University News

WIU Students Get Aid Awards Early

January 22, 2014

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MACOMB, IL – Western Illinois University will be one of the first schools in the country to send out financial aid award letters to high school seniors, almost two months ahead of many other college and universities, according to Vice President for Student Services Gary Biller.

"By locking in tuition, fees, room, and board for all four years through Western's Cost Guarantee program, our guaranteed commitment scholarship program and now by getting aid award letters out earlier than most other schools, we continue to be national leaders in helping students and families to make informed choices about the cost to go to college," Biller added. "College affordability is a priority for most students and Western Illinois University is known for our transparency. The extra two months gives students and their families more time to review and understand their financial aid award."

In 2012-2013, Western Illinois University awarded more than $38 million in federal, grant and institutional aid to qualifying students. The average WIU financial aid award included $7,950 in scholarships or grants, with an additional $4,500 in work-study and $4,375 in student loans each year.

According to Financial Aid Director Bob Andersen, Western's computer systems give his staff the flexibility to send out award letters early.

"The computer system, coupled with the hard work of a dedicated staff that allows Western to be one of the first financial aid award letters students will receive," Andersen said. "We know the financial aid process can be overwhelming. Our financial aid advisers do a wonderful job of helping students get the best aid package possible and help answer questions."

As the federal government places a priority on transparency in federal financial aid, students who submit a Free Application for Federal Financial Aid now receive information on colleges' and universities' retention, graduation and transfer rates. The 2014 U.S.News and World Reports College rankings show that Western out-performed its predicted graduation rates by 8 percent.

For more information about Western's financial aid and college affordability, contact the Office of Financial Aid at (309) 298-2446 or

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