Graduate Studies

Costs and Financial Assistance
(excerpted from 2019-2020 Graduate Catalog)

PDF version of Graduate Catalog


 Cost Guarantee

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

1. The student must be enrolled in a graduate degree program (unclassified graduate students will not be eligible).
2. The guarantee will be for four consecutive years, or until degree completion, whichever occurs first. If the student has not finished the degree program within four years, the rate will be advanced by one year and will continue for another two years, for a maximum of six 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 the per-hour tuition rate, per-hour University fee rate, and room and meal plan.
5. Students who finish a degree program and who then begin a new degree program will be assessed the rate in effect at the time of enrollment in the new degree program and will retain that rate as described above.

Assessment for Integrated Bachelor’s/Master’s Students

Students accepted into an integrated bachelor’s/master’s degree program will be assessed undergraduate tuition rates based on current policies while an undergraduate student. After completing the bachelor’s degree, integrated students will be assessed one year at the graduate level of the tuition rate plan in which they were last assessed. After the one year beyond the bachelor’s degree, students will be moved to the graduate assessment plan that began the year the student first started taking graduate classes after earning the bachelor’s degree. The new plan will remain for up to four years with continuous enrollment for fall and spring semesters.

The following rates of tuition and fees are listed per credit hour for new graduate students (first enrolled Fall 2019, Spring 2020, or Summer 2020). These rates apply to all who are classified as graduate students. Tuition and fee rates for returning students may be obtained by contacting the Billing and Receivables Office located in Sherman Hall 106, telephone (309) 298-1831, or at Summer fee rates may be obtained at The below amounts are subject to change without notice by action of the Board of Trustees.


$339.82 per credit hour


$509.73 per credit hour

Macomb Campus Fees

Activity Fee: $ 3.52
Fine Arts Fee: $2.59
Athletic Fee: $18.07
Bond Revenue Fee: $28.93
Technology Fee: $4.89
Facilities Enhancement/Life Safety 20.21
Health Center Fee: $9.41
Publications Fee: $0.63
Talent Grant Fee: $1.75
Transit Fee: $2.78
Total Fees per Credit Hour: $92.78

WIU-Quad Cities Campus Fees

Activity Fee: $4.49
Technology Fee: $4.68
Facilities Enhancement/Life Safety $7.06
Publication Fee: $0.91
Talent Grant Fee: $2.77
Transit Fee: $ 4.97
Total Fees per Credit Hour: $24.88

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. Students registered for nine or more semester hours of student teaching, internship, or overseas experience will receive a 25% reduction in the student activity, athletics, fine arts, technology, 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:

Activity Fee: Used by various student organizations to help provide student activities. Examples include University Union Board, band, theatre, student government, etc.

Fine Arts Fee: Provides resources and support for annual Fine Arts offerings for WIU students and constituents of the Western Illinois region. It also contributes funding to maintain, replace, and implement equipment resources necessary to present high quality, professional entertainment and opportunities for WIU students.

Athletic Fee: Provides partial support for the men’s and women’s athletic programs.

Bond Revenue Fee: Supports payment of principal and interest on bonds issued to construct student activity facilities (University Union, Western Hall, etc.).

Technology Fee: Supports computer labs and computer resource centers.

Facility Enhancement/Life Safety: Funds state-mandated sprinkler installation in residence halls and other safety features. Also supports other student services facilities.

Health Center Fee: Helps support the Beu Health Center, which provides many medical services at reduced rates.

Publication Fee: Supports the student newspaper.

Talent Grant Fee: Provides funds to give grants to students who demonstrate outstanding talents in extracurricular activities. Examples include art, theatre, student government, band, etc.

Transit Fee: Supports the bus service.

Miscellaneous Fees

A $15 nonrefundable transcript fee is assessed the first semester a student matriculates to Western Illinois University. This one-time fee entitles the student to unlimited transcripts at no additional cost.

A $75 nonrefundable fee is assessed to all new international students for orientation programming.

Student Health Insurance

The student health insurance program is administered in cooperation with Beu Health Center through the Student Health Insurance Office. Students registered and assessed fees for nine hours or more of Macomb campus classes (identified as section numbers 001-399), and all graduate assistants under contract to the University taking one hour or more of any type of classes, are automatically assessed the insurance fee. The 2019-2020 student insurance rate is $795.00 per semester. Students taking WIU-Quad Cities, distance and outreach, or web-based classes, are not automatically assessed the Student Health Insurance fee but may be able to purchase it. Please contact the insurance office for further information.

Student health insurance may be waived if the student provides proof of equal or better coverage. Please contact the Student Health Insurance Office for instructions on waiving the insurance, (309) 298-1882.

Room Rates for Residence Halls - effective Fall 2019-Spring 2020

By Semester

Double Occupancy: $3,000.00
Single Occupancy: $4,350.00
Super Single: $4,500.00
Suite (Double): $3,300.00
Suite (Single): 5,610.00
Grote Hall Double Occupancy: $3,475.00
Grote Hall Single Occupancy: $4,344.00

Summer Term

Double Occupancy: $760.00
Single Occupancy: $1,170.00

Board Rates for Residence Halls - effective Fall 2019-Spring 2020

By Semester: $1,900.00
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) and prepare the monthly billing statement. A finance charge of 1% per month on the unpaid balance from the prior month’s billing will be assessed. A student with an 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 his or her WIU e-mail address when each bill is ready to view on STARS. Details must be viewed on STARS. Students may establish additional e-mail addresses to which the notification may also be sent. The e-mail will include the account balance and the due date.

Payment Due Dates

Fall semester charges are due August 28; spring semester charges are due January 28; and summer semester charges are due June 28.

After the due date, a finance charge of 1% of the account balance is added each month and the student will have a financial encumbrance preventing registration for future semesters and the release of transcripts.

Automated Payment Plan

The Automated Payment Plan provides students a structured option for budgeting educational expenses over several months. The monthly payments will be deducted from a bank account on the fifth of each enrollment month. The 1% finance charge listed in the basic restrictions is not assessed on the contract amount; however, there is a $2 per month transaction fee to cover processing. Additional charges incurred above the contract amount will be billed and subject to the 1% finance charge assessment if not paid by the due date. A completed agreement form is required to participate in this plan. Students and individuals with login information to Parent and Guest Access may complete the B/R Automatic Payment Plan on STARS. Other payment options can be found on our web page at

 University Credit/Refund Policy

Dropped Courses

Students enrolled in any combination of sessions, either on-campus and/or off-campus, must drop from the desired class within that session's 100% 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% refund/credit period. The 100% refund/credit periods for regularly scheduled classes are as follows:

            Fall and spring semester: on or before the 10th 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 Office at (309) 298-1884.

A student may withdraw during the first 10 weeks of a regular semester. After the first 10 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 officially and TOTALLY withdraws from Western Illinois University in accordance with established University procedures on or before the 10th class day of the semester shall receive credit for all tuition, mandatory fees, and prorated credit for room and board charges.

A student who officially and TOTALLY withdraws after the 10th day of the semester shall be entitled to a refund/credit of tuition, mandatory fees, and room and board charges as follows:

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 Sessions

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

 Financial Assistance

 Graduate Assistantships

Graduate assistants are an integral part of the intellectual community at Western Illinois University. The purpose of graduate education is to develop scholars and professionals equipped with the knowledge and skills to succeed in their chosen fields. By working under the supervision of faculty mentors or administrative professionals, graduate assistants gain valuable experience relevant to their profession.

Graduate assistantships are academic merit-based awards that recognize outstanding achievement and provide financial support to students as they pursue their degrees. Both the University and the student benefit from the assistantship. The student receives professional experience and financial support, while the University gains a student assistant dedicated to advancing its mission.

Graduate assistants are expected to balance the challenges presented by both the assistantship duties and the requirements of the graduate degree. As such, a student must demonstrate satisfactory progress toward the completion of scholarly tasks, as well as assignments in the workplace. All graduate students are encouraged to consult with assistantship supervisors and departmental graduate advisors throughout this process.

Students with full-time assistantships are required to work up to 20 hours per week or teach up to six semester hours per semester and will receive a monthly stipend and waiver of tuition. Current stipend amounts, policies, procedures, and additional information concerning the assistantship program may be found online at Assistantship applications received prior to March 15 may be given priority consideration.

Categories of Assistantships

1.  Teaching Assistant (TA)

A Teaching Assistant is the instructor of record for a class or laboratory within a specific academic department of the University. Teaching Assistants’ duties consist of one or more of the following types of activities:

  • conducting classes or laboratories
  • preparing lectures
  • constructing and grading tests/quizzes
  • holding student conferences
  • assigning course/laboratory grades
  • other duties related to the assigned course/laboratory

2.  Teaching Support Assistant (TSA)

A Teaching Support Assistant provides assistance/support to an academic course instructor. Teaching Support Assistants’ primary (greater than 50%) duties consist of one or more of the following types of activities:

  • taking attendance
  • proctoring exams/quizzes
  • grading objective exams/quizzes
  • developing academic instructional materials
  • tutoring
  • facilitating review/study sessions
  • other instructional support services

3.  Research Assistant (RA)

A Research Assistant is assigned to faculty members to assist with their research. Research Assistants’ primary duties (greater than 50%) consist of one or more of the following types of activities:

  • conducting experiments
  • collecting or analyzing data
  • collaborating in preparing publications
  • library research
  • other research activities

4.  Graduate Assistant (GA)

A Graduate Assistant supports the administrative and operational functions of the University or approved external agencies. Graduate Assistants’ primary duties (greater than 50%) consist of one or more of the following types of activities:

  • technical support services (web, equipment management, etc.)
  • advising students
  • clerical support
  • recruiting students
  • event development/management
  • other support services

Application Process: To apply for an assistantship, an Application for Assistantship (available during the online Graduate School application process or at 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.

Individual departments/offices on campus are responsible for the selection of their assistants. Some departments/offices may require application materials in addition to those required by the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants should check with their employment area of interest for specifics regarding the hiring procedure.

Tuition Waiver Benefit: Graduate assistants with semester-long contracts will automatically receive a waiver of tuition (upon receipt of a signed contract in the Graduate School) 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 to 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 the original term of the contract. Tuition waivers are not prorated.

Tuition Waiver Taxation: Per Internal Revenue Service regulations (IRC 127), taxes will be withheld on graduate assistant tuition waiver amounts exceeding $5,250 in the calendar year (January-December). Research, teaching, and teaching support assistant tuition waivers are exempt from taxation under current tax laws. For more information, please visit or contact the School of Graduate Studies.

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: one half check in February; full checks in March, April, and May; and one-half 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, specialist, or doctoral program. Probationary, non-degree, post-baccalaureate, and second bachelor’s degree students are not eligible to hold assistantship positions. Integrated bachelor’s/master’s students become eligible for assistantships once their undergraduate degree is completed.

3. Must have a cumulative undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 (based on all hours attempted at all institutions attended) if no graduate-level courses have been completed. Must maintain a 3.0 or higher graduate GPA once graduate-level courses have been completed.

4. Must be enrolled in at least nine semester hours of graduate coursework or undergraduate deficiencies if holding a graduate, research, or teaching support assistant position for fall/spring; 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 on file in the Graduate School), it is acceptable to be registered for only the remaining required courses.

5. Sign an assistantship contract and complete all required employment paperwork, including a background check.

Employment Requirements: All graduate assistants must participate in direct deposit of wages, 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 prior to the student beginning work.

The Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act (Act) (325 ILCS 5/4) mandates that all personnel of higher education institutions, including graduate assistants, report cases of suspected child abuse or neglect to the Department of Children and Family Services’ (DCFS) toll-free, 24-hour Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-25-ABUSE (22873). Effective July 13, 2012, the Act requires any person who enters into State of Illinois higher education employment to sign a statement on a form prescribed by DCFS to affirm that the employee has knowledge and understanding of the reporting requirements of the Act. The statement, Acknowledgement of Mandated Reporter Status, must be signed, dated, and returned prior to a contract being written.

Western Illinois University endeavors to provide a safe environment for its employees and students and requires candidates to submit to a background investigation upon offer of employment. Employment is contingent upon compliance with University policies and procedures relating to the receipt and evaluation of information contained in the background investigation.

All graduate assistants under contract to the University will be assessed the student health insurance fee. A brochure explaining 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 within the first ten days of the semester.

Graduate assistants must adhere to the same standards of professional ethics as permanent employees. All graduate assistants must comply with The State Officials and Employees Ethics Act (5ILCS 430/5-10) by completing the annual online training. Within 30 days of their start date, newly hired assistants must review the WIU Ethics Orientation for Employees document and electronically submit the signature/certification page to the Office of the Vice President of Administrative Services, Sherman Hall 200. The document is available on STARS under Employee Compliance.

All graduate assistants are required to complete online sexual harassment prevention training, in accordance with the Illinois Human Rights Act and in support of the University’s sexual misconduct policy. This training is administered by the Office of Equal Opportunity and Access. Students will receive a personalized training link from Workplace Answers in their WIU email account. This training needs to be completed within 30 days of hire.

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 Teaching Assistant Contract Request, which the department chair must submit to the Graduate School.

Teaching assistants are required to complete training on the WIUP University Information Management Systems (MVS) so they are able to enter grades online for the courses they are assigned to teach. It is the responsibility of the teaching assistant to contact the Office of Human Resources (309) 298-1971 or Sherman Hall 105 to schedule the one-hour training session.

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

Lump Sum Payment Request – Graduate Assistant

Periodically, graduate assistants may perform duties in addition to their regular contract responsibilities. Requests to work additional hours must be approved by the School of Graduate Studies prior to the hours worked. Supplemental pay for graduate assistants is processed via the Lump Sum Payment Request – Graduate Assistant form available at This method of payment is not to be used on a recurring basis. Tuition waivers are not included with a lump sum payment.

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. Likewise, students may terminate a contract at any time for cause. 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 a WIU e-mail address). The tuition waiver will be revoked if the original term of the contract is not fulfilled. Tuition waivers are not prorated.

Time Reporting

All assistantship personnel must record their hours worked via an online time reporting system. This report is not directly related to monthly stipend payments. Instructions for completing the time report may be found at

The School of Graduate Studies recognizes the weekly scheduling of graduate assistant hours may vary across departments due to the variety of departmental needs. The Graduate Studies policy is meant to encompass the majority of situations and provide guidance for departments and graduate students. The Director of Graduate Studies should be consulted if a department’s needs require a substantial deviation from these guidelines.

For most departments, a set schedule of a number of hours per week (20 for full positions, 13 for 2/3 positions) is the norm. Departments using this schedule should ensure the total number of hours worked during the semester meets the standard for the amount of the assistantship. Departmental decisions to alter the GA schedule (e.g., to exclude duties during the first week or finals week) should increase the number of hours in the other weeks to account for the difference.

Assistantship personnel who are scheduled to work on a day listed on the academic calendar as a holiday or a University closure are excused from working that day and do not need to make up the hours later. Normally, assistants are not expected to work on a holiday or during the weeks of Spring Break and Thanksgiving Break unless it is written into their job description as an expectation. In this case, the assistant shall be compensated with equal time off or a lump sum payment, as determined by unit policy or the decision of a supervisor.

While it is understood that individual departmental needs may demand additional student hours at certain times in a semester, care should be taken to ensure the increased hours during those periods do not impede the student’s academic progress. The number of hours during any one week should not exceed 20-25% more than the usual amount (a total of 24 hours for a full GA; 16 hours for a 2/3 GA). The overage should be documented and accounted for in a reduction of hours in other weeks.

Departments are encouraged to monitor the number of assistantship hours worked by means of assigned office or lab hours, during which grading, research assistance, and other preparatory tasks may be accomplished for supervising faculty or the department. In cases where this solution is impractical, some other method by which the department can monitor hours worked should be documented.

In all cases, graduate assistants should know the average number of hours their assistantship duties require and should be encouraged to meet with their supervisor to discuss their assignment and the balance of hours between academic and assistantship duties. Clarification on these guidelines may be provided by the School of Graduate Studies.

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

The application deadline to be considered for the fall semester is September 15; for the spring/summer semesters, it is February 15. Applications should be submitted to the applicant’s department chairperson on or before the deadline. A maximum of five applications may be submitted from each academic department. Departments must submit the applications to the Graduate School by October 1 (fall) and March 1 (spring/summer).

Applications and full guidelines are available at

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 for Underrepresented Students (PMGAP) and Diversifying Higher Education Faculty in Illinois (DFI). The PMGAP award provides a stipend of up to $2,000 per semester, which is applied to tuition, fees, or other educational expenses. Students receiving graduate assistantships, tuition waivers, DFI awards, or other scholarships 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 program is designed to increase the number of minority faculty and staff at Illinois colleges and universities. The application deadline for the academic year is the previous February. Further DFI information can be found at PMGAP applications are available through the WIU Scholarship Portal or by emailing

 Loans and Part-Time Employment

The University participates in the Federal Work Study Program and the Federal Direct Loan Program. Please know that enrollment information is not always available when loan eligibility is determined. Therefore, loans are usually processed based on nine semester hours of credit per semester. Enrollment in less than nine semester hours may require an adjustment to the loan amount. Students enrolled more than nine semester hours may request a loan increase based on additional tuition and fees costs. Federal Direct Loans and Federal Work Study require minimum enrollment in six semester hours of graduate level course work in a qualified degree program each semester. Audit hours are not considered for financial aid.

Enrollment verification requests for the deferment of student loans are processed through the School of Graduate Studies.

Note: Students enrolled in courses for more than one graduate degree or certificate at a time, or enrolled in undergraduate courses, may not be eligible for financial aid. Students must earn their graduate degree/certificate before attempting more than 150% of the hours required for their first graduate degree/certificate. Hours beyond 150% may not qualify for financial aid.

For more information, contact the Financial Aid Office, Sherman Hall 127, (309) 298-2446 or

 Departmental Scholarships

Graduate scholarship information is available at or by contacting the Scholarship Office, 308 Sherman Hall, The Scholarship Office website includes general graduate, departmental, and private scholarship information. The student’s academic department is another good resource for scholarship materials.

 Veterans Resource Center

The Veterans Resource Center, located in the Wright Residence, is committed to assisting those who have served, or are currently serving, in the U.S. military and their family members. The Veterans Resource Center, in collaboration with an array of University departments and community organizations, provides coordinated services and resources in a one-stop location to ensure that all military service members are afforded the greatest opportunities for success. The center staff strives to provide a streamlined approach to helping veterans and military personnel obtain educational and military transcripts and complete applications for the G.I. Bill, Illinois Veterans Grant, Illinois National Guard Grant, Illinois MIA/POW Scholarship, Federal Tuition Assistance, and federal student aid programs. Individualized assistance in additional areas include, but are not limited to: questions regarding periods of military activation and deployment; obtaining appropriate housing accommodations; requesting military records; and acquiring community living information, outreach services, and health benefits. The Veterans Resource Center may be reached at (309) 298-3505.