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Grants are funds that do not need to be repaid, similar to scholarships – they are essentially “free money”. The only application required for these specified programs is the (FAFSA) Free Application for Federal Student Aid, which determines a student’s financial need. Grants are available from state and federal resources, and are subject to annual budgets and appropriations.
The Illinois MAP Grant is one of Western's major sources of funds for undergraduate students who meet Illinois residency requirements. Students are encouraged to file their FAFSA as soon as possible after January 1 for consideration as funding is limited.
Eligibility for MAP is tracked by the equivalent number of semester credit hours of MAP benefits paid on your behalf, with a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 15 MAP Paid Credit Hours being used per semester. MAP Paid Credit Hours will still be used even if a student withdraws or does not pass coursework.
There is a limit on the number of MAP Paid Credit Hours that can be paid – freshman/sophomore students (0-59 credits earned) cannot exceed 75 MAP Paid Credit Hours Paid, while juniors/seniors (60+ credits earned) cannot exceed 135 MAP Credit Hours Paid. Once a student reaches 135 MAP Credit Hours Paid, he/she will no longer be eligible to receive the MAP grant.
If eligible and funds are available, the MAP grant award will be listed on a student’s financial aid award letter notification. Annual award amounts are subject to state appropriations, and MAP grants can only be applied towards actual tuition and fee charges up to 15 credit hours per semester. Award amounts will be prorated based on eligibility and enrollment.
Your MAP award may be adjusted if you receive any other type of assistance which pays for tuition and/or fees, OR if you receive gift aid (scholarships and grants) in excess of your cost of attendance.
To be considered for the MAP grant, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
For more information see Section 10B-1 in the Financial Aid Handbook.
The Pell Grant is one of Western's major sources of funds for undergraduate students who have exceptional financial need and are in a degree program. The Pell Grant will not pay for graduate and some retake, audit, or deleted courses.
NOTE: The amount of Federal Pell Grant funds a student may receive over his or her lifetime is limited by a new federal law to be the equivalent of six years of Pell Grant funding. For additional information, please visit Calculating Pell Grant Lifetime Eligibility Used or contact our office.
If eligible, the Pell Grant award will be listed on a student’s financial aid award notification. Annual award amounts are subject to Congressional appropriations.
Award amounts will be adjusted based on eligibility and enrollment. Federal regulations allow maximum eligibility for full-time (12 or more enrolled hours), 75% eligibility for three-quarter-time (9-11 enrolled hours), 50% eligibility for half-time (6-8 enrolled hours) and partial awards for some eligible students enrolled less-than-half-time (1-5 enrolled hours).
To be considered for the Pell Grant, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
For more information see Section 10A in the Financial Aid Handbook.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) is for undergraduate students in a degree program with exceptional financial need. Students are encouraged to file their FAFSA as soon as possible after January 1 for consideration as funding is very limited, with priority given to students who receive Federal Pell Grants.
If eligible and funds are available, the FSEOG award will be listed on a student’s financial aid award notification.
To be considered for FSEOG, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Teach Grant Program
The Federal Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program provides funding for students who intend to teach in a public/private elementary or secondary school in high-need subject areas for at least four years at schools serving students from low-income families.
The following WIU majors qualify as 'High Need Fields' for Federal Teach Grant:
- Special Education
- Foreign Language or Bilingual Education
- Reading Specialist
- Special Education
Additional requirements include:
- Full acceptance to Teacher Education Program (TEP)
- 3.25 cumulative GPA
- Current year FAFSA filed
If eligible, the TEACH Grant provides up to $4,000 per year in grant funds. TEACH Grant recipients who do not complete the teaching requirement within a specified time or fail to meet other program requirements must repay the grant as a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan with interest charged from the date of each TEACH Grant disbursement.
If you believe TEACH is right for you, complete the TEACH Grant Initial Counseling and Agreement To Serve to apply. If you are eligible you will receive official notification from the Financial Aid Office by WIU email.
Please visit the Teach Grant website for more information regarding eligibility. Prior to graduating or leaving school, TEACH Grant recipients must complete exit counseling. The TEACH Grant Exit Counseling will explain the TEACH Grant Service Obligation and the terms and conditions that apply should your grant become a Direct Unsubsidized Loan.