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.
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.
Satisfactory academic progress
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:
- Pass a minimum of 67% of all attempted hours at Western.
- Maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average as stated in the University Catalog.
- Not exceed a total of 183 undergraduate credit hours, including transferred hours.
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Your financial aid eligibility is also affected by additional factors, such as:
- Cost of attendance. Your awards 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 aid counselor 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.