Financial Aid

Financial Aid Handbook & Policies

Federal Direct Loans

The loan amounts listed on your award letter are your maximum eligibility for federal loans. Loans can be a valuable resource, but borrow only what is absolutely necessary because loans must be repaid. Loan repayments become a burden when amounts exceed 8% of your monthly adjusted gross income. Consider all other sources, including part-time employment, before borrowing.

First-time borrowers must complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Entrance Counseling before funds can be released - both may be completed at

Please contact the Financial Aid Office from your STARS account if you wish to reduce your loan amount. Remember that you may return/cancel a loan disbursement through WIU within 30 days of receiving the disbursement, but you must first repay any refund that resulted from loan proceeds. You have 120 days to return and cancel a loan disbursement through your loan servicer. You can find your loan servicer by logging into the StudentAid Loan Portal.

Types of Direct Loans

The subsidized Direct Loan is based on your EFC, the cost of attendance at WIU, and your financial need. Interest does not accrue while enrolled at least half-time and repayment is deferred until six months after leaving school or dropping below half-time enrollment status. 

The unsubsidized Direct Loan is based only on the cost of attendance minus any other aid. Unsubsidized Direct Loans are not based on financial need. The principal, but not the interest, is deferred until after leaving school. 

Learn more about Direct Loans for Undergraduate Students

Fixed interest rates on older loans vary based on the academic year your loan was disbursed. Find the most current interest rates on Federal Student Loans

Direct Loan Annual Loan Limits

The combination of subsidized and unsubsidized Direct Loans cannot exceed annual or aggregate federal loan limits

Federal Direct Loan Information For Graduate Students

Eligibility for Direct Loans at the graduate level requires admission to WIU in a regular graduate degree program. This includes graduate students, students combining graduate study with teacher licensure, an approved post baccalaureate certificate, and students working on a second baccalaureate degree program. Learn more about Learn more about Direct Loans for  Graduate Students

Please note the following important information concerning student graduate loans:

  • Individual amounts will vary according to financial need, prior loan history and federal regulations.
  • Graduate loans are processed assuming an enrollment status of nine (9) hours of graduate credit. Please notify the Financial Aid Office if your status will include more or less than nine hours of graduate credit, both graduate and undergraduate hours, or you will be in a teacher licensure or second baccalaureate program.
  • Audit hours are not considered in the enrollment status in processing your student loan.