Financial Aid

Our office is now open for limited interaction and visits. Students are still encouraged to utilize a virtual environment to contact us in order to keep you healthy and limit contact. Please send documents via email or fax.
We are happy to visit with you by:
Phone: (309)298-2446
Fax: (309) 298-2353
Call to Schedule an Appointment

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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."  

Now That You’re Enrolled…

  1. After registering for classes, calculate your expected charges using the  WIU Cost Estimator.
    • The first bill of each semester is generally available on STARS the first week of August/January.
    • Federal Direct Loans will be disbursed after the 10th day of the semester and will not appear on the August/January bills. Monitor your University account on STARS by selecting B/R Account Detail.
    • Complete the  Direct Deposit Authorization  on STARS to receive any refund due to you. Refunds will be ordered following the 10th day of the semester.
    • Remember that funds are to be used only for educationally-related expenses such as books and supplies, room and board or rent and utilities, transportation to class, etc.
  2. Additional loan eligibility may be available  if needed. See  Parent PLUS loan  and  private alternative loan  information in the  Loans section  of our website
  3. Prepare to pay for your books by cash, check, or credit card.
    • o Books can be charged to your University account August 6th through August 31st.
  4. Read the   Financial Aid Reminders  available on our website.
  5. Read the    Financial Aid Handbook & Policy Information  available on our website.
  6. Review your federal student loan history   . (Log in with your FSA ID)
    • Track your federal student loan debt every year – remember, borrow only what you need!
    • Remember that private student loan information is not available through this federal database, so you will have to keep track of your private loan information yourself.
  7. Get ready to do it all again!  Financial aid is an annual process, so there will be new scholarship applications every fall and  a new FAFSA  to complete every October.
  8. If you are graduating and/or not returning next year should:

Also review our  Frequently Asked Questions  and check out WIU Financial Aid on  Facebook,  Instagram, and  Twitter!

Change in Disbursment of Aid Beginning Fall 2022

Beginning with the 2022-23 academic year, federal aid (i.e. Pell, Federal Student/Parent/Grad Direct Loans, Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants, and TEACH grants) will be disbursed and applied to student accounts following the 10th day of the term. As a result of this delay in disbursement, excess financial aid (federal/state grants, institutional scholarships, and federal direct loans) will be ordered beginning the third week of the semester.

Beginning Fall 2022, all registered students will be allowed to charge up to $600 each semester at the University Bookstore for required textbooks and supplies (no soft goods) through the 8th day of a term.

See our Financial Aid Policy for more information.

Looking for your Award Letter?

We have started processing FAFSAs for the 2022-23 Academic Year. Award letters for new freshman will be sent out starting in January. New transfer and returning students are expected to receive award letters starting at the beginning of March. 

Keep an eye on your WIU email and  STARS Account. If you have been selected for  Verification, we may need additional documents before we can process your Award Letter. Make sure to turn in the requested documents as soon as possible so that we can generate your award letter based on the timeline above. You will be notified via WIU Email and a notification in  STARS  if you have been selected for  Verification


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 completed online. 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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