Financial Aid

Welcome to Financial Aid

"The mission of the Western Illinois University Office of Financial Aid is to provide all students and their families with resources for success through efficient and timely customer service, equitable disbursement of financial awards, and educational programming related to financial literacy.  Through these actions, our goal is to maintain a positive environment that will help create opportunities for equal access to post-secondary education and increase student retention."  

FAFSA Applications for the 2020-2021 Academic Year are Open!

  1. File the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aidto be considered for federal and state financial aid (it’s a good idea to do this every year, even if you don’t expect aid).
    • File as soon as possible after October 1st – you will use 2018 tax information to complete the application.
    • Priority consideration is given to students who complete their FAFSA by January 1 – this helps to maximize a student’s eligibility for certain campus and state funds, which are typically limited.
    • Include WIU as a school you would like to have receive your FAFSA (school code 001780).
    • If you would like your parent, spouse, etc. to have access to your financial aid information, set up a Parent/Guest Account on STARS.
  2. Review your Student Aid Report (SAR) for any mistakes or errors that need correcting.
  3. Regularly check your WIU email and STARS/Financial Aid Information for any notifications or requests from our office.
    • If you haven’t already, activate your WIU email and STARS once you are accepted to the University.
    • You may grant online access to your STARS records to a maximum of 5 guests by selecting Parent and Guest Account Management from STARS.
  4. IF SELECTED for Verification, submit the requested worksheet and additional requirements as instructed.
    • You will receive an email notification if you have been selected for Verification – a STARS/Financial Aid Information message will also be posted.
    • Please do not send a Verification Worksheet, tax returns, etc. unless the information is requested.
    • Our goal is to review your information within 2-4 weeks after all requirements have been submitted. The volume of files and time of year will affect time needed for review – check our website for updates.

To view the status of the FAFSA website (maintenance times, outages), visit FAFSA's announcement page.

Get Started

There's a lot to cover, so the best place to begin is our Getting Started section - here you can find checklists, timelines, helpful hints, and other tools created specifically for WIU students.

The first step is always completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which can be done online at If you're looking for a quick and easy review, check out the:

Of course, different types of students may need different information. Click below to determine if there are any specific instructions or requirements that may apply to you:

Undergraduate Students Transfer Students International Students Graduate Students

Stay in Touch

Are you looking for an easy way to stay up to date in the world of financial aid? Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram! These are both great and convenient ways for WIU students and parents to receive regular reminders, updates, and current financial aid news directly from our office.

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