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Apply for Financial Aid

Beginning January 1, follow these four easy steps to apply for Financial Aid.

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In making every effort to distribute our financial aid funds as equitably as possible, Wheaton reconsiders the needs of the whole student body annually and distributes the available aid on that basis.  For this reason, please keep in mind that you must reapply each year in order to continue receiving financial aid.  If your financial situation changes from year to year, you may also see your financial aid increase or decrease based on those changes.

Award estimates

We can process estimated financial aid awards for all new undergraduates selected for verification if they have completed the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), our institutional application or the CSS Profile, and certain other requested items.

An estimated award may be completed before the following have been received: data retrieval or tax return transcript, verification worksheet, and W2s for non-tax-filers with income. Our recommended deadline to submit these items is June 1.

If the above requirements are met, we will process an award estimate.  Our goal is to have an estimate to the student in time for the student to make an enrollment decision by the Admission Office’s May 1 deadline.

Please note: All verification information must be submitted before a final award can be determined and before any funds can be disbursed. Also, the award may change depending on the final tax data and other verification information.

For those needing to meet the February 15 deadline, please submit the FAFSA using your best 2014 tax data estimates. You will  later need to complete a FAFSA correction choosing to use the IRS data retrieval (once your tax return has been processed).

Priority Deadlines
February 15: Prospective freshmen
March 1:          Transfer students
April 15:          Continuing students

Step 1: Apply for a FAFSA PIN.

Immediately

All first-time applicants and their parent(s) must apply for PIN numbers which serve as signatures when you file the FAFSA online. If you provide an e-mail address, you can expect the PIN numbers in about three days.

For tips on how to complete the FAFSA, watch the FAFSA video>>

STEP 2: File the FAFSA using college code 001781.

You can file the FAFSA as early as January 1, 2015. However, we suggest you file your 2014 tax return electronically, wait several weeks for it to be processed and then complete the FAFSA. On the FAFSA, if you are eligible, you can choose to have your tax data retrieved electronically from the IRS (available as of February 1). If you do not have your completed tax information available in time to meet the February 15 priority deadline, you may use estimates to file the FAFSA and correct the information once available.

Update: Since the IRS will not be accepting tax returns until mid to late January, for those needing to meet the February 15 deadline, please submit the FAFSA using your best 2014 tax data estimates. You will then later need to complete a FAFSA correction choosing to use the IRS data retrieval (once your tax return has been processed).

Important: Proofread your personal data carefully. Errors, particularly on social security numbers, can lead to processing delays and complications.

After filing the FAFSA, you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) from the federal processor, listing the information you provided. If you provided an e-mail address on the FAFSA, you will receive a link to your SAR via e-mail. Otherwise you will receive your SAR through the mail. Review this information carefully. If corrections need to be made, go to www.fafsa.gov or use Part 2 of the paper SAR to correct the information and send the signed SAR directly to the federal processor.

STEP 3: Submit Wheaton Aid Application or CSS Profile.

The Wheaton institutional application is now available online. Please complete the FAFSA first. Important note: The Wheaton Institutional application is required for institutional need-based aid, but not for federal aid.  Be sure to indicate whether you are a dependent or an independent undergraduate. As with the FAFSA, you can use estimates for 2014 if necessary to complete the application by the deadline.

Alternatively, we will accept (but do not require) the CSS Profile from College Board (code 1905). However, we encourage students to complete the Wheaton aid application since it is free of charge and simpler to complete.

Special circumstances that need further explanation? Please email, fax, or mail a letter of explanation to our office.

STEP 4: Submit Verification Documents - if requested

Read full verification policy...

The student will be notified if verification documents are requested. Any documents submitted must include the student's full name and student ID number.

Verification Deadline: Students must provide verification documentation prior to the last day of the student’s enrollment for Campus-based, Direct Loan, and institutional need-based aid. However, for maximum consideration of Campus-based and institutional need-based aid, verification documentation must be received prior to the annually established priority deadline date, which varies for new and continuing students.Verification documentation must be provided for Pell Grant applicants prior to 120 days after the last day of the student’s enrollment.

Important: Funds are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, and awards cannot be processed until all requested verification items have been received. If financial aid disburses after semester payment is due, students are subject to late fees and interest charges.

Right of Appeal
If you receive a financial aid award and feel that the determination of financial need is not sufficient, you may be able to appeal the decision. To initiate such a process, contact your financial aid counselor to discuss your situation. Your counselor will determine whether options for additional aid consideration are available. You may be asked to provide supporting documentation. Appeals regarding the determination of financial need must contain new or additional facts not considered at the time need was determined. For details, please read Appeal Explanation (PDF).

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