Financial Aid

FAQ - Eligibility

  • What is the Expected Family Contribution (EFC)? (Old)
    • The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is a measure of your family’s financial ability to pay for college as determined by the information you supplied on the 2023-24FASFA or prior. Your EFC is not the amount of money your family will have to pay for college. Our office uses your EFC to calculate the amount of need-based student aid you are eligible to receive, such as federal and state grants, for academic years 2023-24 and prior.
  • What is the Student Aid Index (SAI)? (New)
    • The Student Aid Index (SAI) is an eligibility index number that a college’s or career school’s financial aid office uses to determine how much federal student aid the student would receive if the student attended the school. This number results from the information that the student provides in their FAFSA® form. Our office uses your SAI to calculate the amount of need-based student aid you are eligible to receive, such as federal and state grants, for academic years 2024-25 and later.
  • How is the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) calculated?
    • The Department of Education uses a Federal Methodology (FM) formula to calculate your EFC, which helps schools determine your financial aid eligibility. The calculation takes into account your family's income, the number of family members, the value of assets, and a variety of other factors as reported on the FAFSA.
  • How is the Student Aid Index (SAI) calculated?
    • To calculate a Student Aid Index (SAI), a need-based analysis is conducted. The analysis takes into account the income and assets of the student and their parents or spouse, if applicable. The analysis formula used considers both taxed and untaxed income, as well as any assets and benefits received, such as unemployment or Social Security.
  • How will I know when my financial aid award is available to view?
    • As soon as the Financial Aid Office has determined your financial aid award, we will send you an email to your WIU account and the personal email you provided on the FAFSA, notifying you that your awards are available to view on STARSAll further notifications throughout the year will be to your WIU email account only.
  • How do I view my financial aid award?
    • To see your Award Letter, log 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".
  • Do my grades affect my financial aid eligibility?
    • WIU is required by state and federal regulations to consider academic progress before financial aid is awarded. Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is measured by course completion, GPA, and total number of credit hours earned.

      If you have a SAP problem, you will receive an email from the Financial Aid Office to your WIU email. The email will contain instructions on how to submit your appeal online, along with any additional requirements needed.