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FAQ - Application

  1. Who is my financial aid advisor?
  2. Do I need to schedule an appointment to speak with an advisor?
  3. When can I apply for financial aid?
  4. How often do I need to file the Free Federal Application for Student Aid (FAFSA)?
  5. Why is financial aid based on my parents information?
  6. What are the criteria to be considered an independent student?
  7. What is a Student Aid Report (SAR)?
  8. What should I do when I receive my Student Aid Report (SAR)?
  9. What is the best way to keep up to date on my financial aid status during breaks and over the summer?
  10. How do I activate my WIU email and my STARS account?
1. Who is my financial aid advisor?

If your last name begins with, your Advisor is:

  • Aa-Be, Cu-Gf, La-Mar: Bobbi Smith (RJ-Smith3@wiu.edu)
  • Bf-Ct, Gg-Hd, Mas-Mt: Gayle Vincent (GL-Vincent@wiu.edu)
  • Mu-Sd, Ti-Wh: Kimberly DeVries (KA-DeVries@wiu.edu)
  • He-Kz, Se-Th, Wi-Z: Susie Brown (SO-Brown@wiu.edu)

If you are a Quad City campus or consortium student, you may also contact:

  • Heather Calvert (HN-Calvert@wiu.edu)
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2. Do I need to schedule an appointment to speak with an advisor?
You may email, call, or stop by our office at any time to speak with a financial aid advisor. However, if you would specifically like to speak with your caseload advisor, it is highly recommended that you schedule an appointment ahead of time - both phone and in-office appointments are available.
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3. When can I apply for financial aid?
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) can be filed beginning January 1 for the upcoming academic year - for example, if you plan on attending during the Fall 2012 - Spring 2013 school year, you will want to complete a 2012-13 FAFSA as soon as possible after January 1, 2012. Applicants are encouraged to obtain a Federal PIN and complete a FAFSA on the Web Worksheet before beginning the FAFSA online.
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4. How often do I need to file the Free Federal Application for Student Aid (FAFSA)?
Applying for financial aid is an annual process and should been done every year while you are attending college. Applicants are encouraged to file as soon as possible after January 1st.
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5. Why is financial aid based on my parents information?
Congress requires that a parent, with rare exception, has the primary responsibility of providing for educational expenses until the student reaches 24 years of age.
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6. What are the criteria to be considered an independent student?
Independent status is determined by meeting one of the following criteria, as determined and set by Congress:
- Be 24 years of age or older
- Be married
- Have dependents who live with you and receive more than half of their support from you
- Be an orphan or ward of the court
- Be a veteran
- Be a graduate student
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7. What is a Student Aid Report (SAR)?
>The Student Aid Report (SAR) is a summary of the information you entered on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The information is used by the school to analyze, verify, and package financial aid.
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8. What should I do when I receive my Student Aid Report (SAR)?
Review the information for mistakes or errors. If you find an error, contact the school. The school will help make the corrections for you.
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9. What is the best way to keep up to date on my financial aid status during breaks and over the summer?
The best way is to check your WIU email and STARS account regularly. The Financial Aid Office will send email notices to your WIU account and update your financial aid status on STARS when information is needed or changes are made.
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10. How do I activate my WIU email and my STARS account?
Email:
You can activate your email account by going to Guava. Select the account activation link located below the login box.

STARS:
The first time you access STARS, your password will be your month, day and full year of birth (mmddyyyy). For example, if you were born on January 5, 1980 then your PIN will be 01051980. You will then be required to change your password.. DO NOT GIVE YOUR PASSWORD TO ANYONE!
For STARS sign-on assistance you may contact the Student Assistance and Parent Service Center (Union), 309-298-2092.
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