Types of Financial Aid
Current & prospective students are encouraged to apply early, using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Completing the FAFSA will determine an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) that will be used by financial aid to award eligible students Federal Grants, State Grants, College Work-Study and Student Loans. Student must be accepted in to a financial aid eligible program (active, prep and waitlist) to receive these types of aid.
Federal Pell Grant
The Pell Grant is awarded to students with exceptional financial need who have NOT earned a bachelor's or graduate degree. The Pell Grant is used to provide the "base" for student's financial aid package. The maximum amount varies from year to year depending on published Department of Education payment schedules. Pell Grants do not have to be repaid.
The amount of this grant is determined by the Federal Pell grant EFC and the student's enrollment status:
|12 credits & above||Full time||100% of award|
|9-11 credits||Three Quarter time||75% of award|
|6-8 credits||Half time||50% of award|
|Under 6 credits||Half time||25% of award|
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
FSEOG is available to students who have a zero EFC and are not receiving a WI Grant. Students must also be enrolled at least half time (6 credits) to be eligible for this grant. These funds are limited and students are encouraged to complete the FAFSA as soon as possible.
Wisconsin Higher Education Grant (WHEG)
Wisconsin Higher Education Grant (WHEG) is available to students who are Wisconsin residents and enrolled at least half time (6 credits). This grant is based on financial need. Eligibility cannot exceed ten semesters. These funds are limited and students are encouraged to complete the FAFSA as soon as possible.
Minority Retention Grant Program
Minority Retention Grant Program is available to minority students who are Wisconsin residents in the second year of a two-year program, maintaining a 2.0 grade point average, and have financial need as determined by the FAFSA. Students must be enrolled at least half-time (6 credits). Eligibility cannot exceed eight semesters. Minority status is determined by the data on our system. These funds are limited and students are encouraged to complete the FAFSA as soon as possible.
Talent Incentive Program (TIP)
Talent Incentive Program (TIP) is designed for first-time students who are economically and/or academically disadvantaged. Students who feel they may qualify for this additional funding may contact the Eau Claire Department of Public Instruction at 715.836.3171 for further information. This grant is based on financial need. Students must be enrolled at least half-time (6 credits). Eligibility cannot exceed ten semesters. These funds are limited and students are encouraged to complete the FAFSA as soon as possible.
Wisconsin Hearing & Visually Handicapped Student Grant
Wisconsin Hearing & Visually Handicapped Student Grant is available to Wisconsin residents who are hearing or visually impaired and who also demonstrate financial need. Students must be enrolled in a minimum of 6 credits. Eligibility cannot exceed ten semesters. Applications are available online.
Native American Grants (BIA, WIG)
- Students interested in receiving Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) funding must complete a separate Indian Scholarship Application which is obtained from their tribal education office for the purpose of certifying the student's degree of Indian blood.
- Wisconsin Indian Grants (WIG) is available to Wisconsin residents who are at least 25% Native American (certification for degree of Indian blood required). Awards are based on financial need. Students must be enrolled at least half-time (6 credits). Eligibility cannot exceed ten semesters. These funds are limited and students are encouraged to apply early.
It is a student’s responsibility to notify the Office of Student Financial Aid to be nominated for WIG if not receiving BIA.
Federal College Work Study (CWS)
Federal College Work Study (CWS) provides jobs to students with financial need allowing them to earn money to help pay for educational expenses. On-campus positions are available, as well as off-campus community service positions. CWS students must be enrolled at least half-time (6 credits) to qualify to work under this program. If you are eligible for CWS, you can earn up to the amount listed on your award letter or until Western's total College Work-Study allocation is exhausted. CWS students are paid on a bi-monthly basis, based on the number of hours worked. The rate of pay is $8.00/hour. Students may not work more than 10 hours per week unless they are employed during the summer (July-August) in which they can work up to 25 hours per week. (Students enrolled in summer credit classes are not eligible to work under the Summer Work-study program.) This money is earned and paid to the student, not deducted from the student's Western account. These funds are limited and students are encouraged to complete the FAFSA as soon as possible.
For more information about the Federal College Work Study program and a listing of current available work study positions visit the College Work-Study website.
The Scholarship application for current Western students taking core program classes in the fall are due November 1 and are awarded in January.Scholarship applications for new and/or high school students are available in January and due May 1. Scholarships other than Foundation scholarships are available throughout the year and can be found under External Scholarships.
Federal Direct Loans
Direct Loans - Available to students that are enrolled for six or more credits
The William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program enables eligible students and parents to borrow from the U.S. Dept. of Education instead of from a bank or other lending institution. This allows borrowers to work with a single entity, through its Direct Loan Servicing Center, when repaying loans or dealing with loan-related issues. Repayment of the principal amount does not begin until six (6) months after you graduate, withdraw, or drop below half-time status.
- Subsidized Direct Loan is awarded on the basis of financial need. The federal government pays the borrower's accrued interest during certain periods, such as when the student is in school.
- An Unsubsidized Direct Loan is NOT need based. You will be charged interest from the time the loan is disbursed until it is paid in full.
PLUS Loans enable parents with good credit histories to borrow for the educational expenses of each child who is a dependent student. The maximum amount of this loan is equal to the student's cost of attendance (COA) minus any other financial aid received by the student.
- An enrollment status of half-time (6 credits) is required for PLUS loans. If you drop below half-time or terminate your enrollment, you will not be eligible to receive your loan disbursement
- Any applicable loan fees are deducted directly from the gross amount of the loan
Students whose parents are denied a PLUS loan could be eligible to borrow an additional Unsubsidized Direct Loan. If a PLUS Loan application is denied due to adverse credit, loan counseling can be completed to override the credit decision. Parents will be made aware of this at the time the Master Promissory Note (MPN) is completed. The loan counseling can be competed at www.studentloans.gov. If the parent chooses to NOT complete the additional loan counseling, then the student borrower can choose to have an additional Unsubsidized Loan amount added to their awards.
If you are planning to use a Veteran Benefit you can get a Shopping Sheet that will give you an estimate of aid you may receive if you attend Western. This is only an estimate and only for those using VA benefits. You will need to fill out the FAFSA, an application for free financial aid, in order to get a true FAFSA award.
Contact Western’s Veteran Service Office for more information or questions.
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