Financial Aid FAQs

We know navigating the financial aid process can lead to many questions. We hope this page can serve as a solid start to answering some of your most common questions and concerns. If you still need additional assistance, please contact the Student Financial Aid office.

Financial aid and eligibility

  • How can I apply for more financial aid to cover my balance and books?
    • Parents of dependent, undergraduate students can apply for the federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan. If the parent applying for the federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan is denied, the student may be eligible to increase their federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan by completing the student financial aid adjustment form located on goWMU.
    • Graduate students can apply for the federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan.
    • Students can apply for private alternative loans.
    • Students can apply for scholarships (provided the deadlines have not passed).

    Please note: Students can only be awarded up to the cost of attendance for each semester.

  • Why hasn't my financial aid paid to my account?

    Please ensure you:

    • Have completed all financial aid requirements.
    • Are in a degree-seeking program or an eligible certificate program.
    • Have completed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the current academic year. All federal aid, some state aid and some University-level aid require a FAFSA for the current year.
    • Are enrolled in the required number of credit hours for the offer:
      • Fall and spring
        • Undergraduate
          • Full time: 12+ credit hours
          • 3/4 time: 9-11 credit hours
          • 1/2 time: 6-8 credit hours
          • Less than 1/2 time: 5 or less credit hours
        • Graduate
          • Full time: 6 credit hours
          • 3/4 time: 4-5 credit hours
          • 1/2 time: 3 credit hours
          • Less than 1/2 time: 2 or less credit hours
      • Summer I and II
        • Undergraduate
          • Full time: 6+ credit hours
          • 3/4 time: 4-5 credit hours
          • 1/2 time: 3 credit hours
          • Less than 1/2 time: 2 or less credit hours
        • Graduate
          • Full time: 3 credit hours
          • 1/2 time: 2 credit hours
          • Less than 1/2 time: 1 credit hour

    Please visit Bronco Express or contact us at (269) 387-6000 or if you are meeting the above guidelines or your reason is not listed here.

  • How do I increase my aid? My aid was less than it was last year.
    • Federal loans can be increased or transferred via the student financial aid adjustment form on Self-Service. They can only be increased if you have not been offered up to the yearly and overall aggregates (see loan limits) and if you have not been offered up to the cost of attendance.
    • Federal Pell Grants, WMU grants and federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG) cannot be increased above the offered amounts.
    • If your financial aid amounts decreased between now and previous years, you could have reached the limit for certain types of financial aid such as federal loans or the federal Pell Grant. It could also change due to changes in your financial aid and household data on your FAFSA.
  • What other grants or scholarships can I apply for?

    Student Financial Aid’s Types of Aid webpage displays some but not all scholarships that are available. Other scholarships may be available through your department or externally.

  • Why am I not eligible for financial aid?

    Please review our Financial Aid Eligibility webpage to review requirements to receive aid.


  • What other loans can I or my parent apply for?
    • Parents of dependent, undergraduate students can apply for the federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan. If the parent applying for the federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan is denied, the student may be eligible to increase their federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan by completing the student financial aid adjustment form located on goWMU.
    •  Graduate students can apply for the federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan.
    •  Students can apply for private alternative loans.
  • Why isn't my private alternative loan applied? When will it be applied?

    Once a private loan is certified, all lenders have a right-to-cancel period that must pass before they will send the funds. Please check with your lender to determine when they will send the funds to the school. If the funds are sent electronically, it could take 3-5 business days before we receive and apply them. If the funds are sent via check, it depends on the U.S. postal service as to when they deliver the check. You should allow 7-10 business days for a mailed check to arrive at WMU. If the check requires you to sign for it, we will send you an email notification advising you to come into the financial aid office and sign for it before it is applied to the bill.

    Additionally, ensure you are meeting your lender’s terms for the loan. Some lenders require a student to be enrolled at least half time, meet Satisfactory Academic Progress and be in a degree-seeking program; others do not. Guest students receiving private loans should contact Bronco Express if loans are not applied.

  • How much have I taken out in loans? How do I pay on my loans?

    You can review your loan history in the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) by visiting and logging in with your FSA ID and password. Every federal student loan you have received will be listed on this website in the order they were disbursed.

    All federal loans are assigned a loan servicer. You can review their information on NSLDS by clicking the number to the left of each loan and scrolling down. You will contact the servicer with billing inquiries on your loans, including deferment and forbearance requests.

  • How do I defer my loans?

    You must get your loan servicer’s deferment form and provide it to the Registrar's Office for completion. Your servicer’s contact information should be included with the form, including their name, phone number and mailing address; a fax number is optional but recommended. If your servicer does not have their own form, you must reach out to the Registrar's Office and request they send verification of your enrollment to your servicer and provide their contact information. Loan deferment forms are not accepted or processed at Bronco Express or Student Financial Aid.

Requirements and processing

  • What financial aid requirements need to be completed before receiving financial aid?

    Please review your financial aid requirements in Self-Service.

  • I received an email. What does it mean?

    Please read the email in its entirety and follow any instructions indicated. If it is still unclear what must be done, you may contact Bronco Express:

    • In person: Please bring your Bronco Card and either print the email or be able to pull up the email electronically for explanation by a Bronco Express team member.
    • By phone: Please have your WIN ready and be able to read the email to the phone representative.
    • By email: Forward the email to with your WIN included.
  • What’s the status of my paperwork?

    Please check your financial aid requirements on Self-Service. Submitted paperwork generally appears there within 2-3 business days. In addition, standard processing time is typically 1-2 weeks and can be extended during peak times.

  • My verification form is on hold, but I submitted all documents. Do I need something else? When will it be processed?

    Please check your requirements and ensure nothing is marked "Incomplete" or "Requested, Not Received" on your financial aid requirements. If "Requested, Not Received," please submit the requested documents. If "Incomplete" or all documents are on hold, please contact Bronco Express to see if anything additional is needed.

  • I received an email that says I have pending financial aid, but everything is accepted. What do I have to do?

    This means you have financial aid requirements to complete before your financial aid can be disbursed. Please check your financial aid requirements on Self-Service. Review the following table for what each requirement status means:

    StatusMeaning and action
    Pending Final ReviewThe requirement is currently under review or in the queue to be reviewed by our office. No further action is needed at this time.
    Received Incomplete, ReturnedThe submitted document is missing required information or documents. If it is a document, it will be returned to you via mail with a letter indicating why it is incomplete. Contact Bronco Express to determine what is needed if necessary.
    Unable to ProcessWe are unable to process the document. This could be because we are missing information, we have conflicting information, you do not meet the guidelines to process the document or another reason. Please contact Bronco Express for more information.
    On Hold, Unable to ProcessWe have received the document and are holding it until we are able to process it. This status could indicate we are waiting for additional information. Please contact Bronco Express for more information.
    Endowed Scholarship Application PendingYour endowed scholarship application is awaiting decision. There is nothing additional that you need to do.
  • I want to make sure you received my document(s). I submitted it, but it doesn't show up on my account.

    Please allow up to 2-3 business days for requirements to appear on Self-ServiceEnsure you have submitted the correct documents and they are complete. After 2-3 days, contact Bronco Express to determine if your documents were received or if you need to resubmit.

  • Where can I send documents? How do I contact you?

    Most documents can be submitted electronically. Please visit our Forms webpage to find your specific form and send accordingly. Some forms will need to be printed, signed by hand and then turned into Bronco Express.

  • How do I use the IRS Direct Data Exchange or request a Tax Return Transcript?

    Please visit our Financial Aid Resources webpage to learn how to check your financial aid status, submit forms and use federal resources.

  • Why do I keep receiving emails from you?

    Email notifications are sent to notify you of important information. If you are no longer affiliated with WMU and are still receiving emails, please contact Bronco Express at (269) 387-6000 to determine the cause of the email and request they be stopped.

  • How long does it take for submitted documents to be processed?

    Standard processing time for most documents is 5-10 business days (1-2 weeks) from when they are received by our processing office (when they appear on Self-Service). Some documents, such as appeals, can take longer, and processing time as a whole can increase during peak times.

Federal work-study

Billing and refunds

  • Where do I find information on refunds, billing and the payment plan?

    Acounts Receivable houses information regarding refunds, billing and signing up for the payment plan. Please note: Parents cannot sign up for eRefunds. Any refunds from a parent loan will be mailed to the address indicated on the parent loan application, and any refunds from a credit card overpayment will be returned directly to the card.

  • What happens if I don't pay my bill on time?

    If you do not pay your account balance on time, a hold may be placed on your account, which may prevent you from registering for classes or obtaining a transcript or diploma. You may also be subject to service charges of 1.5% monthly (1% annually). If your account is sent to a third-party collection agency for non-payment, you will be responsible for any collection fees, which may be based on a percentage at a maximum of 39% of the debt, and all costs and expenses, including reasonable attorney's fees, we incur in such collection efforts.

  • Can you predict my future charges?

    Since there are many variables that could affect your balance—like taking courses on the main campus, online, class or lab fees, etc.—we would only be able to provide an estimate at best. You can view the following costs online or use the WMU Cost Calculator.


  • Faunce Student Service building, a photo of the building front, on main campus.

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