More Western families receiving financial aid
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A growing number of Western families are getting help paying for college, with the percentage of students receiving offers for financial aid up by more than 13.6 percent over the previous year.
And Financial Aid staff members are working hard to keep up with requests from families to re-figure their aid amounts after their financial situations have changed.
Western will distribute about $110 million in financial aid this year in the form of grants, loans and tuition waivers, says Clara Capron, Western's director of Financial Aid. That's about the same as last year, but some aid types are seeing an increase: Western will distribute about $800,000 more in need-based tuition waivers this year, for example.
State need grants have increased too, from $5,575 to $6,751. Federal Pell grants have remained the same at $5,550.
Even families who haven't yet filed a FAFSA form (that's Free Application for Federal Student Aid) should still do so, Capron says, as some federal aid sources remain available all year.
Work Study funds will be a little tighter this year, though, as state work study funds were reduced a bit. All returning work study students were able to continue with the program, but work study opportunities are fewer for new students.
Finally, all families should remember that email communication is Western's official method of communicating with students – this includes notices from Financial Aid. If your student will be out of email communication for more than several days, they may consider forwarding their WWU email to families while they are out of contact.
To learn more about setting up an email rule, click here or contact Academic Technology and User Services Help Desk at (360) 650-3333.
Complete more than 12 credits per quarter. You pay the same tuition at 12 credits as you do at 18, so take more credits and get your money's worth. Just be sure the credits count toward your degree and you don't overload yourself academically.
Never borrow through a private alternative loan without filing the FAFSA and determining your eligibility for federal loans, grants, work study, and scholarship programs.
Leave the car at home, if you can. Use your bus pass and save on gas, maintenance and vehicle insurance.
Remember that being a student is temporary. As a student, you have opted to undergo situational, temporary poverty for a return on your investment. Studies show that by investing in your future and earning your degree, you will earn a million dollars more in your lifetime.