Applying for Financial Aid

You probably know that completing your college education will take time, effort, preparation, and money. What you may not realize, however, is that the financial investment you make will provide you with a life-long return to your career and lifestyle.

Obtaining financial aid can seem quite overwhelming. With a little planning and organization, the process can be easily managed. It is important for you and your family to complete all requests. Otherwise, you can cause a delay or even lose your financial aid eligibility. Wilmington College has made every effort to make the financial aid process as simple as possible.

Step 1:

Apply for admission to Wilmington College. The admission application process must be complete, and students must be admitted to the College as a degree-seeking student in order to receive financial aid.

Step 2:

Apply for a PIN. Both students and parents need a U.S. Department of Education Personal Identification Number (PIN) to serve as your electronic signature for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, Federal Stafford Loan, Federal PLus Loan, and other forms.

Step 3:

Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). To apply for federal, state, and Wilmington College aid programs, families must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid as soon after January 1 as possible. Financial aid is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Wilmington College has established a March 15 priority deadline. Applications filed by March 15, will receive priority consideration for limited funding sources. WC’s school code for the FAFSA is 003142. Keep in mind that applying for financial aid is an annual process. You must complete the FAFSA each year.

Step 4:

Student Aid Report (SAR). The federal processing center will analyze the information you provided on the FAFSA, using a federal mandated formula to determine an Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The EFC is used to determine the student's eiligibility for various federal and state financial aid programs. The EFC DOES NOT represent the amount you will be expected to pay.  The Federal processing center will communicate your EFC (your FAFSA result) to you via the Student Aid Report. Review this information carefully and make any needed corrections electronically.

Step 5:

Verification. Wilmington College will also receive an electronic version of your SAR. We will review this document to determine whether or not your application was selected for a process called verification. If selected, WC will send you a "My To Do List" asking you to submit documents or complete online tasks needed to "verify" the information provided on the FAFSA. For this reason, WC encourages families to create a financial aid file to retain copies of all records used to complete the FAFSA.

Step 6:

Financial Aid Award Notice. A financial aid award will be issued after you are accepted for admission and after verification (if selected) has been completed. The award notice will contain all aid programs for which you qualified. Be sure to read all provided information and provide response to and return your award notice by the due date indicated.

It is important not to assume that a private education is too large of an investment and middle income families do not qualify for financial aid. Family income is only one of the factors used in awarding financial aid. After receiving a financial aid award, many of our families find that a Wilmington College education is affordable.

Regardless of your family income, you have the potential to afford the quality education you want and more importantly deserve. This is why Wilmington College is committed to making your college education as affordable as possible. In fact, over 95% of the students who apply for financial aid are eligible for some form of assistance.

If at any time throughout this process you feel that you need assistance, please feel free to contact us. We look forward to working with you and your family to achieve your educational goals

 

Timeline

Being organized and meeting deadlines is an integral part of financial planning. To keep you on top of things, Wilmington College is providing you with a timeline. Review and refer to this guide often. Be sure to keep a record of each task completion.

Time Frame Event

Mid-junior year of high school

Begin scholarship search process. Collect information on scholarships, deadlines, and application requirements.

Beginning senior year of high school

Apply for admission to WC. Financial aid cannot be awarded without acceptance.

January 1

Complete and submit the FAFSA as soon as possible after this date.

Mid-March

Financial aid awards and Information Requests sent to accepted students. Awards are sent continually as FAFSA results and additional information (if needed) are received.

April

New WC students must complete the Online Stafford and/or Perkins Loan Entrance Counseling and Online Stafford Loan Master Promissory Note.

May 1

Enrollment and Housing deposits must be paid.

Early June

Fall billing statements mailed to registered students.

End of July

Fall bills must be paid in full.

Late August

Fall classes begin.

October 1

Ohio College Opportunity Grant deadline. FAFSA must be filed by this date to be considered for this program.

Mid-November

Spring billing statements mailed to registered students.

Mid-December

Spring bills must be paid in full.

Early January

Spring classes begin. Start timeline again for next year’s aid.

Helpful Hints and Suggestions

1. Complete the application for admission as early as possible. Remember, you will not receive a financial aid award notice until you are accepted for admission.

2. Keep a Financial Aid File containing copies of all completed forms.

3. Accuracy is paramount; mistakes can postpone your receipt of aid by eight to ten weeks.

4. Timeliness is important. If you do not meet deadlines established by the federal and state governments, and Wilmington College, you may not receive all the aid for which you are eligible.

5. If you have questions, need additional information or forms, or need assistance in filling out financial aid forms, call the Wilmington College Student One Stop Center toll free number (1-800-341-9318).

6. Do not limit your search for financial assistance to only federal, state and college sources. Other forms of aid are available from community, fraternal and professional organizations. Information is available at most public libraries and high schools.

Basic Financial Aid Eligibility Requirements

To continue to receive financial aid, you must meet certain guidelines. It is important for you to understand them.

Basic financial aid eligibility requirements you must meet:

  • demonstrate financial need (for most programs);
  • be a U.S. citizen or an eligible noncitizen;
  • have a valid Social Security number (with the exception of students from the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, or the Republic of Palau);
  • be registered with Selective Service, if you're a male (you must register between the ages of 18 and 25);
  • be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a regular student in an eligible degree or certification program;
  • be enrolled at least half-time to a be eligible for Direct Loan Program funds; 

Most aid programs require students to be enrolled full-time.  A few programs allow half-time enrollment (at least 6 hours). Dropping classes, withdrawing, or taking a leave of absence can have a major impact on your financial aid award.  Students considering dropping a class(es), withdrawing, or taking a leave of absence are encouraged to contact the Student One Stop Center before making any decisions.

  • maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP) in college or career school;

When students accept financial aid, they also accept the responsibility for making satisfactory academic progress toward a degree.  In order to maintain eligibility for financial aid funding, students must meet the SAP requirement stated below.

1.  CUMULATIVE GRADE POINT AVERAGE (GPA):  Financial aid recipients must earn a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.00 (3.00 for graduate students) for all classes attempted each semester.

2.  COMPLETION RATE The pace of progression toward a degree cannot be less than 67%.  The completion rate is calculated by dividing cumulative hours completed by cumulative hours attempted.

3.  MAXIMUM TIMEFRAME Students must complete their program of study within 150% of the standard timeframe required to earn the degree.  Undergraduate students must complete their degree program within 186 attempted credit hours.  Once a student reaches 186 attempted hours, financial aid eligibility stops.  Graduate students must complete all requirements for their program within seven academic years from the date of initial enrollment.

The academic record of each student is reviewed at the end of each term (including summer). Those students not meeting the requirements are sent a letter notifying them that they are on warning or no longer eligible to receive financial aid funds.

For a complete description of Wilmington College's Satisfactory Academic Policy (SAP) click here.

  • sign statements on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSASM) stating that you are not in default on a federal student loan and do not owe money on a federal student grant and
  • you will use federal student aid only for educational purposes; and
  • show you're qualified to obtain a college or career school education by having a high school diploma or a recognized equivalent such as a General Educational Development certificate or completing a high school education in a homeschool setting approved under state law.

If you are enrolled in college or career school prior to July 1, 2012, you may show you're qualified to obtain a higher education by passing an approved ability-to-benefit test (if you don't have a diploma or GED, a college can administer a test to determine whether you can benefit from the education offered at that school);  completing six credit hours or equivalent course work toward a degree or certification (you may not receive aid while earning the six credit hours); or meeting other federally approved standards your state establishes.

  • Housing Status; 

Financial aid awards are based on your housing arrangements. Changes in housing can greatly affect your aid award. Before making a decision to live on or off-campus, you are strongly encouraged to request a Financial Aid estimate from the Student One Stop Center. Students who live off campus (not with parents) will in most cases, lose up to $5,000 of their Wilmington College Grant.

Remember, the basic eligibility criteria that allow you to recieve federal student aid continue to apply throughout the time you're receiving aid - not just when you first fill out the FAFSA and are awarded aid.  If you want to keep receiving your federal student aid, make sure you stay eligible.  You'll need to continue to meet the basic eligibility criteria, make satisfactory academic progress, and fill out the FAFSAsm each year.