Financial Aid

FAQ - Costs & Billing

  • How much will my bill be?
  • When can I view my bill?
    • Your fall semester bill is first issued in early August, and your spring semester bill is first issued in early January - you will also receive subsequent monthly statements for any outstanding balance still owed. Bills will be available on STARS under Monthly Billing Statement, and a notification will be sent to your WIU email when a bill is ready to view.
  • Where’s my bill and how much do I still owe?
    • You may see an itemized list of student account transactions on STARS under the "Financials" Tab and selecting "Account Detail". Then click the "Account Details" button at the top of the screen. Your B/R Account Detail will show what financial aid has already credited to your account, along with your current remaining balance. Any remaining balance not paid by the bill’s due date will be assessed a 1% finance charge and rolled over to the next month’s bill. Failure to view a bill will not excuse finance charge assessments or payment of the account.

      Most financial aid, including loans, will credit to your student account just before the semester begins. If you have questions regarding your charges or remaining balance, contact the Billing & Receivables Office at (309) 298-1831.
  • Does the University offer any payment plans for tuition and room and board charges?
    • Payment plans are available through the Billings and Receivables Office.
  • When can I expect a financial aid refund?
    • The earliest refunds are issued the Friday before the start of the semester - but remember, not everyone will receive a refund. Refunds will only be issued to students whose financial aid, once credited to their University account, is greater than their eligible charges. For more details, including how to receive your refund via Direct Deposit, visit the Billing & Receivables FAQ.
    • Are short-term loans available?
      • Short-term loans may be granted to students who have financial aid pending that would result in a refund to the student, but the refund will not be available in a timely manner. Short-Term Loan Program requests are made in the  Scholarship Office, 308 Sherman Hall.  The first short-term loan application date is the Thursday before the start of classes each semester.
  • Why do I still owe a balance on my University account after receiving a refund?
    • Federal regulations state that Title IV awards (federal student loans, Pell, Perkins, SEOG) apply only to tuition, fees, room and board - not miscellaneous charges. Please contact Billing & Receivables to authorize the University to apply this aid to miscellaneous charges such as parking tickets, medical services, finance charges, etc., and up to $200 from the previous academic year.
  • Am I able to charge books to my student account?
    • Books cannot be charged to your student account, and refunds from financial aid are not always available or may be insufficient to pay for your books. Please be prepared to pay for your books from your own personal resources
  • Is it possible to obtain a short-term loan for books?
    • It is possible under limited circumstances. The Scholarship Office has funds available for students whose refunds (aid greater than University charges) are not available when the semester begins. Please note that aid applications, subsequent information requests, etc. must be submitted a month before school begins - aid applications received after that date and during the start-up of each semester will be processed after the semester is underway.
  • I need more aid - what should I do?
    • If you have any remaining financial need after your aid has applied to your student account, here are a few options to consider:
      1. Review the Billing & Receivables Payment Plans to determine if there is a payment plan that would work for you and your family.
      2. Consider pursuing student employment opportunities to help cover your expenses.
      3. Contact the Financial Aid Office to determine if you are eligible for any additional federal student loans.
      4. Review and discuss the Federal Parent PLUS Loan information on our website with your parent(s). A student whose parent is unable to obtain a PLUS loan may be eligible for additional federal student loans.
      5. Review the private alternative student loan information on our website. 
      6. If your family's financial circumstances have changed since last year (loss of job or benefits, death of a parent, etc.), and that change was not accurately reflected on your FAFSA, contact our office to discuss your individual situation with a financial aid advisor.
  • Is it possible to use current federal and state financial aid to pay a previous semester's bill?
    • You can't use financial aid to pay for a previous semester's bill. However, some private lenders allow funds from private alternative loans to be used for a previous term's bill. Remember that the terms and conditions for private alternative loans are often less favorable than those for federal student loans.