Looking for answers? Check out these.


Q. What do I do once I've received my award letter?

A. First, stay connected to your financial aid by checking your Western email and GoWMU for updates. Complete all requirements to be sure your aid pays on time. If you have loans and need to complete entrance counseling or your Master Promissory Note, (MPN) be sure to do that right away. You can see these and any other unsatisfied requirements on GoWMU. It's available at your convenience, 24/7.

Q. When will my aid pay?

A: Aid is scheduled to pay approximately 10 days before the start of the semester -- as long as you have completed all of your requirements. Not sure? Logon to GoWMU to see if you have unsatisfied requirements.

Q: Can I get more money?

A: If you need more money, your parents can apply for a federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS). Parents can borrow up to the cost of attendance, less your financial aid and other resources. If your parents do not wish to take out a PLUS, you can also consider an alternative loan from a private lender.

Q: I need a private, alternative loan. What should I do?

A: If you have exhausted all other financial aid options and you still need additional funds, you may wish to consider an alternative loan from a private lender. If you need a private alternative loan, it is best to borrow the amount you will need for the whole year, rather than one semester at a time. The private loan process can take 2-4 weeks to complete, so plan ahead.

Q: How do I get a scholarship?

A: It is your responsibility to seek out scholarships. They are available from a wide variety of sources. It is usually best to apply early. You can explore WMU scholarships online. Also be sure to check out other potential sources, such as your high school, your employer or your parent's employer, your church or other community groups.

Q: I have an outside scholarship. Why isn't it on my award letter?

A: Contact the donor agency. You may have to complete paperwork or turn in forms. If the donor agency says you have completed everything they need but you still don't see your scholarship on your award letter, call Bronco Express, (269) 387-6000.

Q: I was offered work-study. What do I do now?

A: Your work-study award is time-sensitive. You need to find employment using BroncoJobs. If you have not received a paycheck within four weeks of the start of the semester, your award may be cancelled.

Q: What factors can change my awards?

A: There are several factors that could affect the amount or type of awards listed on your award notice. Whenever your award is updated, Financial Aid will notify you via your Western email. You can check the status of your award any time, any place using GoWMU.

  • Awards are based on the FAFSA information we have on file. Changes to specific information on the FASFA can increase or decrease your eligibility for the awards.
  • Receipt of scholarships, grants, assistantships or tuition remissions may replace or supplement the amount of federal or state aid offered.
  • Awards may be canceled if you are not making Satisfactory Academic Progress
  • Awards are based on full-time enrollment so if you are enrolled less than full-time, some awards will be reduced or canceled.
  • The FAFSA and any requirements need to be submitted while you are a student. If the FAFSA or requirements are received after you are no longer enrolled, your aid may be canceled.

Q. My parents don't support me and won't contribute to my education, so why do I need to include my parent's information?

A. It is the federal government's philosophy that the responsibility to pay for the student's education falls first with the family. A series of criteria identifies whether you are considered independent and if you do not meet that criteria, you must include parent information.

If there is an unintentional, involuntary, and uncontrollable break in the relationship between parents and students, you may file a dependency override appeal and request to be considered independent. You do not qualify for independent status if your parents are refusing to support your education or provide financial information, if they have decided to not claim you as an exemption on their tax returns, or if you are living on your own and/or providing self-sufficiency.

Q. If my parents are divorced or separated, whose financial data should be used when completing the FAFSA application?

A. You should answer the questions about the parent you lived with more during the past 12 months. If you did not live with one parent more than the other, give answers about the parent who provided more financial support during the last 12 months or during the most recent year that you actually received support from a parent. If this parent is remarried as of the day you complete the FAFSA, answer the questions about that parent and the person your parent married (stepparent).

Q. If I get married, can I update my status for the current year?

A. Once you have submitted your FAFSA application for the current year, you as the student may not update your marital status. Contact the financial aid office to determine when you should file your FAFSA if you plan to be married during the academic year.

Q. If I filed a FAFSA last year, do I need to refile the FAFSA again this upcoming year?

A. Yes. You must file a FAFSA every year.

Q. How may I apply for work-study?
Each year, you should apply for financial aid by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Be sure to indicate your preference for work-study on the FAFSA.  Monitor your progress using the financial aid checklist.

Q. I filed for financial aid but did not list WMU on my FAFSA application. How does WMU receive my FAFSA information?

A. You will need to file a correction indicating WMU's school code of 002330. The best way to make corrections is online at FAFSA on the Web. Other options are either to make the corrections on your paper Student Aid Report (SAR) or call 1-800-433-3243). You will need your DRN number (that is located on the bottom left hand corner of your SAR) and/or your FSA ID.

Q. Can I get additional help that is not need-based?

A. Yes. There are scholarships and alternative loans from private sources that look at other eligibility criteria for award determination.

Updated: 05/26/2015 10:31 AM

Visit related WMU sites

There is a lot more to see! Visit some of our friends at WMU to learn about academics, campus life and how you can be successful.

Student Financial Aid
1903 W Michigan Ave
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5337 USA
269 387-6000 finaid-info@wmich.edu