Western Connecticut State University offers financial aid to help qualified students meet their educational expenses. The staff of the Office of Student Financial Services assists students in determining their eligibility for the various sources of available aid.
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
Download the Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), available online at www.fafsa.ed.gov, and complete according to instructions. The university’s code, 001380, is required. Please be sure to obtain a PIN (personal identification number) for yourself and your parent (if you are a dependent student) prior to completing the online form. The PIN Web site is www.pin.ed.gov.
To reapply for financial aid at WestConn, the following conditions must be met:
Financial aid awards are given on a first come, first served basis. Please submit your paperwork by the required dates.
WestConn offers more than 100 scholarships and academic awards to undergraduate students. For information on applicable deadline and to apply, go to www.wcsu.edu/scholarships.
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 FAFSA as outlined (See “First-Time Applicants & Transfer Students”). Be 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 who come 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 half- 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 half-time matriculated students in a degree-granting program.
Academic Competitive Grant (ACG)
An Academic Competitiveness Grant provides $750 for the first year of study and $1,300 for the second year. To be eligible, a student must:
SMART Grant (SMRT)
A National SMART Grant will provide up to $4,000 for each of the third and fourth years of undergraduate study. The amount of the SMART Grant, when combined with a Pell Grant, may not exceed the student's cost of attendance. To be eligible, a student must:
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; i.e., economic hardship, military service, etc. For more complete information, please refer to your promissory note that is a part of your loan agreement.
Federal Direct Loans
Direct Loans are low-interest loans for students and parents to help pay for the cost of a student's education after high school. The lender is the U.S. Department of Education (the Department) rather than a bank or other financial institution.
Direct Subsidized Loan (FSxx)
Subsidized loans are for students with demonstrated financial need, as determined by federal regulations. No interest is charged while a student is in school at least half-time, during the grace period, and during deferment periods. For more information on the Direct Subsidized Loans including current interest rates, please visit http://www.direct.ed.gov/
Unsubsidized Student Loan (FUxx)
Unsubsidized Loans are not based on financial need; interest is charged during all periods, even during the time a student is in school and during grace and deferment periods. For more information on the Direct Unsubsidized Loans including current interest rates, please visit http://www.direct.ed.gov/
Borrowing Limits for Direct Subsidized and Direct Unsubsidized Student Loans
Loan limits are determined by a student’s status or the number of completed credit hours s/he has:
Loan limits are as follows:
For DEPENDENT students
For INDEPENDENT students:
Aggregate Limits For FFEL Loans
Direct Plus Loan (FPxx)(FGxx)
The Direct Plus Loans are unsubsidized loans for the parents of dependent students and for graduate/professional students. PLUS loans help pay for education expenses up to the cost of attendance minus all other financial assistance. Interest is charged during all periods. For more information on the Direct Plus Loans including current interest rates, please visit http://www.direct.ed.gov/.
Eligible federal student loans can be combined into one Direct Consolidation Loan. 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. For more information on Consolidation Loans, please visit https://loanconsolidation.ed.gov.
Generally, you'll have from 10 to 25 years to repay your loan, depending on which repayment plan (there are several) you choose. The Direct Loan Servicing Center will notify you of the date your first payment is due. If you do not choose a repayment plan, you will be placed on the Standard Repayment Plan, with fixed monthly payments for up to 10 years. Most Direct Loan borrowers choose to stay with the Standard Repayment Plan, but there are other options for borrowers who may need more time to repay or who need to make lower payments at the beginning of the repayment period. For more information on the different repayment plans, please visit http://www.direct.ed.gov/.
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 student 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 student loans 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 sources, when combined, exceed the cost of tuition, fees, books, 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/Veterans’ 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.
A. Quality of academic performance:
Students must be matriculated and must maintain that quality of academic performance required to remain a matriculated undergraduate or graduate student in the university. A student is subject to dismissal from WestConn if his/her cumulative GPA is less than 1.7 with up to 30 credits attempted and less than 2.0 thereafter. Students who are on academic probation, unless otherwise ineligible, will be able to receive financial aid if they meet the "speed of completion" standard of the Academic Progress Policy outlined below.
B. Speed of completion of the bachelor’s degree:
C. Alternatives for Completion of Academic Progress
D. Title IV Programs are:
For More Information about Financial Aid...
Contact us at Western Connecticut State University, Office of Student Financial Services, Old Main 105, 181 White Street, Danbury CT 06810. E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Reach us on the web at www.wcsu.edu. As a WestConn student, you may now access your individual financial aid information via WestConn’s student information server, WestConnduit. Go to www.wcsu.edu and under Quick Links, choose WestConnduit. There you can view 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 to date.
Student employment is an integral part of university life for many students. Student labor benefits the university 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.
WestConn 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 Office of Student Financial Services.
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 Office of Student Financial Services.
The Office of Student Financial Services assists veterans and National Guard in certifying educational benefits. Our office is located in Old Main 105 on the Midtown campus. The office hours are Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Any student who would like information about benefits earned through the armed services should report to Veterans Affairs/Office of Student Financial Services.
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, 32,33, 35 and 106.
Additionally, wives, widows and children of veterans seeking approval for educational benefits should apply through the Office of Student Financial Services.
To explore available benefit programs, please go to:
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 Office of Student Financial Services, Old Main 105, 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 (registered for 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.
To be eligible for this tuition waiver at Western Connecticut State University, a veteran must:
Periods of Service
Only those who served in the following manner may qualify:
Documents Required for Veterans’ Educational Benefits
If you have any questions about veteran or selected reserve educational programs, contact the Office of Student Financial Services, Old Main 105, or call (203) 837-8840.
Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC)
Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) is currently not being offered at Western Connecticut State University. Students interested in pursuing an ROTC program should contact the ROTC office at Sacred Heart University at (203)-365-7564.