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."  

Important Fall 2019 Financial Aid Information

  1. Check your WIU email frequently for notifications from the Financial Aid Office.
  2. FAFSA application and other submissions received in August will be considered in date order beginning in September due to the volume of processing in August.
  3. Set up a Parent and Guest Account on STARS if you want a parent or other person to be able to see your financial aid information on STARS or to talk with Financial Aid staff about your aid.
  4. Check Financial Aid Information on STARS to:
    • See if information is needed to complete the review of your FAFSA application.
    • See your Financial Aid Award Letter.
    • See if you need to sign a Master Promissory Note (
    • See if you need to complete Entrance Counseling (
    • See current financial aid awards.  Actual awards may adjust nightly if your enrollment changes.
    • Cancel or reduce any of your loans.  Reductions requested after August 1st may take up to 10-15 business days to process and may delay your loan disbursement.
  5. Check B/R Account Detail on STARS for information from Billing and Receivables Office to:
    • Confirm when aid has been credited to your university account.  Aid may adjust nightly if you add or drop courses and your tuition and fees change.
    • Confirm when a refund disbursement has been initiated.  Allow 2 business days for direct deposit to personal account.
  6. Important dates in August:
    • 2nd - first day any Fall aid and Fall charges can display on B/R Account Detail.
    • 6th - Billings Office emails the first monthly bill for Fall.  Loans will not show as a credit on the August bill.
    • 9th - per federal regulations, the earliest that any federal loan funds can be released to your university account.  Please be aware that many loans must be manually reviewed which will delay that release.  The day after the release, you will see the credit applied on B/R Account Detail.
    • 16th - first day for direct deposit of refunds from Billings if you have more aid than allowable costs. 
    • 19th - first day any private/alternative and Parent PLUS loans will display on B/R Account Detail.
  7. Talent/Athletic awards are credited as soon as notification is received from the department. If your award is not credited, you may contact the awarding department.
  8. Illinois National Guard and Illinois Veteran grants are credited as soon as the information is provided by ISAC.  If your award does not appear on your account, you may contact ISAC at 1-800-899-4722.
  9. The WIU Foundation Office applies outside scholarships to the billing account as they are received.  If you have a check from an outside scholarship, take it to the WIU Foundation Office in Sherman Hall 303.
  10. Wanting to work?  For employment information, go to  All 2019-20 Federal Work-Study funds have been awarded.     
  11. Repeating a course?  See information about the Financial Aid Policy for Repeated Courses at
  12. Grades matter!  See information about the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy at




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.