Financial Literacy

Enhance Your Education with Financial Literacy

The following resources are offered to help current and prospective Western students make informed financial decisions. You may find it helpful to connect with a Financial Aid Counselor for advising based on your unique circumstances. Schedule an appointment with a Financial Aid Counselor, or call the Financial Aid Services Center at 360.650.3470.

Financial Aid Applications

Citizens and eligible noncitizens are advised to file the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) to be considered for Federal, State and institutional financial aid, including but not limited to the Federal Pell Grant, Washington College Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, Federal Work Study, State Work Study and institutional grants, waivers and other aid programs.

Students who are not eligible to file the FAFSA due to immigration status are advised to file the WASFA (Washington Application for State Financial Aid) to be considered for the Washington College Grant and institutional grants, waivers and other aid programs.

Washington College Grant Overview

The Washington College Grant program helps low-income Washington residents pursue degrees, hone skills, or retrain for new careers. Information about the Washington College Grant program is published by the Washington Student Achievement Council.

Usage limits: A Washington College Grant recipient may receive the grant for a maximum of 15 quarters, 10 semesters, or the equivalent combination of the two at a full-time rate of enrollment.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Requirements

To remain eligible for financial aid, students must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress.

Washington College Grant Repayment Rules

Students who fail to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements or totally withdraw from all of their coursework for a given quarter may be required to repay all or a portion of Washington College Grant they receive. If the  repayment has been referred the Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC), contact WSAC’s contracted billing service, University Accounting Service (UAS), at 844.870.8701.

Apply for Scholarships

Information about applying for campus and private scholarships can be found at our Scholarship Center site. In addition to assisting students with scholarship searches and providing tips on how to apply competitively, Scholarship Center staff members routinely work with departments and outside organizations to prepare scholarship funds for appropriate and timely disbursement to student recipients.

Get a Job

Students are required to file the FAFSA or WASFA to be eligible and be considered for Work Study. Students who are not awarded Work Study may pursue part-time jobs on campus that are regular, non-Work Study positions, as well as work in the surrounding community via the Federal Job Location and Development Program. Information about Work Study and other student employment opportunities at Western can be found at our Student Employment Center.

Overview of Student Loan Options

Student loans require repayment with interest and are a valuable tool used by most Western students. Student borrowing decisions should be made after reaching a full understanding of the terms of repayment. The U.S. Department of Education routinely publishes and updates information about Federal Direct Student Loans as well as Federal Parent PLUS Loans. Private loans are provided by private lenders, as opposed to the U.S. Department of Education. Students are advised to review information about private loans that is published on Western's Financial Aid website. We advise all students to file the FAFSA or WASFA first before applying for private loans, to determine their eligibility for aid that does not require repayment first.

Students who are experiencing difficulty repaying their educational loans should do everything possible to avoid having their loan go into Default, as consequences associated with Default can be severe. For Federal loans, students should contact their loan servicer. Students can find out who their loan servicer is, by either visiting your account dashboard), find the “My Aid” section, and select “View loan servicer details,” or by calling the Federal Student Aid Information Center (FSAIC) at 800.433.3243.

If they do not know who their servicer is, they should visit My Federal Student Aid to identify their servicer. For private student loans, students should contact their lender. Student borrowers must repay their loans even if they don't complete their education or can't find a job related to their program of study. As a last resort, disputes about Federal student loan(s) can be brought to the Federal Student Aid Ombudsman Group of the U.S. Department of Education.

The U.S. Department of Education recommends that students avoid educational loan payments that exceed 8 to 10 percent of their total monthly income. Students are encouraged to explore potential monthly repayment amounts based on a range of student levels of indebtedness via the Federal Student Loan Repayment Simulator. A sampling of monthly repayment amounts based on a range of student levels of indebtedness are provided below.

Monthly Repayment Amounts
Amount Borrowed Number of Payments Estimated Monthly Payments* Recommended Annual Salaries**
$5,000.00 120 $55.51 $8,326.54
$10,000.00 120 $111.02 $16,653.08
$15,000.00 120 $166.53 $24,979.61
$20,000.00 120 $222.04 $33,306.15
$25,000.00 120 $277.55 $41,632.69
$30,000.00 120 $333.06 $49,959.23
$35,000.00 120 $388.57 $58,285.76
$40,000.00 120 $444.08 $66,612.30
$45,000.00 120 $499.59 $74,938.84
$50,000.00 120 $555.10 $83,265.38
$55,000.00 120 $610.61 $91,591.91
$60,000.00 120 $666.12 $99,918.45

*Estimated monthly payments were based on an interest rate of 6%
**Recommended annual salary based on 8% of total monthly income

Salaries For Your Career

Research average salaries for your intended major or career. Western's Career Services Center provides employment and earnings information on graduates of WWU along with national employment and pay scale information.

Preparing for College?

You may learn more about Washington State Financial Aid Programs on the Washington Student Achievement Council site. Eligible students must attend a participating school to receive financial aid.

Net Price Calculator

Every school needs to provide a Net Price Calculator -- Use Western's Net Price Calculator.

Budget Your Expenses

Budget your expenses with this easy budgeting worksheet. The single best step you can take now towards financial literacy and avoiding unnecessary debt is to minimize your expenses. Create a spending plan and stick to it! This budgeting worksheet is a great place to start.

Is Debt Already A Big Concern For You?

Get help before the problem becomes even worse. Learn more about Financial Planning to help avoid greater problems later. 

Pre-payment & Payment Plan Options

Students have the option of directly pre-paying Western Washington University for quarterly tuition and fees. Some families find that pre-paying smaller monthly amounts prior to the first day of the quarter is more affordable than making larger single payments at the beginning of each quarter. Additionally, the Student Business Office offers Payment Plans. For more information, contact Student Business Office in Old Main 110 or at 360.650.2865.

Other Resources