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 Presidential scholarships, 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.
When will my financial aid funds disburse into my account?
All financial aid funds will be disbursed during the week following the end of the add/drop period for the applicable semester, if all necessary requirements and paperwork have been received. Otherwise, these funds will be disbursed when the file is complete. The exception is in the case of student or parent loans, which may have a different disbursement schedule. Disbursement dates for a student or parent loan are listed separately when the loan is accepted. Once funds have been disbursed, if there is a federal student aid credit balance on the account, excess funds may be withdrawn from the student's account to purchase books and supplies.
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 or an education benefit from your family’s employer, such as another college or university. If you receive outside scholarships 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.
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 here. 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 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 considered, please notify our office. We will review your situation.
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.
Does my financial aid award change if I am enrolled part-time?
Financial aid awards are initially made based on the assumption that an undergraduate student will be enrolled full-time (at least 12 hours). If an undergraduate student is enrolled less than full-time, the amount of grants and scholarships that will be applied to their student account for that semester will be prorated based on the student’s enrollment. Undergraduate students enrolled in 9-11 hours will receive ¾ of each grant or scholarship amount applied to their student account. Undergraduate students enrolled in 6-8 hours will receive ½ of each grant or scholarship amount applied to their student account. Undergraduate students who are enrolled in less than 6 hours do not qualify for institutional grants or scholarships, however some federal and state grants are available for undergraduate students enrolled less than half time. These funds will be prorated according to the applicable federal or state rules.
Where can I get more information?
E-mail your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 630.752.5700.