Apply for Financial Aid

Ready to get started on financial aid? Whether you’re an undergraduate or graduate student, be sure to start the process each year by filing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online. Most Western students qualify for some type of financial aid, so it’s always a good idea to complete a FAFSA application.

You can apply for the FAFSA sometime before December 31 for the upcoming 2024-25 academic year, when you will be able to report tax information from two years ago (i.e., if you apply for the 2024-25 FAFSA, you can use 2022 tax information).

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

  • 2024-25 FAFSA Information

    The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) is getting an update for the 2024-25 school year due to the FAFSA® Simplification Act, part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act from Dec. 27, 2020. Here is what you need to know: 

    Launch date
    The 2024-25 FAFSA® is expected to launch sometime before December 31, not on October 1 as in previous years. The exact day in December is still unknown; however, you will be notified by email once the FAFSA® becomes available. This is a one-time change; releases will return to October 1 in future years. 

    The new FAFSA® will:

    • determine your financial aid for summer II 2024, fall 2024, spring 2025 and summer I 2025. 
    • be more streamlined with fewer questions. 
    • be updated with new information and terms.  
    • offer increased eligibility for the Federal Pell Grant.  
    • be streamlined with fewer questions and automatically pull your tax info from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). 

    New Terminology and Info 

    • Contributor is a new term and refers to anyone providing info on the FAFSA®, including the student, the student’s spouse, a biological or adopted parent or a stepparent.  
      -  Contributors are required to provide information on the FAFSA® form.  
      -  Students will need the contributor’s name, date of birth, Social Security Number (SSN), and email address to invite them to complete the required portion of the FAFSA®.  |
      -  Contributors will need their own FSA ID.
      -  Contributors must provide consent and approval to have their federal tax information directly transferred from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to the FAFSA®.
      -  If all contributors do not provide consent and approval, the student will not be eligible for federal financial aid. 
    • Student Aid Index (SAI) is replacing Expected Family Contribution and can be a negative number.
    • FAFSA Submission Summary is what you will receive once you have completed and submitted the FAFSA® and will replace the Student Aid Report (SAR).
    • More students will now be eligible for the Pell Grant.
    • Small family-owned businesses and farms are now counted as assets.
    • Families will no longer benefit from having multiple students in college.
    • The FAFSA® will now be completed by the parent who provided more financial support in the past year rather than the one the student lived with the most. 
    • The parent who completes the FAFSA® is changing for divorced or separated parents.

    Get Ready 
    Even though the 2024-25 FAFSA® will not be available until December, you can prepare now by creating a FSA ID and have your contributors do the same. For the more FAFSA® updates, please visit

    Federal Student Aid Estimator
    This tool provides an estimate of how much federal student aid you may be eligible to receive for the 2024-25 academic year. 

First things first: Apply for an FSA ID

We encourage all students and their families to complete the FAFSA. The application provides us information used for determining not only grants but also loan and scholarship amounts.

If you haven't already, you need to apply online for an FSA ID. Your FSA ID serves as your electronic signature.

Your FSA ID will be available at the time of application so you can use it immediately to electronically sign your FAFSA.

Your FSA ID allows you to sign other financial aid documents, check the status of your FAFSA, make corrections and check your loan history.

FAFSA checklist: What you need in order to file

  • Your FSA ID.
  • Your name and Social Security number exactly as they appear on your Social Security card.
  • WMU’s FAFSA code: 002330. List Western Michigan University, West Michigan Avenue, Kalamazoo, MI as one of your college choices.
  • Federal income tax return from the previous year.
  • Driver's license (if you have one).
  • Bank statement.

FAFSA filers can now complete their tax information automatically using the IRS data retrieval option. It takes approximately one to two weeks for the IRS to make the data available if you filed an electronic return (six to eight weeks if you mailed a paper return).

When filing, you'll be prompted to follow the links to retrieve your tax information from the IRS and transfer it to your FAFSA—this makes filling out your FAFSA easier and eliminates time-consuming errors.


How the FAFSA works

The FAFSA gathers information about your income, assets and other related information to determine your expected family contribution. Once you’ve filed, you can check the status of your application with the federal processor online or by calling the U.S. Department of Education Student Aid Information Center at (800) 433-3243. TTY users call (800) 730-8913.

The federal processor creates your Student Aid Report (SAR) based on the information you provided and sends it to the schools you listed on the FAFSA. Once WMU receives your SAR, the estimated cost of attendance minus your expected family contribution determines your unmet need. We then apply the financial aid programs you qualify for toward your need.


FAFSA corrections

Sometimes, you need to make corrections to your FAFSA after it has been turned in. To make changes, visit and use your FSA ID to log in.

If you, WMU, another school or the Department of Education submits FAFSA corrections after you have been offered financial aid, your offers may be adjusted or canceled. In addition to submitting corrections based upon verification, WMU may also submit corrections if:

  • You indicated you have a prior degree in error.
  • You indicated you will be a graduate student in error.
  • You indicated you are married, and the date you became married is after your original FAFSA date.
  • You do not meet the definition of an independent student.

WMU may also request additional documentation from you to verify the information you supplied on the FAFSA.


Are you an international student seeking financial aid info?

While most U.S. federal financial aid only applies to U.S. citizens and permanent residents, funding sources are available for undergraduate and graduate international students in the form of scholarships and assistantships.

Learn how to obtain funding as an international student