May 30, 2024  
2023-2024 Catalog 
    
2023-2024 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Financial Aid


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Old Main 265, 360-650-3470
finaid.wwu.edu

Western Washington University makes every effort to provide financial assistance to eligible applicants through grants, scholarships, work study, and loan programs. 

What is Financial Aid?

Financial aid is monetary assistance to help meet educational costs, including tuition and fees, books and educational supplies, housing and food, transportation, personal, and dependent care expenses. The total amount of aid cannot exceed the cost of attendance used to determine financial aid eligibility. Eligibility for aid is determined by state and federal formulas from the U.S. Department of Education and the Washington Student Achievement Council. Applicants may complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or the Washington Application for State Financial Aid (WASFA), which is evaluated to determine each student’s relative financial need, and aid offers are made with careful adherence to federal, state, and institutional guidelines. Western Washington University students who enroll in an approved program of study abroad may be considered for funding from many, but not all, aid programs.

Applicants who submit the FAFSA or WASFA by the WWU priority deadline of January 31st for the upcoming aid year (see How to Apply for Financial Aid section) are given priority consideration for certain types of limited need-based aid programs as long as they are otherwise eligible.

Grants are financial aid that does not have to be repaid. Grants are offered on the basis of calculated need and other eligibility criteria from the applicant’s FAFSA or WASFA. Most grants are restricted to undergraduate students, with increased priority for students who meet the priority filing deadline for those who are otherwise eligible. Tuition waivers may be awarded to graduate students by the Graduate School.

Scholarships are generally awarded on merit-based criteria, but some may also use financial need as a factor. Western Washington University offers merit scholarships to entering freshmen, transfer, and returning students in recognition of outstanding achievement.

Individual scholarships are available through departments and colleges. The University’s Multicultural Achievement Program (MAP) Scholarship recognizes outstanding students who demonstrate a commitment to multicultural issues and activities in school or the community. Additional information is available in the Scholarship Center, Old Main 285, 360-650-3471, finaid.wwu.edu/scholarships, or online through the Admissions Office at admissions.wwu.edu/scholarships.

Enrollment in self-supported courses may not meet the eligibility criteria for all scholarship programs. Students enrolled in self-supported courses or applying to self-supported programs are urged to contact the Scholarship Center to determine whether they remain eligible for scholarships they have been awarded.

Loans are financial aid that must be repaid. Western Washington University participates in the Federal Direct Loan program including Federal Direct PLUS loans. Undergraduate students are eligible for Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans and in comes cases Federal Direct Subsidized Loans if the student is calculated as having need on the FAFSA. For Federal Direct Subsidized loans, the federal government subsidizes the interest on the loan while the student is enrolled half-time or more. Federal loans remain in deferment while the student is enrolled half-time or more and until the grace period ends. Private Educational Loans through banks or lending agencies may be available to students who qualify. Deferment of Private Educational Loans depends on the lender’s terms and conditions.

Student Employment and Work Study offers work opportunities on campus and in the local community. Financial aid eligibility determines if a student is eligible for Work Study and having Work Study funding may be a prerequisite for certain on or off campus jobs. The University places a strong emphasis on providing quality work experiences for its students. Additional information is available on the Student Employment Center website, in Old Main 245, or by calling 360-650-3158.

Work Study is awarded to undergraduate and graduate students with calculated financial need. Work Study jobs have a portion of the employee’s earnings subsidized by federal, state, or institutional funds.

How to Apply for Financial Aid

Students are required to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year to be considered for federal and state aid. The FAFSA can be completed online at studentaid.gov. Students who are ineligible to submit the FAFSA based on citizenship status may submit the Washington Application for State Financial Aid (WASFA) online at wsac.wa.gov.

To receive priority consideration for certain limited need-based aid types, students must complete and submit their FAFSA or WASFA by the priority filing deadline of January 31 for the upcoming academic year. 

Financial aid applicants may be required to provide additional documentation to determine their eligibility for aid. Examples of such documentation include but are not limited to federal verification forms, federal income tax information, and W-2 forms. Students are urged to provide requested items as soon as possible to avoid delays in processing. The FAFSA or WASFA and related application materials must be received in sufficient time to allow Financial Aid to finalize aid eligibility in accordance with federal and state requirements.

To prevent financial aid over awards that may require student repayment, aid applicants are required to immediately notify the Financial Aid Department in writing of any financial aid they are scheduled to receive or have already received from institutions or organizations other than Western Washington University. Such institutions and organizations may include, but are not limited to, other universities, colleges, educational loan lenders, and scholarship-granting organizations.

General Eligibility Requirements for Financial Aid

Students may be considered for financial assistance if they:

  • Submit a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) if they are a citizen, permanent resident of the United States, or an eligible non-citizen who qualifies for federal student aid OR
  • Submit a WASFA (Washington Application for State Financial Aid) if they are undocumented or do not qualify for federal financial aid due to their immigration status
  • Submit all required information and documentation
  • Are admitted through the Admissions Office or Graduate School to a Federally approved degree or certificate-granting program at Western Washington University.
  • For FAFSA filers: do not owe a repayment on a previous Federal grants or are not in default on a previous Federal Title IV educational loan received at any institution of higher education.
  • Are enrolled for the credit hours as noted below:
    • 12 or more credit hours for full-time undergraduates; 8 or more credit hours for full-time graduate students
    • 9-11 credit hours for three-quarter-time undergraduates; 6-7 credit hours for three-quarter-time graduate students
    • 6-8 credit hours for half-time undergraduates; 4-5 credit hours for half-time graduate students
  • Some students may be eligible for limited amounts of assistance if they are enrolled less than half-time.
  • Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress and have not already exhausted eligibility under the Maximum Attempted Credit component of Western Washington University’s Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy; refer to the Satisfactory Academic Progress policy.
  • Loan Proration - Federal regulations require that undergraduate students including post-baccalaureate students who are completing a second bachelor’s degree who are attending less than a full academic year (e.g., one or two quarters) in their graduating year must have their federal direct student loans prorated based on the number of credits required to complete their program as determined by the Registrar’s Office and reported on the Official Degree Evaluation.

Summer Financial Aid

To be considered for summer financial aid students must have a FAFSA or WASFA for the preceding academic year on file, meet the same eligibility requirements as the academic year, and submit the Summer Financial Aid Application. Students using only scholarships or private educational loan are encouraged to submit the Summer Financial Aid application as well to best determine enrollment plans and budgeting. The Summer Financial Aid Application is generally available in late-April via Web4U.

Self-Supported Courses

Financial aid may be granted for self-supported courses. Contact the Financial Aid Department for eligibility requirements. Tuition waivers (including Admissions merit-based scholarships) cannot be used to pay for self-supported coursework. Students enrolled in or interested in enrolling in self-supported coursework or programs should contact the Scholarship Center for specific scholarship eligibility requirements. 

Graduate Students

Graduate students must be enrolled half time or more in required coursework (4 credits) for each quarter in which they wish to borrow through the Federal Direct Loan program. Private educational loans may be available for enrollment in less than 4 credits based on the lender’s terms and conditions. 

Emergency Loan

Currently enrolled students may borrow a maximum of $900 for up to 90 days to solve minor cash-flow emergencies. A $5 loan origination fee will be charged on each loan and will be deducted at the time of the disbursement. Emergency loans must be paid in full by the loan’s due date.

Western Repayment Policy

Overpayment occurs when a student has received more aid than they are eligible to receive. The most common reason for overpayment is full or partial withdrawal from classes after financial aid has disbursed. A student who fully or partially withdraws from classes after aid has been disbursed may be required to repay all or a portion of that aid. Students doing a full withdrawal after the quarterly locked enrollment date will be placed on Satisfactory Academic Progress suspension after the completion of the quarter. Students who do a full withdrawal prior to the locked enrollment date may be placed on suspension depending on the types of financial aid they receive and if they choose to repay these funds upon withdrawal or retain their eligible disbursement. Additional information on the repayment policy is available on the Financial Aid Services Center website.  

Students must successfully complete the minimum number of credits associated with their enrollment status at the locked enrollment deadline and any credits added thereafter. The locked enrollment deadline is posted quarterly on the Registrar’s Important Dates and Deadlines and used as the basis for determining eligibility for the following programs: Federal Pell Grant, Federal TEACH Grant, Washington College Grant, College Bound Scholarship, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, Federal Work Study, State Work Study, Institutional Work Study, Western Grant, Tuition Waivers, Viking Assistance Grant, and some scholarship programs. 

Students who receive a financial aid disbursement based on a higher enrollment status than their enrollment status at the lock date may have their aid reduced to correspond with their locked enrollment status. In such circumstances, a repayment may be owed. Students whose enrollment status increases by the lock date may be eligible for additional funding.

Lock Dates for the 2023-24 Academic Year:

Fall Quarter October 8, 2023
Winter Quarter January 21, 2024
Spring Quarter April 14, 2024
Summer Term To be determined by the Registrar’s Office

Withdrawing from Western

If you are planning to withdraw from all of your classes, provide official notification to the Registrar’s Office of your intent to withdraw as soon as possible.  Failure to officially withdraw may result in having to repay all the financial aid disbursed during the quarter. 

Withdrawing prior to the start of any given quarter will require repayment of all aid disbursed for that quarter.

Withdrawing After the Lock Date

(This date corresponds with the Registrar’s Office posted quarterly deadline as the last day to add or drop a class without incurring late add/drop fees as well as the last day to withdraw before incurring a W on the official transcript.)

If you withdraw from all classes after the lock date, you will be placed on Satisfactory Academic Progress suspension for financial aid purposes for future quarters. You may appeal for financial aid reinstatement if unusual or extenuating circumstances prevented you from meeting satisfactory academic progress requirements. Reinstatement is not guaranteed. For more information, please refer to the Satisfactory Academic Progress policy.

If you withdraw from all classes during any given quarter, your eligibility for federal, state, and institutional aid will be recalculated in accordance with federal, state, and institutional requirements. Your withdrawal date will be the earliest of:

  • the date you began the withdrawal process
  • your actual withdrawal date
  • the date that you began an official leave of absence signed by a University representative
  • in the rare case in which you cease attendance but are unable to officially withdraw as a result of your circumstances, the date of the circumstance leading to your withdrawal will be used

This date is used to determine whether you will owe a repayment of aid or if you are eligible for a post-withdrawal aid disbursement.

When students withdraw after rescinding a previous official notification of withdrawal, their original withdrawal date will be used for aid re-calculation purposes. Applicants who withdraw from Western must also provide requested FAFSA verification documentation no later than 30 days after their last day of enrollment or forfeit their ability to receive any aid they otherwise may be eligible to receive.

Veterans Information

Veterans and dependents of veterans enrolling at Western for the first time who plan to use Veterans Administration (VA) educational benefits must either apply for educational benefits with the Veterans Administration, or if benefits have been used at another institution prior to enrolling at Western, complete a change of program form. In order to receive your payments on time, this should be done well in advance of the academic quarter you wish to attend.

All students using VA Benefits at Western Washington University are encouraged to apply for financial aid through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) annually.

Western Washington University’s academic programs of study are approved by the Washington Student Achievement Councils’ State Approving Agency for students eligible to receive educational benefits under Title 38 and Title 10 USC.

Veterans/dependents should make certain the academic objective they plan to pursue is one authorized by the Veterans Administration.

Please review additional information for Veterans/dependents attending Western Washington University with the Veteran Services Office.

See the Financial Aid website for more detailed financial aid information.

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