If you want financial aid, you must meet certain eligibility requirements. You must be a regular admitted, degree-seeking student enrolled in courses at Western Michigan University. Guest students and students taking classes after finishing their degree requirements are not eligible. Certificate programs generally are not eligible, unless you are completing hours for State Permanent Teacher Certification, then you are eligible for undergraduate student loans. Students enrolled in the Specialty Program in Alcohol and Drug Abuse certificate program are eligible for graduate level loans.
The census date typically marks the end of the add/drop period for the semester. This is the date we take a "snapshot" of all students' enrollment to establish the "official enrollment" for reporting purposes and financial aid eligibility.
The classes for which you are registered as of the census date determine the amount of federal financial aid you will receive. We will compare your enrollment as of the census date with the ENROLLMENT STATUS on your FINANCIAL AID OFFER to determine if you continue to meet the eligibility requirements for each of the federal financial aid programs listed. If a revision is warranted, we will notify you via your Western email. Based upon final enrollment, it is possible your aid could increase, decrease or be cancelled.
- If you increase or reduce your credits before the census date, your federal financial aid may be adjusted, as appropriate, for your enrollment level. If your aid is reduced and it creates a balance due on your WMU account, you will be responsible for payment.
- If you add credits after the census date, your aid will not be increased.
- Aid may be affected if you are taking courses that begin after the census date. For example, if you are enrolled in a traditional undergraduate program and taking a class that starts after the census date, the Federal Pell Grant will not be disbursed until after the LAST drop date for which you are enrolled. If you fail to begin attendance in all classes, the grant will be reduced accordingly. Federal loans will disburse when you reach half-time enrollment.
Aid may be affected if you submit Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) information or corrections after the census date.
High school diploma
Students may be eligible for federal financial aid if they have a high school diploma or its equivalent. Equivalents at WMU include:
- General Education Development certificate.
- College transcript showing completion of an associate's degree or 60 semester hours acceptable toward a baccalaureate degree.
- Home school certification.
- College transcript showing completion of at least six semester hours before July 1, 2012.
- College transcript showing completion of at least six semester hours after July 1, 2012, with registration or enrollment in an eligible program or receipt of federal financial aid occurring prior to July 1, 2012.
You must be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national or an eligible non-citizen. Generally, you are an eligible non-citizen if you are:
- A U.S. permanent resident and you have an Alien Registration Receipt Card (I-551),
- A conditional permanent resident (I-551C) or
- Another eligible non-citizen with an arrival departure record (I-94) from the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service showing any one of the following designations: Refugee, Asylum Granted, Indefinite Parole, Humanitarian Parole or Cuban-Haitian Entrant.
If you want to remain eligible for federal and state financial aid programs, you must make satisfactory academic progress toward your degree. Standards of satisfactory academic progress are applied to all students who wish to establish or maintain financial aid eligibility, regardless of whether they have received financial aid in the past.
The standards of satisfactory academic progress state you must:
- Complete and pass a minimum of 67% of all attempted hours at WMU.
- Maintain a minimum of 2.00 cumulative grade point average by the end of the second academic year.
- Complete all degree requirements (this includes credit hours transferred to WMU) within 150% of the minimum numbers of credits to graduate(i.e. 122 minimum X 150% = 183 credit hours).
Your financial aid eligibility is also affected by additional factors, such as:
- Cost of attendance. Your offers may not exceed the estimated cost of attendance. If you receive financial aid, including outside scholarships, beyond your eligibility based on COA, your awards may be adjusted.
- Student visa status. If you have a F1 or F2 student visa, a J1 or J2 exchange visitor visa or a G services visa, you are neither a citizen nor eligible non-citizen.
- A valid Social Security Number.
- Selective Service registration. Men between the ages of 18 and 25 must register with the Selective Service.
- Default. You must not owe an overpayment on a Federal Perkins Loan or grant program. You must not be in default on a federal student loan, or over your loan limits.
- Educational purpose. You must certify that funds will be used solely for educational purposes.
dropping or Withdrawing from classes
If you are a financial aid recipient contemplating a partial or complete withdrawal or wish to drop a course, it is highly recommended that you discuss your situation with a Financial Services Specialist before you withdraw. Dropping or withdrawing may impact your eligibility for current and future aid.
According to federal regulations, coursework counts toward your enrollment and federal financial aid eligibility only twice if it is completed with a passing grade. The third attempt at a passed course will not count toward your federal aid eligibility. For example, if a student takes a class and passes it with a D both times, they might choose to take the class a third time in order to get a better grade. This third attempt does not count toward their enrollment for financial aid eligibility.