Financial Aid

Emergency Aid

Application for Emergency Aid is closed. Additional emergency aid may be available Summer 2021.


Emergency aid is given out in the form of a grant and need not be repaid. Applications will be accepted so long as funds are available. These emergency funds are administered as one-time awards and can be used to meet a short-term financial need but are not designed to replace or supplement financial aid. Funding is made possible through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund via the Consolidated Appropriations Act.

  1. Be a US Citizen or eligible noncitizen

  2. Be actively enrolled Spring 2021

  3. Seeking a degree with Western Illinois University (Bachelor’s, Master’s, Doctorate, Post-baccalaureate certificate)

  4. Meeting or have successfully appealed Satisfactory Academic Progress by end of term in which aid is awarded

Pell eligible students will be automatically awarded an emergency grant upon completion of the Emergency Aid Credit Authorization Form .  If you are Pell eligible student (Expected Family Contribution (EFC) 0=5711) and did not receive your emergency aid please contact financial aid for next steps and/or complete the Emergency Aid Credit Authorization Form

After prioritization is given to Pell eligible students the Application for Emergency Aid will open to allow all eligible students to request emergency aid. In an effort to serve as many students as possible with limited resources the maximum emergency grant a student can receive Spring 2021 term is $1000. Additional rounds of funding may be available in subsequent terms (i.e. Summer 2021, Fall 2021, etc.).

If you are experiencing a financial hardship that has affected you or your family's ability to pay for college for the 2020-21 academic year, financial aid has special circumstance appeals available to assist you. If you have questions regarding these options please email us at or call (309)298-2446. We will be happy to assist you in evaluating your options or with the completion of the forms.

Covered Expenses

Examples of expenses that can be covered include:
  • Tuition, fees, health insurance, study abroad costs and outstanding debt to the university

  • Campus housing

  • Technology needs to complete online spring courses, including laptops, printers and scanners, software, access to WiFi, expansion of data plans, etc.

  • Books and other essential academic supplies

  • Basic personal needs such as emergency housing, food, toiletries and transportation

  • Emergency medical, dental or mental health expenses not covered by insurance (ie. eyeglasses, medication, emergency/unexpected procedure)

  • Childcare needs

  • Costs to travel home unexpectedly, travel to and from work or for educational purposes

  • Travel related to the death or emergency of an immediate family member

  • Safety-related needs, including the needs of victims of domestic violence

  • Replacement of belongings lost in a fire or natural disaster

  • Basic utilities

Types of expenses generally not covered include:
  • Health insurance costs

  • Non-emergency medical-related expenses

  • Non-essential costs, such as those for entertainment, recreation and non-emergency travel

  • Non-essential utilities (cable costs not associated with WiFi)

  • Parking tickets and traffic fines

  • Technology not related to education (gaming systems)

CARES Act Reports

1st Quarter CARES Act Report

Institutional Report

Student Report (as of 10/6/2020)

2nd Quarter CARES Act Report

Institutional Report

Student Report (as of 12/31/2020)

View the first Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students Fund Report as of May 28, 2020.

View the second Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students Fund Report as of July 10, 2020

View the third Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students Fund  Report as of August 24, 2020 . 

3rd Quarter CARES Act Report

Institutional Report

Student Report (as of 3/31/2021)

Additional Resources

Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB):

The EBB program will connect low-income households, especially households with school-aged children, to broadband networks at affordable rates. The EBB program offers a discount of $50 per month on broadband service for eligible households and $75 per month for households on tribal lands. Participants in the program may also be eligible for a discount on the purchase of a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet. Additional information/guidance for application can be found online on the FCC Website. Official Award Offers from Institutes of Higher Education can be used as supporting documentation for students who are awarded a Federal Pell Grant.

SNAP Benefits (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program)

Under regular SNAP eligibility requirements, students enrolled at least half-time in an institution of higher education are typically ineligible for SNAP benefits unless they meet certain specific exemptions. The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 temporarily expands SNAP eligibility to include students who either:

  • Are eligible to participate in state or federally financed work study during the regular academic year, as determined by the institution of higher education (do not have to be currently working just eligible for Federal Work Study); or
  • Have an expected family contribution (EFC) of 0 in the current academic year. This includes students who are eligible for a maximum Pell Grant.

Beginning Jan. 16, 2021, students who meet one of the two criteria outlined above may receive SNAP benefits if they meet all other financial and non-financial SNAP eligibility criteria. The new, temporary exemptions will be in effect until 30 days after the COVID-19 public health emergency is lifted. More information can be found on the SNAP benefits for students webpage and Q&A on student eligibility.

Because state SNAP agencies administer the SNAP program, process applications, and determine eligibility, students should contact their local SNAP offices to learn how to apply or to ask other questions. Contact information for state SNAP agencies and local offices can be found in the FNS SNAP state directory.