Frequently Asked Questions

 

How do I apply for financial aid?

You will begin the application process by completing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online and making sure Wilmington University is added as a school you want your FAFSA sent to.  Wilmington University's federal school code is 007948.

Once I file for aid, when will I receive a response?

The University will begin to package aid for the upcoming fall at the end of April. Awarding will continue throughout the Spring and Summer. We encourage early application so that we can settle your financial situation prior to May registration.

What does a financial aid package include?

A financial aid package may consist of a combination of grants, loans, and/or work study. The receipt of these awards is dependent upon the level of funds available, and your eligibility as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

What about institutional scholarship funds?

Wilmington University offers a limited number of institutional scholarship awards to new students who have demonstrated exemplary academic performance. Students may request scholarship applications from the Admissions Office after February 1. Applications for the following year are due in April.

Am I likely to get a grant in my aid package?

The federal government determines grant eligibility by information supplied in the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This determination includes factors such as income, family size, and number of family members in college, to award grants.

When should I apply for the Federal Direct Stafford Loan?

We begin to process Federal Stafford Student Loans for the coming academic year in Spring. We advise you to apply as early as possible. You must be aware that it takes several weeks for the entire process to be completed. To ensure that your award is processed in time for fall registration, complete applications and supply all requested documents to the financial aid office by June 30th.

How long will it take to process my financial aid?

After the FAFSA is received by Wilmington University, it may take 4 to 6 weeks for financial aid to be awarded. Students can delay the process even longer by not properly submitting all of the required documents.

After I submit the FAFSA and Wilmington University receives the results, what is my next step?

Students will receive an email notification from the financial aid office that your FAFSA has ben received and that you should review your myWilmU student portal for additional information.  Each case is unique; returning students may not need to do anything other than answer online questions in their myWilmU Portal, provided their FAFSA was not selected for verification, and they have done the entrance counseling and Master Promissory Note (MPN) for a previous year. If chosen for verification, they will have to turn in additional documents. A new student will need to complete the entrance counseling and MPN.

What is this verification process I hear about?

If you are selected for verification, we will ask you and your parents for all the tax information reported for the previous year. Those in private business are required to submit all tax forms reported to the Federal government (such as partnership and/or S-Corporation returns), as well as individual income tax information. The review of tax information may take some time and may delay the finalization of financial aid which has been suggested to you.   

If there are differences found between the data on your FAFSA and the verification and tax documents you submit to us, the Financial Aid Office will make updates to your FAFSA electronically. Once the verification process is completed you will be sent an email notification to long onto your myWilmU account to view your final financial aid award information.

If there are great discrepancies between the information you submitted on the Student Aid Report and that which comes through subsequent data which you provide us, the aid award may be withdrawn, reduced, or adjusted in some way. You can help us and yourself by first being as accurate as possible with the information you indicate on the FAFSA, and second by responding rapidly and completely to requests for subsidiary information which might be involved in the verification process.

If my Student Aid Report indicates that I am selected for verification, what do I do?

You will receive an email notification from the financial aid office that your FAFSA has ben received and that you should review your myWilmU student portal for additional information.  Your myWilmU student portal will have a complete list of all of your verification requirements and their completion status.  The financial aid office may request items like, tax transcripts, verification forms, or other documentation.  You will also be required to respond to questions online regarding authorizations and your attendance plans.  You should submit and complete all items as soon as possible to ensure that your financial aid is processed timely and correctly.  During the busiest processing times, the financial aid verification process can take anywhere from 4-6 weeks from the date that all requirements have been received.  

If the financial aid off has not received and reviewed all requirements before you cease attending for the academic year, we cannot issue you a student loan* award offer.  Additionally, if your loan award offer is made or accepted after you cease attending, then we cannot disburse these funds to your billing account. For example, if a student attends during the fall and spring semesters but does not submit his/her requirements until a week before the end of the spring semester, it's unlikely that there will be enough time to review, process and award the student financial aid before the end of the semester. Additionally, if a student is only attending classes fall and spring, has completed all requirements and was offered a financial aid award in January, but did not accept the award until June (spring semester ends in May), the FAO cannot disburse the award to the student's billing account.  *Students who are not awarded or have not accepted their award before the end of the semester and are eligible for a Federal Pell Grant, should contact the financial aid office regarding the specific eligibility, timeframe and deadline for their situation.

Why can one student's financial aid take longer to process than others?

No two financial aid packages are the same. The application might be chosen by the Department of Education for verification, in which case, the student is required to submit income tax information and other documents to verify the information on the FAFSA. Financial aid cannot be processed until all this information is submitted. When paperwork is received from a student, it is filed in date order. Because of the substantial volume of verification documents turned it, it could take several weeks after documents are turned in before they are physically reviewed by an officer. At that point, additional information/documentation might be required. For example, if a student turns in an unsigned 1040, the form must be returned to the student for that required signature. Other situations that would hold up processing are required forms that are not filled out properly or instances of conflicting data. An example of this would be the following situation: A student’s parent claimed only three exemptions on their 1040 and the student claims there are now 7 household members being supported. This student will be required to provide documentation proving there are additional household members.

All discrepancies must be resolved before a student’s financial aid can be processed. The student must be admitted into a Wilmington University degree program (all transcripts from previous schools received and evaluated) before financial aid can be processed. If a student is receiving loans, they must also complete the entrance counseling MPN for new borrowers.

Are Financial Aid offers listed on myWilmU?

After all required documentation has been submitted, completed and reviewed, students will be notified that they can view  and accept their financial aid offer through their myWilmU student portal.

The Office of Financial Aid reserves the right to review, modify or cancel financial aid offered at any time due to changes in your financial status, eligibility for financial aid, or changes in federal, state or institutional fund availability. In addition, your financial aid offered may be void or one or more financial aid program(s) may be canceled or modified if the aid offered was based on any error in determining eligibility or the amount of financial aid offered, whether or not the error was made by you or the Wilmington University Office of Financial Aid.  If your award is modified in any way, you will receive a "Revised Award" email notification within one to two business days of the revsion. 

Loan disbursements require a Master Promissory Note and Entrance Counseling. Funds are disbursed after the drop/add date, dependent on which block the student is enrolled. For example: If a student is only enrolled in block two courses, funds will not disburse until after the block two drop/add date.

How many times per year are refund disbursements issued?

Financial aid funds are transferred to a student's billing account after the student has begun his/her coursework beginning on the published transfer dates for that term. Once funds are applied to the student’s billing account, federal regulations mandate the refund be released to the student within 14 days. Any financial aid disbursement received by Wilmington University that is in excess of your charges will be refunded to you unless restrictions require that the excess amount be returned to another entity. All refunds are released through TouchNet, which requires selecting your refund preference via your myWilmU student portal.

If you receive a refund and decide to return those funds to your lender to decrease your loan balance, please contact our university information center for instructions, 302.356.4636.

What could cause my student loan to not be processed?

The student failed to turn in the necessary paperwork; 2) the student has attended another school during the same term and already used all or most of the loan limit for the term; 3) the student has been accepting maximum loans while attending part-time causing them to use up the aggregate loan limit provided by the government for their current degree program; 4) the student is not making satisfactory academic progress [determined by both GPA and completion rate of attempted credits]; 5) the student is not properly enrolled in courses (the student must be enrolled in six credits and must have declared a major).

How long is my Master Promissory Note (MPN) good for?

Generally the MPN is good for 10 years, with the exceptions of a name change (such as in the case of changing a name from maiden to married).

Can I be denied a student loan if I have bad credit?

The Federal Direct Stafford Loans for students are not based on credit ratings. However, Parent Plus loans and alternative loans are credit-based. Additionally, a student who has previously defaulted on a federal student loan will not qualify for a new loan until the default is cleared with the lender. Written documentation from the lender must be submitted to Financial Aid. Sometimes this situation can be resolved by the student submitting an In-School Loan Deferment Request through the UIC. Other times the student might be required to contact a previously attended school or the lender directly in order to clear up a loan in default.

I don't think I'm eligible for anything, but I still need help! What can I do?

You may be eligible for federal student loans, but you must complete the FAFSA on the Web in order to be considered. If you don't qualify for either of the two federal student loan programs, or if you need to borrow more than the allowable borrowing limits at your grade level, you may find assistance through alternative loans. Alternative loans are commercial student loans that are not subsidized or insured by the federal government. Alternative loans are available through some banks and secondary student loan markets at competitive interest rates. We also encourage you to research scholarship opportunities.

What if I have no contact with my parents or my parents refuse to provide their information on my FAFSA?

To be considered an independent student you must be: 24 years of age, an orphan or ward of the court, a veteran of 180 active consecutive days of military service, a graduate student, married, or have legal dependents other than a spouse. If none of the previously mentioned circumstances apply, then the student is required to supply their parent’s income information.  However, there are some circumstances that can make an otherwise dependent student eligible for a Dependency Override. Please contact the financial aid office for more information about this process. 

I have just learned that I must maintain "Satisfactory Academic Progress." What is it?

Financial Aid is required by federal regulation to monitor student progression toward completion of degree and certificate programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Wilmington University’s Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy requires that a specific number of completed credits are necessary each academic year to remain eligible for student financial aid. (Please note: This standard mirrors the University’s academic policy with regard to GPA.) For additional information, please review the satisfactory academic progress information on our Web site http://www.wilmu.edu/financialaid/satisfactory-academic-progress-overview.aspx.

How often do I apply for a FAFSA and when should I apply?

You only apply once per academic year which includes Fall, Spring and Summer semesters. The Department of Education makes the FAFSA for the upcoming fall available as early as October of the prior year; e.g. 2018-2019 FAFSA is available to submit in October 2017.  The 2018-19 academic year for Wilmington University is Fall 2018, Spring 2019 and Summer 2019.

If you are applying for 2018 Spring/Summer aid and you already submitted a 2017-2018 FAFSA, do not submit another FAFSA to apply for Spring/Summer 2018.  However, if you did not submit a 2017-2018 FAFSA, you will need to submit one to apply for 2018 Spring/Summer aid.

What if my financial circumstances have changed since I completed the FAFSA or from the tax information I provided on my FAFSA?

When you submitted your 2017-2018 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), you provided 2015 household income and current asset information.  Your household’s financial ability to contribute to your cost of attendance a.k.a. your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) was calculated by the federal Central Processing System (CPS) using a standard federal formula. The calculated EFC determines the types of federal aid you qualify for and amounts you are awarded.   If your household situation has significantly changed since 2015, or if you have extenuating circumstances which you believe warrant a re-evaluation of your eligibility for financial aid, please contact the financial aid office to discuss the options and requirements to have a Professional Judgement evaluation performed on your federal aid application.

How do I know if I am an independent student?

DEFINITION OF AN INDEPENDENT STUDENT:  If you meet one or more of the six criteria listed below for the 2016-17 academic year, you may apply for financial aid as an independent student and, therefore, you do NOT have to supply parental data and a parent signature on the FAFSA.

You are an independent student if:

  • You were born before January 1, 1993;
  • You are working on a master's or doctorate program or graduate certificate (beyond a bachelor's degree);
  • You are married;
  • You have children who receive more than half of their support from you;
  • You have legal dependents (other than your children or spouse) who live with you and who receive more than half of their support from you.
  • Both of your parents are deceased OR you are (or were up until age 18) a ward/dependent of the court;

You are a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces or you are currently on active duty for purposes other than training.

I am currently enrolled and my lender is asking for payment, what do I do?

Students can receive loan deferments from the National Student Clearinghouse website.