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FAQs for Financial Aid and Payments

Financial Aid can be confusing, so we have compiled a list of questions from past and current students to help you as you apply. Additionally, we have added questions related to paying your bill that we think would be helpful for every student to know.

Can I access my financial aid information in the Wheaton Portal?

Once you have been accepted into Wheaton College, you can access your financial aid information on the Banner Self-Service link in the Wheaton Portal. The Admissions Office sends out  instructions for creating a Wheaton email account and accessing the Wheaton Portal. 

Who receives financial aid?

In order for a student to receive federal financial aid and/or institutional need-based financial aid, the student must be eligible to apply. For eligibility information, please visit our  Financial Aid Eligibility page. All students who are eligible and demonstrate financial need are eligible to receive aid. Nearly 80% of enrolled students receive some form of financial aid.

How is financial need determined?

When you complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the federal government sends your FAFSA information to the Student Financial Services Office at Wheaton. Our financial aid staff uses this information to assess your need. Each family is expected to contribute a portion of the parents' income and assets and a portion of the student's earnings and assets. With our Net Price Calculator, families can input their data and receive an estimate of their financial aid award at Wheaton College.

What is included in a financial award?

Three types of need-based aid may be awarded: grants, low-interest student loans, and money earned through work-study. Wheaton College also offers several merit-based awards. These include the Presidential Leadership Awards, the Arthur Holmes Faith and Learning Scholarship, and the National Merit Scholarship, along with music and multicultural student scholarships. There is also other aid available, such as ROTC scholarships and loans that are not based on financial need.

Do I have to accept all of the loan funds that I am offered?

You can choose to reduce the amount of the loan, or refuse it all, and still keep the grant portion of your package. We will offer a loan that is the maximum amount for which the student is eligible. Nevertheless, you do not have to accept the loans for which you qualify. Talk with your SFS Advisor for more information.

How will my financial aid change if I receive an outside scholarship?

We encourage you to investigate all possibilities for assistance, such as scholarships from corporations and private organizations. If you receive awards in an amount that would put your total resources above your demonstrated financial need, your award may be revised to first reduce or remove your federal work study, then your loans and finally your grants.

Can I pay in installments?

Semester bills are due in full on the first Wednesday of classes. The student and parents are responsible to pay for whatever is not covered by financial aid. This does not include those who are participating in a payment plan. The Student Financial Services Office offers the Wheaton College Payment Plan to help your family budget their payments. For more information, visit the Payment Processing Page or contact Student Financial Services at 630.752.5700 or sfs@wheaton.edu

Are loans available to parents?

There are low-interest Federal PLUS loans available to help parents finance their portion of the family contribution. Parents can borrow up to the amount of the full cost of attendance (financial aid budget) less all financial aid the student is receiving. Parents can apply online at www.studentloans.gov. Visit our Supplemental Loans page for more information.

Will I apply for aid each year?

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. Your aid eligibility will be evaluated each year, based on the information that you provide on the current year FAFSA and financial aid application.

Funds disbursed through Wheaton College are available until enough credits are completed to graduate, up to a maximum of four years of undergraduate work. Beyond this, a petition must be made based on special circumstances to receive financial aid. One additional semester of financial aid is available for Education majors, and two additional semesters are available for Engineering majors.

Will my financial aid change if my circumstances change?

If your family experiences an unforeseen change in financial circumstances, or if you feel you have special circumstances that should be taken into account, please notify our office. We will review your situation for additional consideration.

What if I don't qualify for need-based aid?

Students who do not receive need-based financial aid awards are still eligible to apply for certain other loans, payment plans, and parent loans. These are all made available to help families fit tuition payments into their budgets more easily. Call or e-mail the Student Financial Services Office for more information on federal unsubsidized Stafford loans and federal parent PLUS loans.

Am I eligible to apply for financial aid?

If you have questions concerning your eligibility to apply for Financial Aid, please visit our Financial Aid Eligibility page.

Where can I get more information?

E-mail your questions to sfs@wheaton.edu or call us at 630.752.5700.

When are bills due for the semester?

Semester bills are due in full on the first Wednesday of classes. This does not include those who are participating in a payment plan.

Can I pay my bill with a credit or debit card?

Student Financial Services has an online billing and payment gateway. Payments of credit and debit card can be paid online and not in person at Student Financial Services. Please note: There is a non-refundable service charge per credit card transaction. The current charge is 2.85% of the payment amount.

Why is a convenience fee added for credit/debit card payments?

The convenience fee charged by PayPath covers the cost of processing credit and debit card payments. Please note: Wheaton College will not receive any part of the convenience fee.

Why can’t I see the convenience fee charge on my student account?

The convenience fee is assessed by PayPath, not Wheaton College, so it will not appear on your student account. The convenience fee will appear as a separate charge on your credit card statement.

Is the convenience fee refundable?

The 2.85% convenience fee is non-refundable. Any convenience fee disputes must be taken directly to your credit card company.

Where do my bills get sent?

Bills and statements will be available online for viewing. In order for parents to receive the billing notice emails, the student must make the parent an authorized user. 

How do I make changes to schedule, housing, meals, or insurance?

All changes must be made through the respective office. Failure to contact the appropriate department directly may prevent any desired changes from occurring.

Can I see my student account balance online?

You can access your account online through this website: Student Billing and Payment Gateway. Here you can view your account activity, sign up for a payment plan, make a payment and much more.

What happens if I don't pay my account on time?

A one-time $75 penalty will be charged if the account balance is not received by the first Wednesday of the current semester. Late fees of 1.5% will then be assessed on any past-due balances. In addition, students with unpaid accounts are not permitted to re-enroll or receive diplomas or transcripts. Please see our Policy and Procedure page for more details.

Participants on a payment plan are exempt from late charges on current budgeted amounts. Unbudgeted items may be subject to late charges.

Does Wheaton have payment plan options?

Yes, please see the Payment Plan page, or contact 630.752.5700 for more information.

Can I appeal a late payment fee?

Yes, you can. All appeals must be submitted in writing to either the Student Financial Services Office or sfs@wheaton.edu. Please be sure to include the student ID number in the appeal.

Can I charge books to my student account?

Only students with a credit balance on their student account may request a bookstore voucher.

How do I withdraw a credit balance from my student account?

You must sign up for the E-Refunds through the Student Billing and Payment Gateway. Once your account is set up, you can fill out a request form in the office or send an email to sfs@wheaton.edu requesting the excess funds to be direct deposited.