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Old Main 265, 360-650-3470
Western Washington University makes every effort to provide financial assistance to eligible applicants through grant, scholarship, work study, and loan programs. It is expected that students will meet part of their expenses through earnings from employment in the summer and academic year, and that parents (if applicable) will contribute in proportion to their financial ability.
NOTE: Students should be prepared to use some of their own money to pay for their initial expenses, even if they expect to receive financial aid.
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 budgeted cost of attendance used to determine financial aid eligibility. Eligibility for aid is determined by federal formulas from the U.S. Department of Education and the Washington Student Achievement Council. Applicants complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which is evaluated to determine each student’s relative financial need, and awards 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 form to the federal processor by the priority deadline (see How to Apply for Financial Aid section) are considered for priority aid based on available funding.
Grants are gift aid and do not have to be repaid. Grants are awarded on the basis of calculated need and other eligibility criteria from the applicant’s FAFSA. Most grants are restricted to undergraduate students, with greater eligibility for students who meet the priority deadline. Some partial tuition and fee waivers are available to students in master’s degree programs.
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, transfers and returning students in recognition of outstanding academic ability or talent.
Individual scholarships are available through University departments and colleges. Through the Multicultural Achievement Program Scholarship, the University 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 275, 360-650-3471, or online at www.finaid.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 for education feature competitive interest rates. The federal government subsidizes the interest on some loans. Payments may be deferred until after the student leaves school in some programs. Western Washington University participates in the Federal Perkins, Federal Direct Stafford, and PLUS loan programs. The Federal Perkins loan is targeted to undergraduate students with exceptional financial need. Alternative Student Loans through private lenders may be available to students who qualify.
Student Employment and Work Study offer work opportunities on campus and in the local community. Financial aid eligibility may or may not be a prerequisite for employment, depending upon the employment program. It is important to note the majority of student employment positions on Western’s campus do not require Work Study eligibility. The University places a strong emphasis on providing quality work experiences for its students. Additional information is available in the Student Employment Center, Old Main 285, 360-650-3158, or online at www.finaid.wwu.edu/studentjobs.
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 filed online at www.FAFSA.ed.gov.
To receive priority consideration for financial aid from all available programs, students must complete and submit their FAFSA to the federal processor by the priority filing deadline of February 15 preceding that academic year. Applications submitted after the priority deadline are considered for aid on a funds available basis.
Many aid applicants are required to provide additional FAFSA verification documentation so that their eligibility for aid can be determined. Examples of such documentation include but are not limited to verification worksheets, federal income tax transcripts, and W-2 forms. Students are urged to provide requested items as soon as possible to allow processing of their file to continue. The FAFSA and related application materials must be received in sufficient time to allow Financial Aid to finalize aid eligibility in accordance with federal requirements. Applicants who have totally withdrawn from all classes must also provide requested FAFSA verification documentation within 30 days after their last day of enrollment or they will forfeit their ability to receive aid for which they would have otherwise been eligible.
To prevent financial aid overawards 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:
- Are a citizen, a permanent resident of the United States, or an eligible non-citizen
- Submit a completed Free Application for Federal Student Aid
- Submit all required information and documentation
- Are admitted through the Admissions Office or Graduate School to a degree or certificate-granting program at Western Washington University
- Do not owe a repayment on a previous grant or are not in default on a previous educational loan received at any institution of higher education
- Have registered with the Selective Service, if required to do so
- Are enrolled for the minimum credit hours required:
- 12 credit hours for full-time undergraduates; 8 credit hours for full-time master’s degree candidates
- 9 credit hours for three-quarter-time undergraduates; 6 credit hours for three-quarter-time master’s degree candidates
- 6 credit hours for half-time undergraduates; 4 credit hours for half-time master’s degree candidates
- 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; please refer to Appendix J in the Appendices section of this catalog for additional information regarding satisfactory academic progress.
- Loan Proration - Federal regulations require that undergraduate and post baccalaureate students 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 according to the number of credits required for graduation. The annual loan eligibility is prorated based on the credits required for graduation in the student’s program as determined by the Registrar’s Office and reported on the Degree Evaluation.
- Financial aid eligibility is suspended for students convicted under federal or state law for possessing or selling illegal drugs during a period of enrollment for which Federal Title IV aid was received. If you have a conviction or convictions for these offenses, call 800-433-3243 or go to http://www.ifap.ed.gov/drugworksheets/attachments/StudentAidEligibilityWorksheetEng1314.pdf to see how this law applies to you.
Summer Financial Aid
Applicants for summer financial aid must have a FAFSA for the preceding academic year on file, meet the same eligibility requirements as the academic year, and submit the Summer Financial Aid Application. The Summer Financial Aid Application is generally available in Mid-April via Web4U.
Financial aid may be granted for self-supported courses. Contact the Financial Aid Department for eligibility requirements and aid procedures. Fee reductions and tuition waivers are not applicable to self-supported courses. Students enrolled in or applying to self-supported courses or programs should contact the Scholarship Center for specific scholarship eligibility requirements. Self-supported courses may not meet the eligibility requirements for all scholarships offered through the Scholarship Center.
Graduate students must enroll for at least 4 graduate-level credits each quarter to be eligible to borrow through the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan program.
Short-Term Cash-Flow Problems
The Financial Aid Department can assist with short-term cash-flow problems through two short-term loan programs.
Currently enrolled students may borrow a maximum of $350 for up to 30 days to solve minor cash-flow problems. A $5 loan origination fee will be charged on each loan advance, and will be deducted at the time of the disbursement. Emergency loans must be paid in full within 30 days.
Currently enrolled, matriculated students may borrow up to $600 for a maximum of 90 days. This loan requires a co-signer. Loan proceeds will be applied to the student’s account balance before a refund will be issued. A $10 loan origination fee will be deducted at the time of the disbursement. The institutional loan must be repaid within 90 days.
The Financial Aid Department reserves the right to refuse any of the short-term loan programs to students who do not show an ability to repay the loan, who have a poor repayment history, or where the applicant appears to be over-reliant on the emergency loan program in lieu of managing a budget.
Western Repayment Policy
Overpayment occurs when a student has received more aid than the student is eligible to receive. The most common reason for overpayment is full or partial withdrawal from classes by the student 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. The student will be held to Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements for the quarter.
Additional information on repayment requirements is available at the Financial Aid Department and the Student Business Office (OM 110).
Students must maintain the minimum number of credits associated with the enrollment status that they received aid for. Otherwise, aid could be delayed, reduced, or cancelled. On the second Friday of each quarter, the enrollment status is recorded and used as the final basis for determining eligibility for the following programs: Federal Pell Grant, Federal Teach Grant, State Need Grant, State Educational Opportunity Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, Federal Work Study, State Work Study, Institutional Work Study. Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Direct Loan, Western Grant, tuition waiver, and some scholarship programs. This recording date is commonly referred to as the quarterly enrollment status “lock” date.
Students who receive aid from the above programs at the beginning of the quarter, based on a higher enrollment status than their enrollment status at the lock date, may have their aid reduced to correspond to their locked enrollment status. In such circumstances, a repayment would likely be owed. Students whose enrollment status increases by the lock date may be eligible for additional funding.
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Withdrawing from Western
If you are planning to withdraw from all of your classes, please provide official notification to the Registrar’s Office of your intent to withdraw as soon as possible (even prior to totally withdrawing). Your notification will initiate steps necessary to bring closure to any outstanding financial aid issues for the quarter and help resolve any aid eligibility concerns for future quarters.
Withdrawing prior to the start of any given quarter will require repayment of all aid disbursed for that quarter.
Withdrawing after the lock date (second Friday of each quarter)
If you withdraw from all classes after the lock date, you will be placed on financial aid suspension for future quarters. You may petition for financial aid reinstatement if unusual circumstances beyond your control prevented you from meeting satisfactory academic progress requirements. Reinstatement is not guaranteed. For more information, please refer to the satisfactory academic progress policy (Appendix J).
If you withdraw from all classes during the first 60% of 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
- the date related to the circumstance leading to your withdrawal
- your actual withdrawal date
- the date that you began an official leave of absence signed by a University representative
This date is used to determine whether you 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. 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 and dependents of veterans enrolling at Western for the first time on the GI Bill must either apply for educational benefits with the Veterans Administration, or fill out a change of program form, if you have used your benefits at another educational institution. 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 Veterans Benefits at Western Washington University are encouraged to apply for financial aid through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
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 at our web site http://www.wwu.edu/registrar/veterans.shtml
See the Financial Aid Bulletin online at: www.finaid.wwu.edu/bulletin/ for more detailed financial aid information.
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