Due to the impacts of COVID-19, we understand that there are many questions and concerns regarding your education and financial aid at Western Michigan University. If you have further questions or concerns, please contact Bronco Express at (269) 387-6000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Student Financial Aid COVID-19 FAQ's
- Federal Work-study COVID-19 FAQ's for students and employers for the Spring 2020 semester
Additional WMU Resources
- Invisible Need: Student Emergency Relief Fund (SERF), Food Pantry
- Solidarity Fund
- University's COVID-19 information
- How could changing my Spring 2020 courses affect my financial aid eligibility with the date to change them to credit/no credit being extended to May 15?
In most cases, changing from graded to credit/no credit should not have an impact on your financial aid eligibility as long as you are passing the course. However, we encourage you to contact our office to review your account before you make the decision.
- Do you anticipate any delays in financial aid offering or disbursements due to the impacts of COVID-19?
The Student Financial Aid Office is fully operational during reduced campus operations due to COVID-19. We encourage you to submit any and all documents as soon as you receive the request so that we can get them reviewed. We anticipate normal processing delays based on increased document volumes during the summer months. Please continue to check GoWMU and your WMU email for regular updates.
- I don’t have a printer, how can I submit my summer financial aid application?
Summer financial aid applications can be submitted with electronic signatures if they are emailed from your WMU email address. Please note, electronic signatures will not be accepted for forms emailed from personal email addresses, they must be submitted via the students WMU email address. Federal Parent PLUS Loan applications require a handwritten wet signature.
- I need to submit my Statement of Identity and Educational Purpose but the University is closed. I am also unable to have it notarized. How can I submit it?
You may submit a photocopy of the form and your government-issued photo ID and either upload them through the online student forms portal, email to email@example.com, or submit them via mail.
Student Financial Aid
Western Michigan University
1903 W. Michigan Avenue
Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5337
Additional Financial Assistance
- Since I completed my FAFSA, my family’s financial situation has changed due to COVID-19. Do I need to update my FAFSA? Can I receive additional financial aid?
There is an appeal process for student’s whose family circumstances differ from what is reported on the FAFSA. For families who are affected financially due to COVID-19, we will begin reviewing appeals in June. Please call Bronco Express at (269) 387-6000 to schedule an appointment with a Financial Service Specialist to discuss your change in circumstances. Please note, Proxy Access must be granted for anyone other than the student who has an appointment.
- Western Michigan was offered funding from the CARES Act to assist students, how can students apply for these funds? When can they apply? When will the funds be made available to students?
CARES Act application submissions have commenced. Students should check their WMU email and GoWMU for notifications regarding their application and refund.
According to CARES funding eligibility requirements, among other stipulations, a recipient must:
- have been enrolled for classes in the Spring 2020 semester as of March 13, 2020 in an undergraduate or graduate degree-seeking program (students who were exclusively enrolled in an online distance education program are not eligible),
- have a 2019-20 FAFSA on file with Western Michigan University, and
- demonstrate financial need or hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
To access and apply for CARES funding:
1. Go to https://wmich.scholarshipuniverse.com (WMU’s ScholarshipUniverse application tool) and login using your Bronco NetID and password.
- First time users: click the “I’m Ready” button to begin and answer screening questions.
- Returning user: click the gray banner or “Questions” tab and answer new screening questions.
2. After you have answered the screening questions, click the brown “Matches” tab to view if you are eligible for WMU CARES funding. If you are eligible, the CARES application will appear. Click “Apply” to begin.
3. Answer the questions in the Student Emergency Funding section and click “Continue”.
4. Answer the Acknowledgements section and click “Continue”.
Please allow 7-10 business days for processing of applications. Once your application has been processed, the refund procedure will begin. Refunds will disperse electronically if you have an e-refund account set-up or you will be mailed a paper check. Please continue to check GoWMU regarding the status of your refund.
We also recommend staying up-to-date with WMU's COVID-19 procedures https://wmich.edu/covid-19.
- What if the student and/or parents have lost income after filling out the FAFSA?
- What financial assistance is there for me if I lost my job due to COVID-19?
For students who have lost their job due to COVID-19 - if you need immediate emergency assistance you can apply for support through the Student Emergency Relief Fund (SERF) through the Invisible Needs Project. This is emergency assistance that we are able to provide to students immediately based on their needs. Apply at https://wmich.edu/invisibleneed/serf and note that students must be enrolled half-time in order to receive emergency funds through SERF.
- Due to COVID-19, I have been unable to work due to the shut-down. Will WMU offer financial assistance to attend summer I and II classes?
Students that are enrolled in Summer I or II classes must apply for the summer financial aid request funds through the Summer Financial Aid Request form at https://wmich.edu/finaid/resources/forms. Any families facing loss of employment due to COVID-19, these requests will be considered in June. Please review our website, email or call our office for additional information. If students are in need of emergency financial support we strongly encourage them to apply for the Student Emergency Relief Fund (SERF) Invisible Needs Project. Apply at https://wmich.edu/invisibleneed/serf.
- I had a balance for the spring 2020 semester before COVID-19, now my financial situation is even worse due to not being able to work and my parents unable to work. Will WMU offer financial assistance so I can continue taking classes at WMU?
Any students and/or parents who have been impacted financially through reduction of employment: layoff, furlough, reduced work hours, will be able to have those details reviewed in June for us to decide the approximate financial impact. In June, we will be able to assess and advise of the best next steps necessary for students and their families to take for us to determine if additional information is needed for us to reconsider your financial aid eligibility.
Work-study Student Empolyee FAQ's
- I am unable to work due to my department being closed, am I eligible to continue to receive my work-study offer?
Whether you are performing job duties remotely for your department or not currently working, you will be paid the wages based upon your previously established work schedule(s). For students who hold a combination of work-study and non-work-study jobs, and are not working, you will continue to be paid from work-study for only the job(s) that were paid from work-study before.
- Now that classes are remote, can I work more hours than my original work schedule?
No, paid wages will be based upon previously established work schedule(s). As a reminder, Federal Work-study students may not work during scheduled class times, which includes on-line courses.
- My department has approved me to work remotely but my schedule was reduced, can I be paid for the hours I would have worked?
Yes, paid wages will be based upon previously established work schedule(s). Your department should submit time for both remote work and the difference.
Work-study Student Supervisors FAQ's
- What documentation must I maintain in my department?
In addition to the standard documentation requirements found at https://wmich.edu/finaid/workstudy/employers/campus departments are required to maintain the following in the student’s file:
- Student work schedule. (As a reminder, Federal Work-study students may not work during scheduled class times, which includes on-line courses).
- Documentation noting the dates of COVID-19 payments.
- Documentation recording if/when a student worked during this time frame.
- On what schedule do I base a student’s earnings?
Whether performing job duties remotely for your department or not currently working, Federal Work-study recipients will be paid wages based upon previously established work schedule(s).
- If a student was approved to work remotely but the work schedule was reduced, can the student receive payment for the difference between that and the previously established work schedule?
Yes, you should be submitting time worked remotely as well as the difference. The specific circumstances must be documented in the student’s file.
- If a student was not scheduled to work before but has a work-study offer, can I pay them?
No, a non-working student must have had a previously established work schedule to qualify for payment during this time.
- How do I find out if a student’s job record is set to pay from work-study?
- Where can I find a student’s work-study offer and paid amounts?
This information can be found using the Cognos report, 30.30.10 Work Study Departmental Auditing. It is located within the 30.00 Financial Aid folder under Team Content. You will be asked to provide the semester and the name of your department.
- Can my student be paid for unused FWS from previous semester (Summer II 2019 and Fall 2019)?
Yes, if a student has a spring work-study offer, unused funds from Summer II and Fall are eligible to carry forward. Those unused amounts should be considered when determining remaining FWS eligibility.
- When do work-study payrolls end for the spring 2020 semester?
BW2010 (4/20/20 – 5/3/20) is the final work-study payroll for the Spring 2020 semester. All unpaid scheduled hours for the Spring semester are required to be submitted during this pay period.
- When can I begin paying my student(s) Federal Work-study during the COVID-19 period?
Federal Work-study payments during the COVID-19 time frame can be made for hours beginning 3/5/20.
- How should student employee hours be reported in Kronos?
As a supervisor, please continue to submit bi-weekly time for the upcoming pay periods during Spring semester. For time for non-working students and working students should continue to be processed through Kronos. Federal work-study employee hours should be entered in Kronos as usual. FWS students who are being paid wages, but not working, you must use the comment code COVID.
- Where can I find additional information about the Federal Work-study program?
- Adding comment codes to Kronos hours