University News

WIU Announces The Western Way Scholarship Program

March 11, 2024

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MACOMB/MOLINE, IL— To expand access and ensure opportunities for academic success, Western Illinois University is introducing The Western Way, which will provide a pathway for incoming students to cover tuition and mandatory fees.

The state of Illinois' AIM HIGH Western Commitment Program is supporting this initiative, covering fees and tuition for incoming students who meet eligibility and renewal requirements. Freshmen are eligible for coverage for eight consecutive semesters, while transfers can receive coverage for four consecutive semesters. The program aims to eliminate financial barriers for qualifying students.

"We are focused on reducing barriers and making WIU the best choice for even more students. With thousands of Leatherneck alumni living and working in the state of Illinois, The Western Way will help secure the same direction for countless future Illinois residents," Justin Schuch, assistant vice president for Student Success and Enrollment said. "We are grateful for state leaders committed to supporting higher education in Illinois. The Western Way would not be possible without their support."

To qualify for The Western Way, future Leathernecks must be admitted to WIU as incoming first-time or transfer students and take at least 12 credit hours. The award will fund up to a maximum of 15 credit hours. Additionally, individuals must receive the state of Illinois AIM HIGH Western Commitment or Transfer Commitment award and meet the eligibility criteria for federal financial aid; have a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale and be a resident of Illinois who graduated from an Illinois high school with at least one parent who is also a resident of Illinois, as listed on the FAFSA. Annual family income must be less than $81,000 with zero assets based on the FAFSA.

"The Western Way underscores WIU's longstanding commitment to providing access to an unmatched educational experience as one of the best regional public institutions in the Midwest," Doug Freed, director of Undergraduate Admissions and Enrollment Services said.

Eligible students will receive a financial aid package that provides scholarship and grant funding to cover the full cost of tuition and mandatory campus fees not already covered by other federal, state, institutional and private awards, including the Federal Pell Grant and the State of Illinois MAP Grant. Individuals may also be considered for additional financial aid (grants, scholarships, loans and employment) to cover other educational expenses, such as food and housing, books and supplies and personal/miscellaneous expenses.

The Western Way does not cover housing and dining, books and supplies, course fees, study abroad, internship or other student expenses.

For more information on The Western Way, visit Individuals must apply for admission and complete the FAFSA or the Illinois Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid. The program will begin with the Summer/Fall 2024 semester.

Helping you unleash your potential is our purpose. That is the Western Way.

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