Financial Aid

FAQ - Common Graduate Questions

  1. What types of financial aid (including loans) are available for graduate students?
  2. How and when do I apply for financial aid?
  3. How do I view my financial aid award?
  4. What are the annual loan limits for Federal Direct loan annual limits for graduate students?
  5. How much can a graduate student borrow each year?
  6. Why can’t I receive the MAP or Pell grants for grad school?
  7. How can I authorize my parent, gaurdian, spouse or other guest to have access to my financial aid information?
  8. How do I activate my WIU email and my STARS account?
1. What types of financial aid (including loans) are available for graduate students?
Graduate assistantships and tuition waivers, federal student loans, federal Grad PLUS loans, Federal Work-Study, and various scholarships are available for graduate study.
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2. How and when do I apply for financial aid?
You must file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each academic year that you wish to be considered for financial aid, which includes federal student loans. The application process is an annual activity beginning anytime after October 1 for the following academic year (fall, spring and summer). Complete the FAFSA as soon as possible after October 1st to be considered for maximum federal and state aid programs.
While paper applications are available, students are urged to apply for the FAFSA online because application information will be processed faster, and built-in software helps you avoid errors that could lead to delays.
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3. How do I view my financial aid award?
As soon as the Financial Aid Office has determined your financial aid awards, we will send you an Award Notification to both your WIU email and the personal email you provided on the FAFSA, notifying you that your awards are available to view on STARS, a secure site where students can access their student information. All further notifications throughout the year will be to your WIU email account only.
Once you have logged into STARS, navigate to the "Financials" tab and select "Financial Aid Information". Then, click on the academic year you want to view. There will be a link to view your "Award Offers".
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4. What are the annual loan limits for Federal Direct loan annual limits for graduate students?
See SudentAid.gov's FAQ for the current annual loan limits for graduate students. 
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5. How much can a graduate student borrow each year?
Graduate students may borrow up to the cost of attendance each academic year. Note that individual loan amounts will vary according to need, prior loan history, and federal regulations.
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6. Why can’t I receive the MAP or Pell grants for grad school?
Both grant programs are only authorized for students pursuing their first bachelors degree. Graduate students seeking assistance may look to other sources of aid like graduate assistantships and tuition waivers, scholarships, or federal loan funds.
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7. How can I authorize my parent, gaurdian, spouse or other guest to have access to my financial aid information?
In order to give parents, guardians, spouses, or other guests detailed info about your financial accounts, you must grant access through your STARS Account.  After logging in, navigate to the "My Profile Tab" and select "Parent and Guest Access Management". Visit our Youtube Channel for a full tutorial
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8. How do I activate my WIU email and my STARS account?
Email:
You can activate your email account by going to wiu.edu/activate.

STARS:
The first time you access STARS, your password will be your month, day and full year of birth (mmddyyyy). For example, if you were born on January 5, 1980 then your PIN will be 01051980. You will then be required to change your password.. DO NOT GIVE YOUR PASSWORD TO ANYONE!
For STARS sign-on assistance you may contact the Student Assistance and Parent Service Center (Union), 309-298-2092.
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