Fees and Financial Assistance


2007/2008 Graduate Catalog

Scholarships

Tuition and Fees

Western Illinois University offers guaranteed tuition and fees, as well as guaranteed room and board rates, for graduate students. Students eligible for the graduate cost guarantee must meet the following:

1. Must be enrolled in a graduate degree program (unclassified graduate students will not be eligible);

2. The guarantee will be for four consecutive years. If the student has not finished the degree program within four years, the rate will be advanced by two years and will continue for another two years;

3. If the student becomes unclassified during the guarantee program, he/she will be moved to the current rates and will not be covered by the guarantee until enrolled in a degree program;

4. The guarantee will cover per-hour tuition rate, fee rate, and room and board.

The following rates of tuition and fees are listed per credit hour for the fall and spring semesters 2007–2008. These rates apply to all who are classified as graduate students. The amounts are subject to change without notice by action of the Board of Trustees. The most current tuition and fee rates can be viewed at www.wiu.edu/tuition or can be obtained by contacting the Billing and Receivables Office at 309/298-1831 or e-mailing billings@wiu.edu.


Tuition

In-State

$216.70 per credit hour

Out-of-State

$433.40 per credit hour

Tuition = per credit hour rate x number of credit hours
Example: In-state tuition for 9 credit hours is $1,950.30 (216.70 x 9)


Macomb Campus Fees

Total Fees per Credit Hour: $54.27


WIU-Quad Cities Campus Fees

Total Fees per Credit Hour: $18.03

University fees are evaluated and recommended by the students and staff to help facilitate various services and programs on campus. University fees are mandatory
for all students and require payment regardless of whether or not the student receives direct benefits or is in a location which permits access to such benefits. Students registered for nine or more semester hours of student teaching, internship, or overseas experience will receive a 25 percent reduction in the student activity, athletics, computer, health center, publication and transit fees. The preceding tables reflect the full fee rates. Fees may vary depending on the location of course offering.

University fees are composed of the following:


Room Rates for Residence Hall—effective Fall 2007–Spring 2008

By Semester

Double Occupancy: $2,074
Single Occupancy: $2,760
Super Single: $2,843
Suite (Double): $2,152
Suite (Single): $3,664
Grote Hall Double Occupancy: $2,249
Grote Hall Single Occupancy: $2,856

Summer Term

Double Occupancy: $550
Single Occupancy: $900

Board Rates for Residence Halls— effective Fall 2007–Spring 2008

By Semester: $1,375
Summer Term: N/A


The Billing System

The student receivables system brings University charges and credits into one
account. The Billing and Receivables Office will compile the latest information from University offices (i.e. Financial Aid, Registrar, and University Housing and Dining Services) and prepare the monthly billing statement. A finance charge of 1% per month on the unpaid balance from prior month’s billing will be assessed. A student with a past due (encumbered) account balance will be denied registration and transcripts.

The University bills by semester, not by academic year. Actively enrolled students will receive their billing statement via STARS. Notification will be sent to the student at their WIU e-mail address when each bill is ready to view on STARS. Students may establish one additional e-mail address to which the notification may also be sent by notifying billings@wiu.edu. The e-mail will include the account balance and the due date. Detail must be viewed on STARS. In January, June and August paper billing statements will be mailed to the home address on file in the Registrar’s Office. Failure to receive or view a bill will not excuse finance charge assessment or payment of the account. It is the student’s responsibility to notify the appropriate office of address or e-mail corrections.


Payment Plans

WIU does not require advance payment of charges from new students or students in
good financial standing with the University. It is recommended that fall charges be paid in full by November 1 and spring charges be paid by April 1 to take advantage of pre-registration for the next term. There are two options, the Open Payment Plan and the Automated Payment Plan. However, both have four basic restrictions:

1. All appropriate financial aid including loans may first be applied to the student’s account to cover current semester allowable charges. This will occur whether or not those costs have appeared on the bill.

2. Students will not be permitted to register for the next term if they have financial or administrative obligations.

3. A finance charge will be assessed after each bill’s due date on any billed but unpaid balance (1% per month).

4. University transcripts will not be issued to students who have financial or administrative obligations.

Open Payment Plan

The Open Payment Plan is a flexible plan that allows unlimited choice of payment
options; no formal agreement form is needed, as this is the default plan. Payments may be made during the semester according to the student’s individual resources. Students can submit payment in person, by mail, STARS on-line, or credit card, For additional details, go to www.wiu.edu/billing or call 309/298-1831.


Automated Payment Plan

Automated Payment Plan provides students an option for budgeting educational expenses. This is an interest-free way to spread payments over several months. There is a $2 per month transaction fee to cover processing. The monthly payments will be deducted from your bank account on the 5th of each enrollment month. To participate in this plan, complete and return the agreement form at www.wiu.edu/billing.


University Credit/Refund Policy

Dropped Courses

Students enrolled in any combination of sessions, either on-campus and/or offcampus,
must drop from the desired class within that session’s 100 percent refund/ credit period to avoid assessment of tuition and mandatory fee charges. Students will be assessed full tuition and fees in accordance with the University’s tuition and fee schedule for classes dropped after the 100 percent refund/credit period. The 100 percent refund/credit periods for regularly scheduled classes are as follows:

Fall and spring semester: on or before the tenth class day of the semester.
Summer session: on or before the sixth class day of the session.


Total University Withdrawal

Procedures: Any student making a TOTAL University withdrawal MUST withdraw
within established refund/credit dates to avoid charges. Prior to the first day of the semester, a student may completely withdraw from the University through STARS. On or after the first day of the semester, in order to completely withdraw from the University, students who are classified as full-time students must contact the Student Development and Orientation office (309/298-1884) to withdraw from the University.

A student may withdraw during the first ten weeks of a regular semester. After the first ten weeks, a student may not withdraw from the University unless there are exceptional and documented circumstances. Withdrawal may affect a student’s eligibility for current or future financial aid.


Fall and Spring Semesters

A student who has registered for regularly scheduled classes and then officially and
totally withdraws from Western Illinois University in accordance with established University procedures on or before the tenth class day of the semester will receive refund/credit for all tuition, mandatory fees and pro-rated credit for room and board charges.

A student who officially and totally withdraws after the tenth day of the semester will be entitled to a refund/credit of tuition, mandatory fees, and room and board charges as follows:

If date of withdrawal is:

Remainder of Week 3: 80% refund
Week 4: 70% refund
Week 5 and Week 6: 60% refund
Week 7 and Week 8: 50% refund
Week 9: 40% refund
Week 10: 30% refund
After Week 10: 0% refund

Summer Session

The University designates shorter withdrawal refund/credit periods for the summer session, special courses, and short courses scheduled during that term. Withdrawal refund/credit periods are available on the Office of the Registrar website at www.wiu.edu/registrar.


Financial Assistance

Graduate Assistantships

Graduate assistantships are academic merit-based award programs which provide
students with work opportunities in a job closely related to their academic field of study. Students with full-time assistantships are required to work up to 20 hours per week or teach up to 6 semester hours per semester, and will receive a monthly stipend and waiver of tuition. Current stipend amounts, policies, procedures, and additional information may be found online at www.wiu.edu/grad/manuals/gainfo.php. Assistantship applications received prior to March 15 may be given priority consideration.

Categories of Assistantships

1. Graduate Assistant: Graduate Assistant duties are varied and are designed to
support the administrative and operational functions of the University or approved external agencies. Assistants whose primary (i.e. greater than 50%) duties consist of one or more of the following types of activities will be classified as Graduate Assistants: work assignments which are non-classroom/teaching related; technical/support services; classroom support such as grading, tutoring, preparation of class materials, etc.; and clerical assistance.

2. Research Assistant: Research Assistants are usually assigned to faculty members
to assist with their research. Research Assistants may be funded with departmental monies, but frequently are funded through externally obtained grants and contracts. The duties of the Research Assistant vary by discipline and can involve a variety of responsibilities. Assistants whose primary (i.e. greater than 50%) duties consist of one or more of the following types of activities will be classified as Research Assistants:
library research, proposal writing, data collection, data analysis, and collaborating with faculty in preparing publications.

3. Teaching Assistant: The duties of a Teaching Assistant are to conduct or support instruction. Assistants whose primary (i.e. greater than 50%) duties consist of one or more of the following types of activities will be classified as Teaching Assistants: teaching classes under supervision by University faculty person, and leading lab or discussion groups in a course setting.

Application Process: To apply for an assistantship, an Application for Assistantship (available from the School of Graduate Studies or at www.wiu.edu/grad) must be submitted along with three letters of recommendation (some programs require specialized recommendation letters) and a statement of personal goals. The application, letters, and statement must be submitted to the School of Graduate Studies before an assistantship contract may be written.

Tuition Waiver Benefit: Graduate assistants with at least a two-month contract receive a waiver of tuition (upon receipt of a signed contract) for the period of appointment
plus a maximum of one summer session adjacent to (preceding or following) the employment period. If eligible, the summer tuition waiver is automatically applied for the summer following the end of the contract period; students must notify the Graduate School at the time of signing a fall contract if they choose to use it the preceding summer. The waiver does not include insurance costs or student fees. Tuition waivers may be revoked if the assistant does not fulfill at least two months of the regular contract.

Pay Schedule: Full paychecks for fall contracts with semester-long employment dates will be issued in October, November, December, and January. There are five paychecks issued to those with spring semester-long contracts: ½ check in February; full checks in March, April, and May; and ½ check in June. Payday is the first of the month unless that day is a weekend or holiday, in which case payday will be the weekday before the first. Assistants are required to participate in direct deposit of wages using the financial institution of their choice.

Eligibility Requirements: Students must meet all of the conditions listed below in order
to hold an assistantship position:

1. Must have a graduate assistantship application, personal statement of goals, and three letters of recommendation on file in the Graduate School.

2. Must be a degree-seeking graduate student regularly accepted into a master’s program. Probationary students, non-degree students, and second bachelor’s degree students are not eligible to hold assistantship positions.

3. Must have a graduate GPA of at least a 3.0 if graduate courses have been completed at the time the contract is initiated.

4. Must be enrolled in at least nine semester hours of graduate coursework or undergraduate deficiencies if holding a graduate or research assistant position for fall/spring; or at least six semester hours if holding a teaching assistant position for fall/spring; or three semester hours for summer (any position). If it is the assistant’s last semester of coursework (as verified by the degree plan), it is acceptable to be registered for only the remaining required courses.

5. Sign an assistantship contract and complete all required employment paperwork.

Employment Requirements: All graduate assistants must complete an Authorization
for Deposit of Recurring Payment form which allows assistants to receive monthly stipends electronically from WIU. Additionally, if this is the student’s first period of employment at WIU or if changes are necessary, an Employment Eligibility Verification (I-9) form and an Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate (W-4) must be completed in the Graduate School within three days of the contact’s begin date.

All graduate assistants under contract to the University will be assessed the student
health insurance fee. A brochure explaining the coverage of the student health insurance program is available at the Student Health Insurance Office, lower level of Beu Health Center, 309/298-1882. Student health insurance may be waived if the student provides proof of equal or better deductible.

Graduate assistants must adhere to the same standards of professional ethics as regular faculty. All graduate assistants must conform with the Ethics Act of Illinois by either completing the online test, or by reviewing the WIU Ethics Orientation for Employees brochure and submitting to the Graduate School the certification sheet attached to the brochure.

In accordance with state statute, teaching assistants engaged in oral instruction in the
classroom should be people who possess adequate competence in spoken English unless the language of instruction is not English). For students whose native language is not English, this competence must be evaluated by the department chair. Certification of such evaluation is required on the Graduate Assistant Contract Request which the department chair must submit to the Graduate School.

Graduate assistants must meet their normal assigned duties but should not be asked or
required to perform additional duties without supplemental pay. Payment for duties performed outside of the assistantship duties should be made by the employing department using the Lump Sum Payment Request—Graduate Assistant form available online at: www.wiu.edu/grad/forms/lumpsumform.pdf. This method of payment is not to be used on a recurring basis.

It is recommended by the Graduate School that graduate assistants not hold employment other than the assistantship.

Termination/Resignation: Resignation of an assistantship by a student or by a
department/unit must be made to the Graduate School in writing. The employing unit or the Graduate School may terminate an assistantship contract for cause or if eligibility requirements are not met. As soon as an assistant has been terminated or has resigned, an e-mail notification will be sent to the hiring department’s fiscal agent, the supervisor, and the student (using WIU e-mail address).

Graduate Student Research and Professional Development Fund

The Graduate School strongly values professional development and research as
important components of graduate study. As such, the Graduate Student Research and Professional Development Fund is designed to support student research projects and presentations, scholarly activities, and professional development opportunities.

A minimum of $10,000 (up to $500 per awardee) will be available each academic year to degree-seeking graduate students. To be eligible for the award, students must be currently enrolled in a degree program, have at least a 3.0 graduate GPA, and have completed at least 6 semester hours of WIU graduate coursework.

The deadline for submission of applications to be considered for the fall semester is September 15; for the spring/summer semesters is February 15.

Applications and full guidelines are available online at: www.wiu.edu/grad/forms. Students should submit the application to the Graduate School, 1 University Circle, Macomb, Illinois 61455. Full guidelines of the award are available online at www.wiu.edu/grad/resources/StudentFund.pdf.

Special Opportunities for Minority Graduate Students

Financial assistance programs are available to students who are members of ethnic
groups that have been traditionally underrepresented in higher education. These programs include the President’s Minority Graduate Access Program (PMGAP) and Diversifying Higher Education Faculty in Illinois (DFI). The PMGAP award provides a stipend of $2,000 per semester which is applied to tuition, fees, or other educational expenses. Students receiving graduate assistantships are not eligible for PMGAP. Applications for the fall semester received before April 1 and applications for the spring semester received before November 1 will be given priority consideration. The DFI awards provide up to $14,000 annually. This program is designed to increase the number of minority faculty and staff at Illinois colleges and universities. The deadline for application for the academic year is the previous February. Further DFI information and applications can be obtained at www.dfi.siu.edu. PMGAP applications are available in the Scholarship Office, Sherman Hall 308, 309/298-2001 and the Graduate School, Stipes Hall 527, 309/298-1806, or online at: www.wiu.edu/scholarship/docs/pmgap.pdf.


Loans and Part-Time Employment

The University participates in the Federal Perkins Loan Program, the Federal Work-
Study Program, and the Federal Family Education Loan Programs, as an institutional
lender for graduate students. For detailed information on the application process,
contact the Office of Financial Aid, Sherman Hall 127, 309/298-2446. Please remember enrollment information is not always available to the financial aid office when a
loan is processed. Therefore, your loan will be based on the assumption that students will be enrolled for nine hours each semester. Accordingly, revision to loan amounts may be necessary if students take less than nine semester hours. Federal loans and work-study require at least six semester hours of graduate level course work each term plus enrollment in a qualified degree program. In addition, loans may be increased by request for the added amount of tuition if students register for 12 or more hours. Audit hours are not considered for financial aid.

Enrollment verification requests for the deferment of student loans may be requested through the Graduate School.

Departmental Scholarships

Some departments have special scholarship opportunities for graduate students.
Information concerning these scholarships can be obtained from the Scholarship Office, Sherman Hall 308, 309/298-2001, or from the academic department.

Veterans' Benefits

If students are receiving veterans’ benefits through the Montgomery G.I. Bill, they will
need to certify on STARS each semester. Questions concerning monthly G.I. benefits should be directed to the V.A. Certifying Official at 309/298-3147 or billings@wiu.edu.

Questions pertaining to Illinois Veterans’ Grant and National Guard should be addressed to the Financial Aid Office at 309/298-2446.