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Financial Aid

Karen Belling - Student Financial Services Director Wheaton College ILFinancial aid helps students and their families pay for college. It can come in the form of scholarships, need-based aid, loans, or some combination of all three, and it can cover a range of educational expenses such as tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, and transportation. The Student Financial Services team at Wheaton is happy to walk with you through the financial aid process. Contact us at sfs@wheaton.edu with any questions or concerns.


Apply for Financial Aid - First Time Applicants

To receive Federal Financial Aid and/or Need-Based Institutional Aid you must:

  • have a high school diploma or a GED certificate, or pass a test approved by the U.S. Dept. of Education.
  • be enrolled or accepted for enrollment in a degree program or eligible certificate program.
  • be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen.
  • have a valid social security number
  • register with the Selective Service if required (you can use the FAFSA to register).
  • maintain satisfactory progress once in school.

Eligible Non-Citizen:

You must be one of the following to receive federal financial aid:

  • U.S. citizen
  • U.S. national (includes natives of American Samoa or Swain's Island)
  • U.S. permanent resident who has an I-151, I-551, or I-551C

If you are not in one of the above categories, you must have an Arrival-Departure Record (I-94) from the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) showing one of the following designations in order to be eligible:

  • "Refugee" 
  • "Asylum Granted"
  • "Indefinite Parole" and/or "Humanitarian Parole"
  • "Cuban-Haitian Entrant, Status Pending"
  • "Conditional Entrant" (valid only if issued before April 1, 1980)

If you have only a Notice of Approval to Apply for Permanent Residence (I-171 or I-464), you are NOT eligible for federal student aid.

If you are in the United States on an F1 or F2 student visa only, or a J1 or J2 exchange visitor visa only, you are NOT eligible for federal student aid. Also, persons with G series visas are not eligible.

Citizens of the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau are eligible only for Federal Pell Grants, FSEOGs, or Federal Work Study. These applicants should check with Student Financial Services for more information.

Determining Independent Student Status

(The following text is taken directly from the FAFSA website)

For the 2021–2022 Award Year, a student is automatically determined to be independent for federal student aid purposes if he or she meets one or more of the following criteria:

  • The student was born before January 1, 1998.
  • The student is married or separated (but not divorced) as of the date of the application.
  • At the beginning of the 2021–2022 school year, the student will be enrolled in a master’s or doctoral degree program (such as MA, MBA, MD, JD, PhD, EdD, or graduate certificate, etc.).
  • The student is currently serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces or is a National Guard or Reserves enlistee called into federal active duty for purposes other than training.
  • The student is a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces (see the definition in the box on page 4).
  • The student has or will have one or more children who receive more than half of their support from him or her between July 1, 2021, and June 30, 2022.
  • The student has dependent(s) (other than children or spouse) who live with him or her and who receive more than half of their support from the student, now and through June 30, 2022.
  • At any time since the student turned age 13, both of the student’s parents were deceased, or the student was in foster care or was a dependent or ward of the court.
  • As determined by a court in the student’s state of legal residence, the student is now, or was upon reaching the age of majority, an emancipated minor (that is, released from control by his or her parent or guardian).
  • As determined by a court in the student’s state of legal residence, the student is now, or was upon reaching the age of majority, in legal guardianship.
  • On or after July 1, 2020, the student was determined by a high school or school district homeless liaison to be an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or was self-supporting and at risk of being homeless.
  • On or after July 1, 2020, the student was determined by the director of an emergency shelter or transitional housing program funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to be an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or was self-supporting and at risk of being homeless.
  • At any time on or after July 1, 2020, the student was determined by a director of a runaway or homeless youth basic center or transitional living program to be an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or was self-supporting and at risk of being homeless.
  • The student is determined by the college financial aid administrator to be an unaccompanied youth who is homeless or is self-supporting and at risk of being homeless.

If any of the above situations apply to you, please contact the Student Financial Services (SFS) Office for more information.

If you have questions about your eligibility, please contact Student Financial Services.

Before you apply for financial aid, you should familiarize yourself with the full array of scholarships, loans, and aid which may be available to you. 

Academic Scholarships

Wheaton College offers Presidential Scholarships as well as other merit-based awards. Learn more >

Need-Based Aid

Need-based aid makes college affordable for you, and includes borrowed, given, or earned money that is provided through a variety of sources. It is intended to make up the difference between what your family can afford to pay and what college costs. Learn more >

Loans

To help pay for your college education, students may borrow through several loan programs. Learn more >

The 2021-22 FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is the only application required to apply for financial aid.

How to File your FAFSA

You can file the 2021-22 FAFSA starting October 1, 2020 on the studentaid.gov website. Please note that you will be providing 2019 income tax information.

College Code: 00178100

A note for Illinois Residents: We recommend that you submit the FAFSA by November 15 in order to be considered for the Illinois Monetary Award Program (MAP) Grant.

Priority Deadlines

 Apply for Financial Aid by:Receive Financial Aid Award Starting: 
Early Action 1 November 15 December 11
Early Action 2 December 1 December 18
Regular Decision 1 January 15 Two weeks after acceptance
Regular Decision 2 February 15 Two weeks after acceptance

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. 

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

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 student financial services advisor to discuss your situation. Your advisor 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 Procedure Explanation (PDF)

About Financial Aid Award Estimates

We can process estimated financial aid awards for new undergraduates selected for verification if they have completed the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and certain other requested items.

An estimated award may be completed before the following have been received: verification worksheet and W2's 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.

Steps to Review and Accept Your Financial Aid Award

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.

1. To view further details and accept your financial aid offer and/or decline any portion you do not wish to accept, please go to the Wheaton Portal (portal.wheaton.edu) and log in. If you have not already set up your Wheaton Portal, please refer to the instructions for setting up your Wheaton Portal Account.

2. Once you have logged in, click on "undergraduate student" on the left, then click on "Banner Self-Service" on the right. Choose  Financial Aid, then the Financial Aid Status link.

3. This will take you to a page that asks for the appropriate aid year. Choose “2020 - 2021” and press the Submit button.

4. On the Financial Aid Status page, click the link titled “You have been awarded financial aid….”

5. This will take you to the Award Package page. Please carefully follow the instructions, moving through the tabs from left to right, to accept your financial aid award.

Please note that subsequent notifications regarding any changes to your financial aid status (new requirements, changes to your award, etc.) will not be sent to you through the mail. We will send all correspondence to your Wheaton College email address (i.e., joe.student@my.wheaton.edu). If you have not yet set up your Wheaton College email address, you will need to do so (please refer to the instructions at the link above). If you use another email address as your primary address, you will need to forward your Wheaton College address to your primary address so that you can receive notifications from our office.

Apply for Financial Aid - Current Students

The 2021-22 FAFSA is the only application required to renew your financial aid for another year. The following information will help you in the renewal process.

You Must Reapply for Financial 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.

FAFSA Filing Deadlines

The priority deadline for continuing students to submit the FAFSA and any requested verification documentation is March 1, 2021. Applications received after this date will be processed but applicants may not have full consideration for Wheaton grant funds. Applications that are complete by March 1, 2021 will be processed beginning in mid-May.

Note for continuing students who have state funding: Certain state funding is subject to availability. We encourage families who wish consideration for state funding to apply earlier than the March 1st priority deadline. We encourage Illinois residents to file their 2021-22 FAFSA by November 15, 2020 for maximum consideration for the Illinois MAP grant.

Verification Documentation Deadlines

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 , 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.

How to Provide Tax Information

Important:  The federal government has stipulated how families are to provide tax information to financial aid offices. Please read the instructions for providing tax information carefully. Print all instructions(PDF)

Current students are responsible for providing the following each year:

  • FAFSA  (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)
  • All requested verification documents

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

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 student financial services advisor to discuss your situation. Your advisor 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 Procedure Explanation (PDF)

Steps to Review and Accept Your Financial Aid Award

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.

1. To view further details and accept your financial aid offer and/or decline any portion you do not wish to accept, please go to the Wheaton Portal (portal.wheaton.edu) and log in.

2. Once you have logged in, click on "undergraduate student" on the left, then click on "Banner Self-Service" on the right. Choose Financial Aid, then the Financial Aid Status link.

3. This will take you to a page that asks for the appropriate aid year. Choose “2021 - 2022” and press the Submit button.

4. On the Financial Aid Status page, click the link titled “You have been awarded financial aid….”

5. This will take you to the Award Package page. Please carefully follow the instructions, moving through the tabs from left to right, to accept your financial aid award.

Undergraduate Financial Aid Calendar

DatesFreshmen/TransfersContinuing Students
Early Action I & II Applicants: November 15, 2020 NON-ILLINOIS residents Priority deadline for FAFSA  
December 1, 2020 Suggested date by which to file the FAFSA for ILLINOIS residents for maximum state grant consideration Deadline for continuing students to file the FAFSA for ILLINOIS residents for state grant consideration
Early Action I & II Applicants: December 11, 2020 Receive scholarship financial aid award  
Regular Action I Applicants :
January 15, 2021
APPLY FOR FINANCIAL AID! Priority deadline for the FAFSA  
Regular Action I Applicants:
Beginning March 15, 2021
Receive financial aid award  
March 1, 2021   Priority deadline for the FAFSA
Regular Action II Applicants :
February 15, 2021
APPLY FOR FINANCIAL AID! Priority deadline for the FAFSA  
Regular Action II Applicants:
Beginning April 15, 2021
Receive financial aid award  
May 1, 2021 Deadline for prospective students to pay deposit to confirm and hold their spot in the new class.  
Mid-May, 2021   Continuing students start receiving notification of financial aid awards
July 1, 2021 Financial aid award response due if award amounts are to appear on bill. Submit online through the Wheaton Portal Financial aid award response due if award amounts are to appear on bill. Submit online through the Wheaton Portal
Late July 2021 Fall invoices posted to the Student Billing and Payment Gateway on the Wheaton Portal Fall invoices posted to the Student Billing and Payment Gateway on the Wheaton Portal 
July 2021 Federal Direct Stafford Loans: Students need to complete loan entrance counseling and master promissory note online >> First-time borrowers only: Federal Direct Stafford Loans: Students need to complete loan entrance counseling and master promissory note online >>
August 25, 2021 First day of classes, payment for fall semester due First day of classes, payment for fall semester due

Financial Aid Tools, Tips, and Forms

Wheaton's School Code for the FAFSA is 001781.

Please submit forms ONLY if requested and only for the correct aid year. Forms needing a signature MUST have a hand-written signature. We cannot accept digital or computer-generated signatures. Uploading to our secure upload URL (www.wheaton.edu/sfsupload), faxing, or mailing are acceptable.

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 , 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.

2020-2021 and 2021-2022 Forms

The Wheaton Portal is where students can register for classes, view financial aid, etc. You can log in to the Wheaton Portal at portal.wheaton.edu

Need a Wheaton Portal login? Follow these instructions to set one up. 

Department of Education Direct Loan Website

Manage Federal Direct Stafford Loans (Subsidized and Unsubsidized) and Parent PLUS loans at:

www.studentloans.gov >>

IMPORTANT: On the website, there is important information about browser requirements under "What You Need." If you do not have a compatible browser, various features will not work.

National Student Loan Data System

www.nslds.ed.gov >>

Database for federal student aid, including information about outstanding balances, loan status, disbursements and loan holders.

Stafford Forms and Links

Perkins Forms and Links

Direct Parent PLUS and Alternative (private) Loan Information

Repayment Resources

Visit these external resources for more information on financial aid.

Higher Education Tax Benefits

Scholarship/Financial Aid Resources

  1. Check your Financial Aid Status in Banner Self Service by selecting 2020-2021 as the Aid Year

    Banner Self Service Financial Aid Status Screenshot Aid Year Screenshot
  2. Select the awarded link.

    Awarded Link Screenshot
  3. On the Award Package page, your Terms and Conditions Tab will list the housing option upon which your financial aid award was based.

    Terms and Conditions for On or Off Campus Living Screenshot
  1. Once you have logged into your Wheaton Portal at portal.wheaton.edu, select your student status on the menu on the left.


    Wheaton Portal Sidebar Screenshot

     

  2. Under Banner Self Service, click on Financial Aid and then Financial Aid Requirements.

    Banner Self Service Financial Aid Status Screenshot

     

  3. Choose 2020-2021 when you select the Aid Year and click the Submit button. You will see the statuses of your Satisfied and Unsatisfied Requirements with instructions or links to complete unsatisfied requirements.
    Aid Year Screenshot

    Satisfied or Unsatisfied Eligibility Requirements Screenshot
  1. Check your Financial Aid Status in Banner Self Service by selecting 2020-2021 as the Aid Year

    Banner Self Service Financial Aid Status Screenshot Aid Year Screenshot
  2. Select the awarded link.

    Award Link Screenshot
  3. On the Award Package page, carefully follow the instructions, moving through all tabs from left to right to accept your financial aid award.

    Terms and Conditions Screenshot

Remember deadlines! 

If you want to be able to make a timely decision about which college to attend, with financial aid information in hand, we need your information on time. Let your parents know ahead of time that you need their help in submitting the forms.

Keep a copy

Occasionally, paperwork does get lost. If you keep a photocopy of everything that you send to the IRS, the federal processing center, and our office, you will be prepared for anything. 

Use e-mail for questions

Responses to e-mail are often quicker. Our office's address is: sfs@wheaton.edu

Write it all down

If you have a unique or changing financial situation, please send us an email or a letter describing your situation. Although we cannot accommodate every request, we do read these and consider each request independently. 

Respond

Occasionally, we'll need to ask for additional information. If we do ask for something extra, it is because we need it in order to comply with regulations or to clarify some information in your application. Your timely response will ensure that things stay on track.

Follow through

In the end, it is your responsibility to make sure that your financial aid process is complete. We will try to keep you up to date on your progress but you must be the one to get it done.