Western Connecticut State University offers financial aid to help qualified students meet their educational expenses. The staff of the Financial Aid Office is available to assist students in determining their eligibility for the various sources of aid available.
While not everyone will qualify for assistance, a student should never assume he/she is ineligible without first applying. A wide spectrum of variables affects the application process and many possible options exist that may pertain to a student’s particular circumstances.
The evaluation of one’s financial need is based on an analysis of several factors such as student and/or family income, family size, assets and liabilities, and the number of family members in school. In addition, WestConn’s total allocation of funds for an academic year is a factor that determines the amount of aid a student may receive. Meeting the application deadline and assessing the student’s financial need are important factors in the financial aid process. All financial aid recipients must apply annually for financial aid to qualify for assistance.
How To Apply:
First-Time Applicants & Transfer Students
A. The document resulting from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the Institutional Student Information Record or Student Aid Report (SAR). These forms must be received in the university’s data files with a valid index number and with WestConn’s name by April 15. The applicant should allow four weeks for the processing of the FAFSA; March 15 is the recommended filing date.
B. The Federal 1040 forms must also be received in the Financial Aid Office by the April 15 deadline. To be counted as an “on-time” financial aid applicant, the student must also be accepted to the university by the April 15 deadline.
To reapply for financial aid at Westconn, the following conditions must be met:
*An on-time financial aid file consists of the Free Renewal Application completed and returned to the Federal Processor by March 15. Please indicate WestConn’s code, 001380, in the college release section. Also, you must complete and return a signed copy of your (and, if dependent, your parent’s) previous year’s federal income tax return to the Financial Aid Office at WestConn by Wednesday, April 15.
Financial aid awards are given on a first come/first served basis. Please submit your paperwork in by required dates.
What is a Renewal Application?
The renewal application is similar to the Student Aid Report. It contains most of the data you reported on your previous year’s federal aid application. Instead of filing a new FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), you will only have to edit the information on the renewal application that has changed (i.e. income, grade level, etc.) and answer a few additional questions.
How do I Obtain a Renewal Application?
The renewal application can be obtained by applying online at www.fafsa.ed.gov and selecting “Fill out a Renewal FAFSA”. If you are unable to access your renewal application, you will be required to fill out a FAFSA. Please allow four weeks for processing a paper FAFSA to meet the university’s April 15 deadline.
Note: Any aid awarded to a student is contingent upon WCSU receiving federal and/or state funds. Student awards may also be adjusted with the receipt of new financial information during the academic year. Financial aid is only awarded to matriculated students who are registered at least half-time (6 credit hours).
WestConn offers more than one hundred scholarships and academic awards to undergraduate students. To obtain a copy of The Student Guide to Scholarships and Academic Awards, contact the Office of Financial Aid, 203-837-8580, Old Main, Suite 105.
State Scholarship Recipients
If you are a recipient of a state scholarship, and are subject to deadline dates, it is suggested that you complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as outlined in the “First-Time Applicant” section, making sure to meet the necessary deadline dates. Note: When you complete the FAFSA or renewal application, you are applying for all federal, state and university grants and loans offered at WCSU.
Federal Pell Grants (Pell)
The Pell Grant was established as a basic access program for students from low and middle income families. To qualify for a Pell grant, the student must:
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)
Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants are awarded to students pursuing a first baccalaureate degree. Awards range from $100 to $4,000 per academic year. The conditions to be met in order to qualify for a supplemental grant are the same as those listed under Federal Pell Grants above.
Connecticut Aid for Public University (CAPS)
A CAP award can be given to part-time or full-time matriculated students. Recipients must be Connecticut residents. The grant cannot exceed financial need.
Connecticut State University Grant Aid (CSUG)
Public Act 76-181 authorizes the Board of Trustees for the State University to allocate funds to be given as grants to undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need and are enrolled as full or part-time matriculated students in a degree-granting program.
Federal Perkins Loan Program (PERK)
This program uses both federal and state funds. Annual loan limits are established at $4,000 for undergraduate students and $6,000 for graduate students. Aggregate borrowing limits are set at $20,000 for undergraduate students and $40,000 for graduate and professional students. Students must provide their driver’s license number at the time of application. The monthly minimum repayment is set at $40. There will be no repayment of principal or interest until nine months after the student graduates or formally leaves school.
Note: There are a variety of reasons why Perkins Loan payments may be deferred, such as economic hardship, military service, etc. For more complete information, please refer to your promissory note that is a part of your loan agreement.
Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFEL)
This program is one of the Department of Education’s major form of self-help aid. Loans are funded from a bank, credit union, or other lender that participates in the FFEL Program.
Listed below are the three types of loans available under the FFEL program, as well as their loan limits.
Subsidized Student Loan:
Cost/Rates: Annual fixed rate of 6.8% for all loans disbursed on or after July 1, 2006.
Unsubsidized Student Loan:
Note: This is an unsubsidized loan. Interest accrues while in school and in grace period.
For DEPENDENT Students
$ 2,625 first year
$ 3,500 second year
$ 5,500 other undergraduate
$ 8,500 graduate and professional
For INDEPENDENT Students
$ 6,625 first year
($2,625 of this amount may be subsidized)
$ 7,500 second year ($3,500 of this amount may be subsidized)
$ 10,500 other undergraduate ($5,500 of this amount may be subsidized)
$ 18,500 graduate & professional ($8,500 of this amount may be subsidized)
Cost/Rates: Annual fixed rate of 6.8% for all loans disbursed on or after July 1, 2006.
Aggregate limits for FFEL Loans
Cost of attendance per student less other aid.
Cost of attendance per student less other aid.
Cost/Rates: Annual fixed rate of 8.5%
Fees: 3% origination fees
FFEL Consolidation Loans
These loans are designed to help student and parent borrowers simplify loan repayment by allowing the borrower to consolidate several types of federal student loans with various repayment schedules into one loan. FFEL consolidation loans are available from participating lenders such as banks, credit unions, and savings and loan associations.
Borrowers may choose from among a variety of repayment plans for FFEL loans:
Payments will vary in relation to the “appropriate portion” of the borrower’s (and spouse’s) annual income. The department will determine the appropriate portion.
Note: PLUS borrowers are not eligible for this plan.
A borrower who has defaulted may be required to repay the loan according to an income contingent repayment plan.
If the borrower does not select one of the three repayment plans, the department will choose a standard, extended, or graduated repayment plan for the borrower.
The borrower may change the type of payment plan he or she originally chose under terms and conditions the department will establish.
On a case-by-case basis, the department may approve an alternative repayment plan if the borrower can demonstrate that one of the plans above cannot accommodate the borrower’s exceptional circumstances. The alternative plan may not exceed the cost of any of the four plans discussed above.
The borrower may accelerate his or her payments without penalty.
Borrower Defenses Against Repayment
The department will specify in regulations what acts or omissions of a school a borrower may assert as a defense against repaying a FFEL Loan. However, a borrower may not recover from the department an amount that exceeds what he or she has repaid on the loan.
During deferment periods, payment of principal will be postponed. Deferments may be granted for:
The limits that currently exist in Section 532(a)(6) of the Bankruptcy Code to prevent the discharge of FFELs in bankruptcy specify that student loans will not be discharged except in cases where the loans first became due more than seven years before the date the borrower and his or her dependents incurred hardship. These provisions apply to both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases.
Federal Tax Information
Any funds received from scholarships, benefits, fellowships, WestConn or any other source that combined exceed the cost of tuition, fees, books, and required equipment and supplies are considered taxable income. These include federal Pell Grants, but not federal loans. The borrower is required to report taxable awards to the IRS as income and therefore should keep a detailed record of all expenditures. Housing and food are considered nonexempt, so money spent on these items is subject to income tax.
Satisfactory Academic Progress
Students receiving financial assistance under the federally supported Title IV Programs/Veteran's Benefits must comply with the following set of standards to be eligible for such assistance. Academic Progress is measured on an academic year basis. Measurement is conducted at the close of the spring semester. An academic year runs from the beginning of the fall semester to the end of the spring semester.
For more information about financial aid...
Contact us at Western Connecticut State University, 181 White Street, Danbury CT 06810. Or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, reach us on the web at www.wcsu.edu. As a WestConn student, you may now access your own individual financial aid information via WestConn’s Student Information Server. This will show the status of each financial aid award, the amount awarded and disbursed, as well as the status of your financial aid file and any correspondence.
Student employment is an integral part of university life for many students. Student labor benefits the school in almost every academic and administrative department on campus. Student employment may be related to a student’s major and/or interests and work schedules can be designed around a student’s academic schedule.
Western Connecticut State University employs approximately 400 students during the academic year. The types of jobs available are as diverse as the students themselves. A complete list of job descriptions is available in the Financial Aid Office.
Students are paid bi-weekly, and the hourly rate is contingent on the difficulty of position and the experience of the student. The first paycheck is delayed for two weeks, as required by the state.
There are two major funding sources for the student labor force at Western Connecticut State University;
The Federal College Work Study Program is a federally funded program based on financial need. Because the program is financially need-based, work experience is not the qualifying factor. In order to work under the Federal College Work Study Program, a student must meet the conditions listed under the Pell Grant section.
WestConn’s institutional payroll is not based on a student’s financial need. Students are employed based on the needs of each department, availability of funds, and the student’s experience in specific areas.
All federal and state funds are subject to federal and state regulations as mandated.
Off-Campus Employment Opportunities
Western Connecticut State University offers a variety of off-campus employment opportunities for students who have demonstrated financial need and who might like to work in a non-profit organization, such as the United Way or, in the Danbury Public School System. These jobs allow students the many benefits of community involvement while earning money and continuing their education. For more information on these positions, contact WestConn’s Financial Aid Office.
The Office of Veterans’ Affairs is part of WestConn’s Financial Aid Office, located on the first floor of the Old Main Administration Building on the WCSU Midtown campus. The office hours are Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm. Any student who would like information about benefits earned through the armed services should report to Veterans Affairs/Financial Aid Office.
The Connecticut Department of Higher Education has approved WCSU’s educational programs for the training of veterans. Veterans may take advantage of their benefits under chapters 30, 32, 35 and 106.
Additionally, wives, widows and children of veterans seeking approval for educational benefits should apply to Veterans Affairs.
Active Duty Education Assistance Program-Chapter 30
This program is for those veterans who first entered active duty beginning July 1, 1985 to the present:
V.E.A.P. (Post-Vietnam Era Veterans’ Educational Assistance Program)–Chapter 32
You may be eligible for the program if you meet the following conditions:
Survivors and Dependent Educational Assistance Program–Chapter 35
Eligibility requirements: basic eligibility for Chapter 35 Education Benefits may be established for the following categories of students:
Periods of Eligibility:
Child: generally, to attend school or take a job training under the Chapter 35 Program, a son or daughter must be between 18 and 26 years of age. In certain circumstances, it is possible to begin before age 18 and to continue after age 26.
Spouse or Surviving Spouse: educational benefit must be used within 10 years from the date eligibility is determined or from the date of death of spouse from whom eligibility is derived. In certain circumstances, this period may be extended if the spouse or surviving spouse was prevented from using some portion of his or her educational benefits because of a physical or mental disability. See Chapter 35, Title 38, Code of Federal Regulations.
Montgomery G.I. Bill
Selected Reserve Educational Assistance Program for National Guard or Reserve Units–Chapter 106
To apply, National Guard members or reservists must obtain DD form 2384 (Selected Reserve Educational Assistance Program: Notice of Basic Eligibility) from their National Guard or reserve unit. They will need to submit it with your application.
If you served on active duty during a time of war or conflict, and are admitted as an IN-STATE resident, you may be eligible for a waiver of tuition.
A tuition waiver relieves the benefactors from the responsibility for payment of tuition. The tuition waiver does not apply to other costs and fees, such as student activity fees, insurance fees, and laboratory fees. There are two main categories of tuition waivers:
National Guard Tuition Waiver
National Guard members, who have received a certificate of eligibility from the adjutant general, and have been admitted to the university as full-time students and who have registered for classes, can submit the certificate to the Veterans’ Affairs Office, first floor, Old Main, for a waiver of tuition.
Connecticut State Tuition Waiver
Public Act 78-175 and Public Act 74-266 authorized the Board of Trustees of the Connecticut State University System to waive the payment of tuition for veterans, or a dependent child * of a person classified as a prisoner of war or missing in action. The board also declares that qualified summer and part-time students (less than 12 credits) are entitled to a waiver of 50 percent of tuition cost.
* Dependent children: Must be a dependent child of a person whom the armed forces declared to be missing in action or to have been a prisoner of war while serving in the armed forces after January 1, 1960.
The following eligibility qualifications must be met for the tuition waiver:
Note: Eligibility to receive veterans affairs education benefits is not a determining factor in granting a tuition waiver. Time served in the military reserve or National Guard is NOT considered active duty.
Documents Required for Veterans’ Educational Benefits
If you have any questions about veteran or selected reserve educational programs, contact the Veterans’ Affairs Office, Old Main 105 at (203) 837-8580.