How to Apply for Financial Aid
Attending college is one of the most exciting, and challenging, times in a person's life. The Department of Student Financial Assistance strives to make the application process as easy as possible for each student at WKU. Follow the steps below to apply for financial assistance, and email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
Step 1. Complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
In order to apply for federal aid, you must submit a FAFSA (School Code: 002002) and register for a FSA ID. This free application is the key to determining whether you are eligible for federal and state financial aid such as grants, work-study, and loans. Students must complete a FAFSA for each academic year that they wish to receive financial aid.
An FSA ID is required and will serve as your electronic signature for all federal student aid electronic documents. Parents of dependent students will also need an FSA ID to electronically sign the FAFSA and to complete other important financial aid steps.
A Student Aid Report (SAR) will be sent to the student within 2 weeks of the completed FAFSA application. You should review your SAR for accuracy, review the comments, and make any necessary FAFSA corrections.
You will receive a notification if your FAFSA is incomplete or is missing certain documentation.
If information on your SAR is incorrect, incomplete, or missing, you need to make corrections. You may do this by correcting or adding information to the SAR, signing the SAR (both the student and parent signatures are necessary for dependent students), and sending it to the address listed on your SAR.
You may also make corrections on the Web. This option will allow you to make all changes except to your social security number.* You may make changes to your application from the www.fafsa.ed.gov website. Choose the "Make FAFSA Corrections" link. You must have an FSA ID in order to access your record. This FSA ID also serves as your signature. A parent signature will be required only when parental data is changed on the application.
Also, you may be asked to supply additional or supplementary information to your financial aid office. WKU will review an electronic version of your SAR to see if additional or supplementary information is needed. If additional information is needed, a Missing Information Letter (MIL) will be sent to you via email. If WKU has no email address on file for you, the MIL will be mailed to you. For more information, visit the MIL webpage on our website.
*If you submitted a FAFSA under the wrong social security number, you must file a brand new FAFSA under the correct SSN.
Step 2. Complete the Verification Process
Every year the U. S. Department of Education selects a percentage of financial aid applicants for a review of their financial aid information. This review is known as Verification.
After you have submitted your FAFSA, your SAR report will indicate if you have been selected for Verification.
Students who have been selected for Verification cannot be awarded a financial aid package or be paid for student employment until they have submitted all requested documents and completed the verification process.
WKU outsources its verification process to Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority (KHEAA). You should visit KHEAAVerify.com and follow the steps to complete the Verification process. For more information, visit the Verification page on our website.
Step 3. Complete TOPDollar Application
The TOPDollar Scholarship Source is a centralized scholarship application for numerous scholarships provided by the University, College Heights Foundation, WKU Foundation, WKU Departments, community organizations, and professional associations.
The application deadline is February 1st for first-time freshmen and continuing students. The application is required each academic year.
Students will be notified of any scholarships offered, along with directions on how to accept the award.
For more information about scholarships, visit the Scholarships section on our website.
Step 4. View/Accept your Award Package
After submitting your FAFSA and/or completing the Verification process, you must monitor your WKU TopperMail account (when activated) and your WKU TopNet account.
Students will receive an email informing them that the FAFSA has been received by WKU’s Student Financial Assistance Department.
Additionally, students will receive a separate email notifying them that they have been awarded a financial aid package. For information about when these emails should occur, visit our Timeline.
In order to view, accept, or decline your financial aid, you must log in to your TopNet account. Then, you must select the Financial Aid tab, choose Award, and select the appropriate aid year from the drop-down menu. Specific trust fund scholarships must be accepted in TOPDollar.
For more information, visit our Award Information/Notification page.
Step 5. Complete Student Loan Requirements
If you have accepted your federal student loans on TopNet and are a first-time loan borrower, you will need to complete the Entrance Counseling and e-sign the Master Promissory Note at www.studentloans.gov.
Both of these outstanding requirements must be completed in order for your loans to be processed and disbursed to your account.
Remember: Financial aid that is disbursed by WKU will first be applied towards your outstanding charges. You will only be eligible for a residual if your financial aid awards exceed your outstanding charges. Your WKU Student Bill can be viewed on your TopNet account. To set up your refund preference, visit the Office of the Bursar's website.
For more information, visit the Loans page on our website.
Step 6. Complete Parent Loan Requirements (if applicable)
If you still have a remaining balance and need additional assistance, your parent can apply for the Federal Direct Parent Loan (PLUS).
If your parent has applied for and has been approved for a PLUS Loan, he/she will need to e-sign a Master Promissory Note at www.studentloans.gov.
If an endorser (co-signer) is required, the parent must complete PLUS Credit Counseling and the endorser must complete the Endorser Addendum.
If a Parent Loan results in an overpayment of the residual balance, the residual funds will be distributed according to the preference the parent selected when completing the PLUS Loan application.
For more information, visit the Loans page on our website.
Step 7. Apply for Veterans Benefits (if applicable)
As a Veteran or a dependent/spouse of a Veteran you may be entitled to education benefits.
Eligibility is determined by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
For more information, visit the Veterans Affairs section on our website.
Step 8. Monitor Your WKU Account Information
Students should periodically check their TopperMail and TopNet accounts for important notifications and/or changes regarding financial assistance.
For information about how to access your TopperMail or TopNet account, visit IT Division’s webpage.
Student Financial Assistance
317 Potter Hall
Western Kentucky University
1906 College Heights Blvd. #11018
Bowling Green, KY 42101-1018
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