Financial Aid Eligibility

The following requirements must be met in order to receive U.S. federal financial aid for your graduate school education.

Requirements for Federal Financial Aid Eligibility 

To be eligible for U.S. federal financial 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 (see definition below) 
  • have a valid social security number
  • register with the Selective Service if required (you can use the Free Application for Federal Student Aid [FAFSA] to register)
  • maintain satisfactory progress once in school

Eligible Non-Citizens

Eligible non-citizens are defined as:

  • 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

Other Eligible Applicants

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)

You Are NOT Eligible for Federal Financial Aid If . . .

  • You have only a Notice of Approval to Apply for Permanent Residence (I-171 or I-464)
  • You are in the United States on an F1 or F2 student visa only, or a J1 or J2 exchange visitor visa only
  • You have a G series visa

Citizens of the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau are eligible only for Federal Work Study. These applicants should check with the Financial Aid Office for more information.

Enrollment Requirements for Financial Aid Eligibility

Financial aid is available to students to meet general education requirements, program of study requirements, plus enough other credits to bring them to 124 hours. Course hours that are not needed to satisfy a student’s general education requirements, program of study requirements, or other hours needed to bring the student to a total of 124 hours are not eligible for financial aid. For financial aid, the threshold for full-time enrollment is 12 credit hours. Scholarships and grants for part-time students is prorated at ¾ for those enrolled in 9-11.9 credit hours, and ½ for those between 6-8.9 hours. Financial aid eligibility varies by program for less than half time enrollment; however, institutional scholarships and grants are not available as they require a minimum of half-time enrollment (6 hours).

Wheaton College offers an accelerated master’s degree program allowing a student to earn a graduate degree as early as the fifth college year by taking graduate credit courses during the junior and senior years. No more than 50 percent of the credit hours required for the master's degree can be taken before the student completes the bachelor's degree. Each semester a student must be enrolled in 12 hours of courses required for their undergraduate program of study but may take up to six additional hours for graduate credit. Courses taken toward the accelerated master's degree program cannot also be counted toward the student's bachelor's degree requirements. Tuition is billed at the undergraduate rate for both the undergraduate and graduate courses.