Financial Aid

Understanding Your Award Letter

The purpose of an award letter is to notify students of their financial aid eligibility at WIU for a specific academic year. Once your FAFSA application has been reviewed by our office, your financial aid eligibility will be determined and an award letter will be made available to you on STARS

You will receive a notification at your WIU email account when your award letter is available. When you log on to STARS, select "Financial Aid Information" from the STARS drop-down menu. Then choose the academic year you wish to view. Finally, select "View Award Letter".

NOTE: If the State of Illinois MAP Grant is not included on your award letter, you are not eligible for the grant at Western Illinois University. Please see the Handbook & Policies for additional information.

Understanding Your Award Letter

Keep in mind that your awards may be adjusted later if:

  • Your enrollment changes (e.g. less than full-time, less than 15 credit hours/semester for MAP funding, or less than six credit hours/semester for federal loan eligibility).
  • You receive aid not included on a previous award letter.
  • Funding allocations change, particularly in regards to state and federal resources.

Your award letter contains important instructions and information you need to know - make sure to review your award letter in full and contact our office with any questions.

In addition, returning students should regularly track their federal student loan history online using the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) - use the information provided by NSLDS to help monitor your outstanding debt and calculate your future repayment amounts.

Below is an example that highlights many features of the WIU award letter:


Western Illinois University
Financial Aid Office * 1 University Circle * Macomb, IL 61455
PHONE: 309-298-2446 * FAX: 309-298-2353
Email: * Web:



-- Sign a Direct Loan Master Promissory Note. E-sign at REQUIRED if you want loan
-- Student loans must be repaid; do not borrow more than is necessary. You may reduce or cancel your loan(s) on the "View Financial Awards" page on STARS.

-- Activate your WIU email account and check regularly for updates.
-- Earn credit for at least 67% of your hours attempted and maintain at least a 2.0 GPA to remain eligible for financial aid. Read the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy in Handbook & Policies section at
-- Read Aid Process/Disbursement Reminders and all Policies information on our web site.
-- Notify our office of any grants, scholarships, or loans not included above. (Adjustments to above aid may be required).
-- Know that students enrolled in independent study, on-line, or extension courses and/or graduate students taking undergraduate hours may require aid adjustments based on actual enrollment.
-- Email the Financial Aid Office if you will not attend WIU in 2014-15.

Tuition & fees (15 hours per term/in-state)
Room & board (based on double room rate)*
       (Substitute $4,858 each term for single room)
SUBTRACT aid from above
After June 1, your parent may apply online for a PLUS at Your parent will need their FAFSA pin number to begin the application process.
-- The Cost Estimator can provide you with a more accurate estimate of your anticipated costs based on your individual information (compared to estimates above)Cost Estimator -- expected cost based on your enrollment plans
-- Billing Information -- explanation of your University bill.
-- Payment Methods -- options to pay your university account.