholarship. After December 15, the scholarship will continue to be awarded as long as funds are available.
WMU Award for National Merit Scholarship Winners
Western Michigan University is an institutional member of the National Merit Scholarship Corporation and sponsors scholarships for National Merit Scholarship Finalists. Recipients are selected on the basis of national merit test scores and scholastic achievement. Western also awards $3,000 ($750 per year for up to four years). To be eligible, students must designate Western as their first school choice with the National Merit Scholarship Corporation no later than April 1 of the year preceding the award year. Students receiving the maximum $2,000 per year award as a National Merit Scholar, or students awarded the WMU Medallion Scholarship, are not eligible for the $3,000 scholarship.
Recipients of the WMU Alumni Association Legacy Award will receive a one-time grant of $1,000 ($500 fall semester and $500 spring semester). To be eligible, the recipient must be an entering freshman or transfer student, and a child, grandchild, stepchild, or stepgrandchild of a dues paying WMU alumnus/alumna.
WMU Scholarships for Michigan Community College Transfer Students
A transfer student may receive only one of the following awards. For consideration, students must have completed at least 26 semester hours of transferable course work at the time of application.
WMU Distinguished Community College Scholars Award
Ten WMU Distinguished Community College Scholars Awards are given annually to Michigan residents transferring to Western with an associate’s degree from a Michigan community college. Recipients of this $6,000 scholarship receive $3,000 each academic year. To be eligible, students must have a grade point average of 3.75 or above in transferable courses and all materials necessary for admission must be mailed to the Office of Admissions and postmarked by March 1. Recipients are selected by the Western Michigan University Transfer Scholarship Selection Committee.
WMU Community College President’s Scholarship
Michigan community college presidents select the recipients of this $4,000 scholarship, which provides $2,000 each academic year. To be eligible, students must have a grade point average of 3.5 or above in transferable courses, selected by a Michigan community college president, and all materials necessary for admission must be mailed to WMU’s Office of Admissions and postmarked by March 1.
Phi Theta Kappa Alumni Scholarship
Transfer students who are Phi Theta Kappa members in good standing are eligible for this $3,500 ($1,750/academic year) award. A 3.5 or higher in transferable courses is required. The completion of an Associate’s Degree is recommended. For students to be eligible, all materials necessary for admission must be mailed to the Office of Admissions and postmarked by March 1. Recipients are selected by the Western Michigan University Transfer Scholarship Selection Committee.
Transfer Academic Scholarship
Students who transfer to WMU with a grade point average of 3.5 or above, as computed by the Office of Admissions, will be eligible for a $3,000 scholarship, which provides $1,500 each academic year. For students to be eligible, all materials necessary for admission must be mailed to the Office of Admissions and postmarked by March 1. The University makes these awards as long as funds are available.
Transfer Scholarship for Achievement
Transfer students who enter WMU in the fall semester with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 in transferable courses may be eligible for this $1,000 award, as long as funds are available. This scholarship is not renewable. For students to be eligible, all materials necessary for admission must be mailed to the Office of Admissions and postmarked by March 1.
WMU Scholarships for Currently Enrolled Students
For scholarship opportunities, please visit our website at www.wmich.edu/finaid/3-scholarships/scholarships.html.
WMU Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities Award
The WMU Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities Award Program, administered by the Honors College, is designed to encourage and nurture research and creative activities by outstanding students at Western Michigan University.
An essential feature of the Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities Award Program is the apprentice/mentor relationship established between a student and faculty member.
A suitable project can come from any area of academic endeavor at the University. It could include, but would not be limited to, research, development, design, field study, a creative project or performance. Normally the project should require approximately 150 hours (or ten hours per week) of the student’s time over one semester. Additional funds are available for a second semester renewal application.
The applicant must be a Western Michigan University undergraduate, should have a grade point average of at least 3.3, and typically have accumulated at least 60 credit hours at the time the project will begin. The program awards a $600 stipend for the first semester. An award may be renewed once if there is sufficient justification. While the program is administered by the Honors College, the student does not need to be a member of the Honors College in order to qualify for an award.
The selection of awardees will be based on the past academic performance of the student, the experience and expertise of the sponsoring faculty member, and the merits of the proposed project.
WMU Academic Scholarship
Currently enrolled Western students whose University grade point average is 3.50 or above are eligible to apply for this $500 fall/spring semester award. Western awards 4.0 grade point averages and continues awarding down to a 3.75 grade point average as long as funds are available.
Application forms are available at Western’s Student Financial Aid Office from January 1 through March 1 or online at www.wmich.edu/finaid/3-scholarships/scholarships.html. Students must submit their application by March 1 for the following fall/spring semester academic year.
Clifford and Ella Chapman Distinguished Senior Scholarship
The trust established in 1964 by Clifford and Ella Chapman, longtime friends of Western Michigan University, provides the funds for this scholarship program.
Western students who have achieved senior classification and have a grade point average of 3.5 or above may apply for a $200 spring semester award.
The selection committee also weighs extracurricular and community service activities, and the honors and awards the student has earned while enrolled at Western. Students whose extracurricular activities have been limited because of employment while attending Western should also include their work history.
Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
Applications are available online at www.wmich.edu/finaid/3-scholarships/scholarships.html.
Non-Traditional Student Scholarship
Awards up to $500 per semester for adult learners who have had a significant break in education. Awards are given on the basis of need and/or scholarship.
To be eligible, undergraduate students must be enrolled for three to eleven credit hours for fall/spring and have a 2.5 grade point average. Graduate students must be enrolled for two to five credit hours for fall/spring and have a 3.2 grade point average. The award year deadline is July 1.
Applications are available online at www.wmich.edu/finaid/3-scholarships/scholarships.html.