Financial Aid

Welcome to Financial Aid

Thinking about joining WIU as a Leatherneck? Check out our information for prospective students!

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File To Win

50 Winners that filed on October 1st have been randomly chosen and notified by email!!! Congratulations to the winners!!

2051 students filed their FAFSA on October 1st! Those students were entered into our File To Win drawing for a $200 book award.


2018-2019 Processing Timeline:

  • October 1, 2017: 2018-19 FAFSA goes LIVE!
  • October 2, 2017: The Department of Education will begin processing 2018-19 FAFSAs through the Central Processing System (CPS).
  • October 3, 2017: Western Illinois University will begin importing 2018-19 Institutional Student Information Records (ISIRs).
  • October 2017: Testing of 2018-19 data will begin and continue for an undetermined amount of time.
  • October 2017: Upon completion of testing data will be moved into production for processing.

Students can confirm filing by logging on to and/or their email associated with their Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID to confirm receipt of their Student Aid Report (SAR). 

New STARS Layout

A recent update to STARS now allows you to access STARS on your mobile devices with greater ease, but it has resulted in some re-organization of screens you use. You can find our screen, Financial Aid Information, under the Financials heading.

How to Create Your FSA ID

Before you fill out your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), you must first set up your FSA ID - a username and password - which will be needed to electronically sign and submit the FAFSA.  This step will take a few minutes to complete and you can watch the following video on how to create your FSA ID to help save time. 

Please remember that any parent of a dependent student must create and use their own FSA ID in order to electronically sign the FAFSA. Both parent and student should create their own FSA ID and not have someone else complete this step for them.  For additional information please visit Parents can also watch FAFSA and FSA ID Tips for Parents to get more information.

IRS Data Retrieval Tool

The IRS Data Retrieval tool was suspended by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The Data Retrieval Tool will not be available for the 2017-18 FAFSA. Alternative means of completing verification can be utilized by requesting a tax return transcript for the 2017-18 year.

The IRS Data Retrieval tool is available for the 2018-19 FAFSA.

For instructions for requesting a tax return transcript please visit

IRS Data Retrieval Tool Update


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! 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.