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Financial Aid Department

Financial Aid Department - COVID-19 FAQs

Unusual Circumstances

I or my parent lost a job or have reduced income due to COVID-19. Am I eligible for more financial aid or a financial aid adjustment due to this change in financial circumstances?

Under the circumstances, the most expedient way to address this would likely consist of sending an e-mail to financialaid@wwu.edu. to describe how your changed financial situation is impacting your ability to pay for college. If we can address your situation with the information provided, we will do so, otherwise we will request further information from you or schedule an appointment for you with a Financial Aid Counselor. Alternatively, you may schedule a telephone appointment with a Financial Aid Counselor by calling (360) 650-3470.

I need to pay rent. Is the Western’s Short Term Emergency Loan program still available?

Yes. If you have immediate expenses and have no remaining financial aid eligibility, Click the link to see if you are eligible, and to apply to borrow through the short term emergency loan program.

I’m experiencing a financial emergency related to COVID-19, how can I apply for the Student Emergency Fund?

The Student Emergency Fund Application is available at 2020_Student_Emergency_Fund_Application. Please contact the Scholarship Center at scholarshipcenter@wwu.edu if you have questions about the application. You may also wish to contact the Financial Aid Department at financialaid@wwu.edu for additional assistance.

Important Dates & Timelines

What are the pertinent dates I need to know about with the delayed start date of spring quarter?

  • Please consult the Registrar’s important dates regarding tuition refunds, withdrawals, changes to enrollment, etc.
  • Students will be notified of their Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) status for winter quarter on March 26 via their official WWU email.
  • Students who are in a suspended aid-ineligible status and wish to appeal for reinstatement are provided a deadline of Friday April 3rd to submit their appeal to receive a response by April 10.
  • The last day to withdraw and receive a 100% refund of tuition and fees for spring quarter is Sunday April 12 at midnight.
  • The Enrollment Lock Date is Friday April 17. More information is available on the lock date and enrollment section of our website.
  • Financial aid will retain the original disbursement day of March 27th and refunding will begin on March 31. Refunds typically take 2-3 business days to show up via your refund preference.

Will the quarterly enrollment lock still be the second Friday of the quarter?

The quarterly lock date has been moved to Friday April 17th. Information about the lock date and enrollment is available on our website.

Scholarship Center FAQs

I’m experiencing a financial emergency related to COVID-19, how can I apply for the Student Emergency Fund?

The Student Emergency Fund Application is available at 2020_Student_Emergency_Fund_Application. Please contact the Scholarship Center at scholarshipcenter@wwu.edu if you have questions about the application. You may also wish to contact the Financial Aid Department at financialaid@wwu.edu for additional assistance.

What happens to my scholarships if I don't enroll spring quarter? (Can I move my scholarships to fall 2020?)

The unpaid portion of any private (external) scholarship will be returned to the donor. If you plan on returning next fall, you may wish to contact your donor to see if you can be re-issued the remaining funds then. If you have a Western departmental scholarship, you may contact the awarding department to determine if the unused portion can be re-awarded next fall. Otherwise, the spring quarter portion will be cancelled. If you have the Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE), Western Award for Excellence, the Western Achievement Tuition Waiver or any other multi-year Admissions award, your eligibility will be extended for an additional quarter. All other Admissions awards will be deferred to Fall 2020 for those students not enrolling this spring.

What happens to my scholarships if I only enroll part time spring quarter?

If you enroll less than full-time (12 credits for undergraduates, 8 credits for graduate students), you will need to obtain permission to use the funds from your private scholarship donor or the Western department that awarded you the scholarship. Private donors may communicate their permission by emailing the Scholarship Center at scholarshipcenter@wwu.edu. Western departments have a different process to review and approve these requests. Please contact your department directly to get the appropriate authorization. Be sure to let your donor or department know how many credits you will enroll in.

Can I use my scholarships over the summer?

Private scholarships and many Western scholarships can be used over summer quarter with special permission from the private donor or the Western department. Please contact your donor or WWU department to make this request. Private donors may email the Scholarship Center to authorize this change. Western departments will work directly with the Scholarship Center to determine if this change can be made. Please note that tuition waiver scholarships, including the Admissions Achievement Award, Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE), Western Award for Excellence, and Western Achievement Tuition Waiver, cannot be used over the summer.

Will I still receive my scholarships even though classes are entirely online?

As long as you are taking classes that would normally have been held in person (as opposed to online classes through Outreach and Continuing Education), then you will receive your scholarships as usual.

Student Employment FAQs

How will my Work Study be affected by the campus closure?

Western continues to remain open and work is being done remotely in many cases. The Student Employment Center is reaching out to work study students individually to ask the extent to which they will be able to work their scheduled hours and otherwise provide assistance in collaboration with the Financial Aid department.

I am not able to continue my on-campus employment. What can I do?

You should work with your supervisor to determine if your job or portions of it can be adapted to be completed remotely. Accommodations are being made, but job responsibilities and scope vary across campus. If you and your supervisor are not able to find remote opportunities, the Student Employment Center has a job board available for students seeking part-time employment. We encourage you to check the job board frequently, as new jobs post daily.

Can I keep working if I don’t want to enroll in online classes for spring quarter?

To be eligible to work in a student position, you must be enrolled at least half-time. Students are allowed a one quarter per year exception to continue working when enrolled less than half-time (1 to 5 credits for undergraduates; 1 to 3 credits for graduates)

General Financial Aid FAQs

Will spring quarter financial aid disbursements be delayed/when can I expect my spring quarter financial aid and/or refund?

Spring Quarter 2020 financial aid disbursements will take place as originally scheduled on March 31, 2020, if you have no outstanding requirements. Refunds (remaining balances after aid has applied to your student account) are processed by the Student Business Office.

  • If you have not yet set up your refund preference, please contact the Student Business Office at sbo@wwu.edu.
  • Western’s Emergency Loan Program is available to assist with short-term cash-flow needs (rent, groceries, etc.). The $5 loan fee will be waived due to COVID-19.

I am in loan repayment and heard that the CARES Act will allow me to stop making payments on my Federal student loan(s). Can you provide me with more information?

The U.S. Department of Education has placed federal student loan borrowers in automatic administrative forbearance, which allows you to temporarily stop making your monthly loan payment between March 13, 2020, through Sept. 30, 2020. You can still make payments if you choose..

Does moving home (or out of the dorms) for spring quarter impact my financial aid?

If your change in housing status is a result of the COVID-19, no changes to your award will be made. You do not need to notify Financial Aid of your new housing status.

Are financial aid staff and/or financial aid counselors still available to discuss my financial aid with me?

Yes! The most effective mode of communication at this time is to email the financial aid office at financialaid@wwu.edu. Appointments continue to be provided via telephone to discuss financial aid questions. To schedule an appointment, call (360) 650-3470.

What happens if I receive financial aid for spring quarter and decide to withdraw from part/all of my classes? Am I responsible for returning my financial aid disbursement?

The last date to withdraw from spring classes and receive a 100% refund of tuition and fees is April 12, 2020. If you decide to reduce your enrollment, your financial aid may be reduced; if you entirely withdraw from classes, your financial aid will be canceled. This may require a partial or full repayment of your financial aid. Additional information on the withdrawal process and federal and state regulations that pertain to the return of funding is available on our webpage.

If you decide to reduce your enrollment status or withdraw, please notify Financial Aid no later than the lock date of April 17th via an Enrollment Revision form.

What if I decide not to attend WWU for spring quarter?

Please notify Financial Aid by either completing an Enrollment Revision form available on our website or by sending an email with your enrollment plans for spring quarter from your official WWU email. This will allow us to cancel your financial aid for spring term. Please ensure that you officially withdraw from all classes via the Registrar’s Office, as completing our form will not withdraw you from classes.

If you are a student loan borrower and decide not to attend ½ time or more (undergrads 6+ credits/grads 4+ credits), you will be prompted to complete Exit Counseling and may be required to begin repayment on your student loans. For more information, please contact your loan servicer. You will need to log on using your FSA ID at studentaid.gov to determine your loan servicer.

Does my financial aid transfer to another school or my community college at home?

Your financial aid doesn’t transfer. If you wish to seek financial aid through another institution, you will need to update your 2019-20 FAFSA to include that school’s code and follow up with their financial aid office to identify any required documentation.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

How will my winter quarter satisfactory academic progress be affected if I took a K grade for winter and/or if my instructor submits a K grade?

In accordance with federal regulations, a K grade is treated like an F for Satisfactory Academic Progress purposes. We encourage you to review the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy available on our website. The academic progress of all students is monitored quarterly. Students who complete the term in warning or suspended status will be notified via their official WWU email of their status. Each of the areas monitored for Satisfactory Academic Progress can be viewed in Web4U. If you receive notification after quarterly grades are posted and have remaining questions, please contact Financial Aid via email financialaid@wwu.edu.

I failed/did poorly due to switching to online classes/COVID illness concerns. Do I still have to appeal?

Yes –if your financial aid eligibility was suspended. Students who are notified that they are in suspended status have the option to appeal for financial aid reinstatement by addressing the unusual or extenuating circumstances that prevented them from making SAP as well as providing a plan for success moving forward. Please see the corresponding deadlines as they relate to submitting an appeal and receiving a response.

My appeal has a reference to an ongoing medical circumstance and I am aware that I would need to provide medical documentation. However, I can’t get in to see my doctor/therapist right now. What can I do?

Go ahead and submit your appeal without documentation from your health care provider. If necessary, we will ask you to provide documentation from your healthcare provider later, as the situation resolves within the healthcare industry.