Funding Your Education
When returning to school, funding your education is one of the top considerations. There are several options to consider that will save you money (and some that will also save time)!
Financial Aid Eligibility Requirements and the Application Process
Federal Financial Aid includes grants, loans and scholarships. Qualifying is easy, and is not dependent on your credit score. General eligibility requirements can be reviewed on the Federal Student Aid website at: studentaid.ed.gov/eligibility/basic-criteria. Here are a few basics to keep in mind:
- Eligibility is determined through an application process. So, your first step is to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid at: www.fafsa.ed.gov. Even if you doubt your eligibility, apply. Approximately 90% of those who apply qualify for some form of aid. A step-by-step guide through the application process can be found at: wku.edu/financialaid/applying/how-to-apply.php .
- WKU Online courses are treated the same as face-to-face courses. Once your application is approved, you may elect to take web, on demand or face-to-face courses.
- You must be classified as a degree-seeking student to qualify. Degree seeking normally refers to an associate, baccalaureate or master degree. However, some stand-alone certificates are also eligible.
- Certificate Program Eligibility: As a general rule, if you are seeking an undergraduate certificate (certificate only; no degree), the program must require at least 16 credit hours, 15 weeks of instruction and be clearly tied to a profession. If you are seeking a graduate certificate (certificate only; no degree), the program must require at least 8 credit hours, 10 weeks of instruction and be clearly tied to a profession. For additional information on certificate eligibility, please email: email@example.com.
- Certificates may also be earned in conjunction with degrees at the associate, baccalaureate and master levels. Degree seeking students at the associate, bachelor and master levels will be awarded financial aid based on the primary degree listed.
- You must be registered at least half-time to receive aid (6 credit hours for undergrad students; 4.5 credit hours for grad students).
- You must meet federal and state regulations regarding Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) to remain eligible. The complete SAP Policy is available at: www.wku.edu/financialaid/sap.php.
- The WKU School Code for the FAFSA application is 002002.
Your FAFSA application provides an opportunity for you to apply for certain federal scholarships; however, there are also private scholarships available that require a separate application process. You can search for scholarships that fit your major, life situation, academic performance, professional goals, etc. through TopDollar, WKU's scholarship portal.
Additional information on WKU scholarships for military personnel, transfer students and others, is available at: www.wku.edu/scholarship/.
Community Services Block Grant: Community Action of Southern Kentucky, Inc. accepts applications each spring for the annual Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) Scholarship. The CSBG Scholarship helps provide training or retraining required for the local job market. The CSBG Scholarship is open to Barren River area residents who are income-eligible individuals wanting to return to school or continue their education. Scholarship benefits can be applied to fees, tuition, or textbooks at a college/university, vocational/technical school, or trade/professional program. For more information contact the Community Action office in your county: casoky.org/locations.
Go Higher Grant: The Go Higher Grant gives adults age 24 or older up to $1,000 for one academic year when they enroll in a participating Kentucky college or university and take less than six hours of courses. The award covers tuition and a book allowance of $50 per credit hour. kheaa.com/website/kheaa/gohighergrant?main=2
Credit by exam through the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) is both cost-effective and time-efficient. Study guides are available for $25 and has prep materials for all CLEP exams given at WKU. Practice tests, study guides and tutorials are also available for free online at: clep.collegeboard.org/test-preparation.
Additional information is available at: registerblast.com/wku/Home/Tab/69/1#clep.
WKU is a military friendly school. Veterans and active military are required to file additional forms for military tuition assistance. The Office of Veterans Affairs unit that helps ensure all appropriate information is on file. For additional information visit: www.wku.edu/veteran or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kentucky residents who are 65 years of age or older on or before the day the semester begins are granted Senior Citizen Scholarships for any undergraduate or graduate college class in which they enroll for credit or to audit in accordance with KRS 164.284. For additional information, contact the Billings and Receivables Office at (270) 745-6381 or email@example.com.
- Accepting your Award: wku.edu/online/documents/accepting_fin_aid.pdf
- WKU Student Financial Assistance | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Phone: (270) 745-2755 | Website: www.wku.edu/financialaid
- FAFSA Worksheets, Tips and Pointers: studentaid.ed.gov/fafsa/filling-out
- Student Aid: Types, who qualifies and how to apply: studentaid.ed.gov
- Scholarships: How to find them, how to apply, and types of scholarships: studentaid.ed.gov/types/grants-scholarships/finding-scholarships
- WKU Online's article on filing early to reduce long-term debt: wkuonline.wordpress.com/2015/01/13/one-simple-step-to-reduce-your-college-debt