Financial Aid

Emergency Aid


No additional rounds of Emergency Aid funds will be awarded for future terms after Spring 2022. Funds for this program have now been depleted.

Emergency Aid for Spring 2022 has been awarded. Note that it may take 3-5 business days for your award to process. If you do not receive an award you did not meet the criteria noted below. 

Western will automatically award block grants to all eligible students. To be eligible students must meet the following conditions:

  1. Be actively enrolled in a minimum of 6 hours for the term in which aid is awarded.
  2. Seeking a degree with Western Illinois University (Bachelor’s, Master’s, Doctorate, Post-baccalaureate certificate).
  3. Meeting or have successfully appealed Satisfactory Academic Progress.

No application required. Students need to complete a credit authorization via  STARS  acknowledging how funds will be disbursed. Agreeing to the authorization allows the institution to retain the funds for direct costs (i.e. tuition, fees, housing/dining, etc.). A student who disagrees with the authorization is requesting the funds be refunded regardless of balance due.


Covered Expenses

Examples of expenses that can be covered include:
  • Tuition, fees, health insurance, study abroad costs and outstanding debt to the university

  • Campus housing

  • Technology needs to complete online spring courses, including laptops, printers and scanners, software, access to WiFi, expansion of data plans, etc.

  • Books and other essential academic supplies

  • Basic personal needs such as emergency housing, food, toiletries and transportation

  • Emergency medical, dental or mental health expenses not covered by insurance (ie. eyeglasses, medication, emergency/unexpected procedure)

  • Childcare needs

  • Costs to travel home unexpectedly, travel to and from work or for educational purposes

  • Travel related to the death or emergency of an immediate family member

  • Safety-related needs, including the needs of victims of domestic violence

  • Replacement of belongings lost in a fire or natural disaster

  • Basic utilities

Types of expenses generally not covered include:
  • Health insurance costs

  • Non-emergency medical-related expenses

  • Non-essential costs, such as those for entertainment, recreation and non-emergency travel

  • Non-essential utilities (cable costs not associated with WiFi)

  • Parking tickets and traffic fines

  • Technology not related to education (gaming systems)

CARES Act Reports

2nd Quarter (FY24) CARES Act Report


1st Quarter (FY24) CARES Act Report


4th Quarter (FY23) CARES Act Report


3rd Quarter (FY23) CARES Act Report


2nd Quarter (FY23) CARES Act Report


1st Quarter (FY23) CARES Act Report


4th Quarter (FY22) CARES Act Report


3rd Quarter (FY22) CARES Act Report

0017800 HEERF Q12022 04082022.pdf

Student Report (as of 03/31/2021)

2nd Quarter (FY22) CARES Act Report


Student Report (as of 12/31/2021)

1st Quarter (FY22) CARES Act Report


Student Report  (as of 9/30/2021)

4th Quarter (FY21) CARES Act Report

Institutional Report

Student Report  (as of 6/30/2021)

3rd Quarter (FY21) CARES Act Report

Institutional Report

Student Report  (as of 3/31/2021)

2nd Quarter (FY21) CARES Act Report

Institutional Report

Student Report (as of 12/31/2020)

View the first Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students Fund  Report as of May 28, 2020.

View the second Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students Fund  Report as of July 10, 2020

View the third Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students Fund  Report as of August 24, 2020 . 

1st Quarter (FY21) CARES Act Report

Institutional Report

Student Report  (as of 10/6/2020)

Additional Resources

Tax Preparation Assistance

Ladder Up provides free income tax preparation and electronic filing for families with annual incomes up to $58,000 and individuals with annual incomes up to $32,000*. IRS-certified volunteer tax preparers assist in filing federal and state income tax returns for tax year 2021, and, in some cases, for prior years. Most sites will be open between January 29 and April 15, 2022.

Ladder Up proveera preparación de impuestos gratis con la opción de mandar electrónicamente para familias con ingresos hasta $58,000 e individuos con ingresos hasta $32,000* por el año. Voluntarios certificados por el IRS ayudaran a preparar sus impuestos federal y estatal para el año 2021 y, en algunos casos, para años anteriores. La mayoría de sitios estarán abiertos entre el 29 de enero del 2022 hasta el 15 de abril del 2022.

*Subject to eligibility requirements - see for more information

Free Tax Help Flyer

Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Flyer

Tax Refund Flyer

Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB):

The EBB program will connect low-income households, especially households with school-aged children, to broadband networks at affordable rates. The EBB program offers a discount of $50 per month on broadband service for eligible households and $75 per month for households on tribal lands. Participants in the program may also be eligible for a discount on the purchase of a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet. Additional information/guidance for application can be found online on the FCC Website. Official Award Offers from Institutes of Higher Education can be used as supporting documentation for students who are awarded a Federal Pell Grant.

SNAP Benefits (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program)

Under regular SNAP eligibility requirements, students enrolled at least half-time in an institution of higher education are typically ineligible for SNAP benefits unless they meet certain specific exemptions. The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 temporarily expands SNAP eligibility to include students who either:

  • Are eligible to participate in state or federally financed work study during the regular academic year, as determined by the institution of higher education (do not have to be currently working just eligible for Federal Work Study); or
  • Have an expected family contribution (EFC) of 0 in the current academic year. This includes students who are eligible for a maximum Pell Grant.

Beginning Jan. 16, 2021, students who meet one of the two criteria outlined above may receive SNAP benefits if they meet all other financial and non-financial SNAP eligibility criteria. More information can be found on the SNAP benefits for students webpage and Q&A on student eligibility.

Because state SNAP agencies administer the SNAP program, process applications, and determine eligibility, students should contact their local SNAP offices to learn how to apply or to ask other questions. Contact information for state SNAP agencies and local offices can be found in the FNS SNAP state directory.

Note: The expansion of this program will expire on May 11, 2023. Visit this announcement from Federal Student Aid for more information.