Office of Student Financial Services
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, students should never assume they are 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 financial need is based on an analysis of several factors such as student and family income, family size, assets and liabilities, and the number of family members in school.
In addition, Western’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
Complete the Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) 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 website is www.pin.ed.gov.
Applicants should make every attempt to utilize the IRS Data Retrieval Tool when completing the FAFSA. If at the time of completing the FAFSA Form you are unable to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool because your taxes were recently filed or were not filed yet, you must update your FAFSA using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool once you have filed your taxes. Some individuals may not be able to use the IRS Data Retrieval due to other circumstances.
The document resulting from the 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 Western’s name by March 15. The applicant should allow four weeks for processing the FAFSA; March 1 is the recommended filing date.
First-time attending students must be accepted to the university by the Admissions Office by the March 15th deadline in order to be considered an on-time financial aid applicant.
If your FAFSA Form is selected for verification by the U.S. Department of Education, you may be asked to provide the following information or documents:
- If you had not utilized the IRS Data Retrieval Tool you may be asked to update your FAFSA using this tool. In certain circumstances where this is not possible you will then be required to provide an IRS Tax Transcript for student and/or parent-IRS Tax Return Transcripts may be obtained by going online to www.irs.gov; calling the IRS toll-free at 1-800-908-9946 or downloading a form online at www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f4506TEX and mailing it to the IRS.
- If you and /or your parents did not and will not file a Federal Income Tax Return, then a Non-Filer’s Certification Form must be completed and submitted to our office along with a copy of all W-2’s for any earned income.
- Verification Worksheet
- If you and/o your parents received any assistance from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), you will need to complete and submit a SNAP Verification Form to our office.
- Proof of Child Support Paid; if applicable
- Proof of High School completion or its equivalent
- Proof of Identity and Statement of Educational Purpose
Once your FAFSA form is received by The Office of Student Financial Services you will be notified of which information and/or documents are required in order to complete the processing of your Financial Aid Award Package.
Note: If selected for Verification additional deadlines may apply.
To reapply for financial aid at Western, the following conditions must be met:
- You must be in good academic standing.
- You must be a matriculated student registered at least half-time for the upcoming semester.
- You must have maintained satisfactory academic progress; this requires that you pass at least 24 credits per full-time academic year.
- You must have completed your financial aid file on time. An on-time financial aid file consists of a completed FAFSA that is received by The Office of Student Financial Services by March 15th. If your FAFSA form is selected for VERIFICATION, please refer to the Important Deadlines section.
Financial aid awards are given on a first-come, first-served basis. Please submit your paperwork by the required dates.
Western offers more than 100 scholarships and academic awards to undergraduate students. For information about the scholarship slection process, please 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, you are applying for all federal, state and University grants and loans offered at Western.
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:
- Be matriculated.
- Be registered at least half-time.
- Be enrolled, or accepted for enrollment, in an eligible program as an undergraduate student at the institution.
- Meet one of the following citizen criteria:
- Be a U.S. citizen.
- Be a permanent resident of the U.S.; or
- Provide evidence from the Immigration and Naturalization Service that he/she is in the United States for other than a temporary purpose, with the intention of becoming a citizen or permanent resident; or
- Be a permanent resident of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands or the Northern Mariana Islands.
- Maintain satisfactory academic progress according to the standards and practices of the institution.
- Not owe a refund on a Pell Grant, supplement grant or state student incentive intended to meet the cost of attending the institution;
- Not be in default on any National Defense/Direct Student Loan (also known as Perkins Loan), Stafford Student Loan, or Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) received to meet the cost of attending the institution, and;
- Not engage in the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession or use of a controlled substance during the period covered by this grant.
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 Regents 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.
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 the 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 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 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 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:
- First year student (0-29 credit hours completed)
- Second year student (30-59 credit hours completed)
- Other undergraduate (60+ credit hours completed)
- Graduate and professional (undergraduate degree requirements completed)
Loan limits are as follows:
For DEPENDENT students
- $ 5,500 First year ($3,500 of this amount may be subsidized)
- $ 6,500 Second year ($4,500 of this amount may be subsidized)
- $ 7,500 Other undergraduate ($5,500 of this amount may be subsidized)
- $ 20,500 Graduate and professional
For INDEPENDENT students:
- $ 9,500 First year ($3,500 of this amount may be subsidized)
- $ 10,500 Second year ($4,500 of this amount may be subsidized)
- $ 12,500 Other undergraduate ($5,500 of this amount may be subsidized)
- $ 20,500 Graduate and professional
Aggregate Limits For FFEL Loans
- $31,000 as a dependent undergraduate student
- $57,500 as an independent undergraduate student ($23,000 of this amount may be in subsidized loans)
- $138,500 as a graduate or professional student ($65,500 of this amount may be in subsidized 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 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 loanconsolidation.ed.gov.
Generally, you’ll have from 10 to 25 years to repay your loan, depending on which repayment plan you choose. (There are several.) 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 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:
- at least half-time study at a post-secondary institution;
- study in an approved graduate fellowship program or in a rehabilitation training program for the disabled;
- unemployment (up to three years) and;
- economic hardship (up to three years).
The limits that 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, Western 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/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.
There is more than one condition that is being monitored to determine a student’s Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) for financial aid applicants. SAP is measured by quantitative and qualitative standards and is an assessment of your cumulative academic record at Western Connecticut State University.
Students applying for financial aid must be matriculated and must maintain that quality of academic performance required to remain a matriculated undergraduate or graduate student at the University.
A. Qualitative measure of academic performance:
An undergraduate student must maintain a cumulative GPA of:
- 1.7 or higher with up to 30 credits attempted or
- 2.0 or higher with a minimum 31 credits attempted
A graduate student must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.
B. Quantitative measure of academic performance:
Pace: Matriculated undergraduate and graduate students must successfully complete two-thirds (67 percent) of credits attempted. All attempted credits resulting in either an academic grade or administrative notation will be included in the quantitative calculation. Incomplete courses, course withdrawals, course repetitions and noncredit remedial courses will be included in the assessment. Transfer credits will be counted as attempted and earned credits in the calculation for determining satisfactory academic progress.
Speed of completion for degree: Undergraduate and graduate students may receive financial aid for attempted credits in your program of study that do not exceed 150 percent of the published credit of your educational program at the University.
This 150 percent credit rule is also applicable to students who have changed majors, seek a dual degree or second degree. This component of the Satisfactory Academic Progress requirement is not subject to the appeal process as explained in the October 29, 2010, Federal Register.
An example is if a bachelor’s degree program requires 120 credits for completion, you must complete the program with no more than 180 attempted credits.
C. Alternatives for Completion of Academic Progress
- The undergraduate student who does not attain the above levels of satisfactory academic progress may complete the needed hours in winter intersession and summer sessions. The student needs to submit in writing to the Office of Student Financial Services that they have completed their credits.
- You may submit an appeal for reinstatement of your financial aid if you did not successfully complete the qualitative measure (GPA), the Pace requirement listed under the quantitative measure, or a combination of both. Appeals may be based on, death of a relative, injury or illness of the student or other special circumstances. SAP appeals must be written using the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal form and submitted with supporting documentation and a written explanation of what has changed that will allow you to complete Satisfactory Academic Progress during the next academic year. This form should be submitted to the SAP Appeal Committee, C/O Undergraduate Admissions Office, Old Main 201.
D. Title IV Programs are:
- Federal Pell Grant (PELL)
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)
- Federal College Work Study Program (FWSP)
- Federal Perkins Loan Program (PERK)
- Federal Direct Student Loan Programs:
- Subsidized Student Loans
- Unsubsidized Stafford Loans
- Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students
*Please note, the majority of state and university funded grants as well as certain alternative loan programs also adhere to the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy.
For More Information about Financial Aid
Contact Western Connecticut State University, Office of Student Financial Services, Old Main 105, 181 White Street, Danbury CT 06810. E-mail email@example.com. Reach us on the web at www.wcsu.edu.
Once enrolled, you may access your individual financial aid information via Western’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 or interests and work schedules can be designed around a student’s academic schedule.
Western employs approximately 700 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 at www.wcsu.edu/finaid/employ.asp.
Students are paid bi-weekly, and the hourly rate is contingent on the difficulty of position and the experience of the student.
There are two major funding sources for the student labor force at Western Connecticut State University:
- the Federal College Work Study Program
- the institutional payroll
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.
Western’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 Literacy Volunteers of America 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 Western’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 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
For information about benefits earned through the armed services, contact 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, spouses, surviving spouses 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 who have been admitted to the university as full-time students and 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 Regents 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:
- Be honorably discharged or released under honorable conditions from active service in the U.S. Armed Forces (U.S. Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard). National Guard members, activated under Title 10 of the United States Code, are also included.
- Have served at least 90 days active duty in time of war (see Periods of Service) except if separated from service earlier because of a federal Department of Veterans Affairs-rated service connected disability; or the war, campaign or operation lasted less than 90 days and service was for the duration.
- Be accepted for admission at Western Connecticut State University.
- Reside in Connecticut at time of acceptance by the University
Periods of Service
Only those who served in the following manner may qualify:
- Active duty for at least 90 days during:
World War II –– December 7, 1941 to December 31, 1946
Korean Conflict –– June 27, 1950 to January 31, 1955
Vietnam Era –– February 28, 1961 to July 1, 1975
Persian Gulf War –– August 2, 1990 until an ending date prescribed by presidential proclamation or by law (no end date at this time). All military war service subsequent to August 2, 1990 is covered, including but not limited to, Enduring Freedom, Noble Eagle, Operation Desert Shield, Desert Storm, Iraqi Freedom, Somalia and Bosnia.
- Engaged in combat or in a combat-support role in:
Lebanon – July 1, 1958 to November 1, 1958 or September 29, 1982 to March 30, 1984
Grenada – October 25, 1983 to December 15, 1983
Operation Earnest Will – February 1, 1987 to July 23, 1987 (escort of Kuwaiti oil tankers flying U.S. flag in the Persian Gulf)
Panama – December 20, 1989 to January 31, 1990
Reservists must be mobilized in time of war for other than training purposes.
- Also, those who have served 90 consecutive days of active service since August 2, 1990
Documents Required for Veterans’ Educational Benefits
- WCSU Veteran’s Registration Form;
- Veteran’s Affairs Application for Benefits (either a 22- 1990 for veterans, or a 22-5490 for dependents) and one or more of the following, as required:
- Montgomery G.I. Bill (Chapter 30) candidates: Form DD-214.
- Montgomery G.I. Bill (Chapter 106) candidates: Form DD-22384.
- Chapter 33 candidates: Certificate of Eligibility from Department of Veteran Affairs
- Transfer students must complete a VA form 22- 1995 (Change of Place or Program Form).
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)
Students may earn a commission in the United States Air Force by completing requirements of the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program as part of their studies at a university. ROTC is not currently offered at Western Connecticut State University.
AIR FORCE ROTC (AFROTC)
Students at Western Connecticut State University are able to take AFROTC classes at Yale University and receive commissions as second lieutenants.
The AFROTC program is available to Western Connecticut State University students at Yale University’s main campus in New Haven. Through the AFROTC program, Western Connecticut State University students, without paying extra tuition, can pursue a commission as an officer in the United States Air Force. The freshmen and sophomore courses carry no military obligation and are open to all students. Scholarships are also available for qualified students. These scholarships pay up to full tuition and fees, as well as money for books and a monthly tax-free stipend.
Students enroll in a four-year or three-year (if joining in their sophomore year) AFROTC sequence. Students commute to New Haven for AFROTC-specific classes and events.
Qualified students should contact the AFROTC office at (203) 432-9431 or visit our website at yalecollege.yale.edu/content/air-force-rotc-yale.