If you want financial aid, start the process each year by filing a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) online. 2020-21 FAFSA
You can apply for the FAFSA starting Oct. 1 for the upcoming academic year where you will be able to report tax information from two years ago (i.e. if you apply for the 2020-21 FAFSA, you can use 2018 tax information). Most students qualify for some type of financial aid, so be sure to get your FAFSA in early.
Apply for an FSA ID
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. You will use your FSA ID to sign other financial aid documents, check the status of your FAFSA, make corrections and check your loan history.
What you need for the FAFSA
- Your name and Social Security Number exactly as it appears on your Social Security card.
- WMU’s federal school 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.
FAFSA filers can now complete their tax information automatically using the IRS data retrieval option. It takes approximately 1 to 2 weeks for the IRS to make the data available if you filed an electronic return (6 to 8 weeks if you mailed a paper return). When prompted, 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, based on the information you provided, and sends it to the schools you listed on the FAFSA. Once WMU receives your SAR, we take the estimated cost of attendance minus your EFC. This determines your unmet need. We then apply the financial aid programs you qualify for toward your need.
Sometimes, you need to make corrections to your FAFSA after it has been turned in. To make changes, visit FAFSA on the Web and use your FSA ID.
If you, WMU, another school or the Department of Education submits FAFSA corrections after you have been awarded financial aid, your awards 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.