Western’s Financial Aid Department is aware that LGBTQ+ students sometimes face unique or stressful situations that result in challenges associated with applying for financial aid and completing associated requirements. We are here to help you navigate the requirements and processes for you to receive federal, state, and institutional financial aid and scholarships.
Provided here are helpful resources and guidance for responding to information and/or documentation requests, and for making requests to address special circumstances as regulations allow.
Scholarships and other funding
Western’s Scholarship Center provides information about many scholarship opportunities, including scholarships that may be of particular interest to LGBTQ+ students:
Some who identify as LGBTQ+ may face strained family relations. Students who are unable to provide parent information on the FAFSA may qualify to appeal for independent student status, so that their aid eligibility will exclude parental data. To discuss independency or to start the process of filing your FAFSA as an independent student, you will need to schedule an appointment with a financial aid counselor. See Dependency Overrides for more information about what situations an override can and cannot be granted for.
The FAFSA and Gender
In the past, a question was included on the FAFSA to determine whether a student was required to register for Selective Service. The FAFSA is no longer used for this purpose. Instead, there is an optional Student Demographic Information section. The answers will not affect the student’s eligibility for federal student aid, be used in any calculations, or be shared with the schools to which the student applies. They will be used for research purposes only.
Although no longer required for financial aid, Selective Service is still a federal requirement. Therefore, if you have any questions about Selective Service registration, you may wish to review information published by the National Center for Transgender Equality.
Name Discrepancies with the FAFSA
We understand that a legal name may not reflect an individual’s lived experience. When completing the FAFSA, you must enter your name as it appears on your Social Security card even if you use a different, lived/preferred name at WWU. This is because the FAFSA uses your legal name on file with the Social Security Administration to confirm identity. The Financial Aid Department records will display with your lived/preferred name. You may learn more about our policies, including how to indicate your lived/preferred name, by visiting the Name Changes website.