Group of students working, Haworth Business College.

Types of Financial Aid

At Western, we know the costs of receiving a higher education can quickly add up. That's why we provide every financial resource available to ensure you have options to find the funding you need. From grants to scholarships to loans, explore the different types of financial aid at WMU. Your financial well-being is our priority.

Explore some of these sources of funding:

Pride points

  • 98% of students with financial need receive aid (full time, undergraduate)

    2022-23 Common Data Set

    Explore the data

  • 50+ endowed scholarships available from generous WMU donors

  • 60% of students receive grant money directly from the school, which is above the national average for public schools

About scholarships and grants

Scholarships and grants are types of financial aid that do not need to be repaid. They are a great way to pay for your education and may reduce the need for student loans. Most, but not all scholarships require submission of the FAFSA. Be sure to file as soon as it becomes available. 

Admitted Broncos are encouraged to review and apply for institutional and external scholarships using WMU's scholarship-matching tool, ScholarshipUniverse, which students can log into using their Bronco NetID and password. You can find instructions on how to log into and navigate ScholarshipUniverse here.

Most institutional scholarships open for application on Dec. 1 and close on Feb. 15. In addition to using the ScholarshipUniverse tool for your scholarship search, we recommend checking your academic department's webpage regarding their departmental scholarships, as some departments may have different deadlines and application processes.

New students: You will be considered for scholarships at the time of admission. 

Current students: Please log into ScholarshipUniverse to view additional scholarships. 

Prospective students: If you are considering WMU and are not admitted yet, you can still view public scholarships. To maximize your eligibility for both scholarships and grants, students need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Federal student grants

A federal grant for college is a financial aid program offered by the government to eligible students to help cover the cost of their education. It does not need to be repaid, making it a valuable resource for making your college investment more affordable.

Learn more about federal student grants  

Institutional scholarships and grants

WMU offers a variety of scholarships and grants that do not need to be repaid. Here are some of our offerings:

  • Admissions scholarships
  • Athletic scholarships
  • Departmental scholarships
  • Endowed scholarships

Learn more about institutional scholarships and grants  

State of Michigan scholarships and grants

Residents of Michigan may qualify for scholarships or grants from the state of Michigan. To be eligible, students must file a FAFSA and log into the Michigan Student Scholarships and Grants (MISSG) Student Portal. The state will notify Western of student eligibility, and the financial aid office will offer aid to students accordingly.

Learn more about Michigan scholarships and grants  

Private scholarships

Private scholarships are free funds from sources outside of WMU. Scholarships that are received from a private source must be reported to the University and must be factored into existing student financial aid offers.

Learn more about private offers  

  • Female student smiling in front of Arcadia Flats, holding a gold Western Michigan University flag.

Michigan Promise Zones

Promise programs established in cities within Michigan aim to provide tuition-free pathways to a degree for every high school graduate in those communities. They combine various funding sources, including federal grants and private donations of all sizes to make college education more accessible to students graduating from high schools in those areas.

See the complete list of Michigan Promise Zones  

Kalamazoo Promise

WMU is a proud partner of the Kalamazoo Promise, a private scholarship foundation that offers scholarships to students who attended Kalamazoo Public Schools. Eligibility for the offer is determined by the Kalamazoo Promise program office, and WMU offers scholarships to students from a roster received from the program.

Learn more about the Kalamazoo Promise  

Bronco Promise

We're making our own promise to you: The Bronco Promise. This program removes financial barriers and supports students in pursuing their academic goals. It guarantees free tuition and fees for eligible students from the state of Michigan. It covers the remaining cost of tuition and fees after accounting for other financial aid, making a college education more accessible and affordable.

Learn more about the Bronco Promise  

  • WMU ROTC students are leading camp participants through military drills and obstacle courses. One of the WMU ROTC leaders guides the campers through Fort Custer.

Veterans and military grants and aid

At WMU, we offer our veterans and active military funding sources in the forms of grants, in-state tuition and commission through the University's ROTC program. We also provide a list of veterans affairs benefits.

Learn more about veterans and military offers  


Federal work-study is a need-based financial aid program funded by the federal government and Western Michigan University. It is offered to students based on need who are enrolled during the period of their employment. Unlike grants and scholarships, federal work-study offers are earned and paid through the payroll process in the form of a biweekly paycheck. Federal work-study offers and amounts are subject to eligibility requirements and fund availability. Early application is very important.

Learn more about work-study  


WMU participates in federal and private loan programs. Loans are another way to finance your education. Undergraduate and graduate students and parents of dependent students may borrow money to pay for educational expenses. The money that is borrowed needs to be repaid, but there are a variety of repayment options available.

Learn more about loan offers