There is money available to help students pay for college – you just need to know where to look for it and be willing to take some time to fill out applications. Most scholarships have spring deadlines and award for the upcoming school year. Here are some ways to get ahead of the curve in your scholarship search:
- Start your search early
- Talk to your academic department to see what resources are available
- Make sure you fit the application criteria
- Get involved! You should be able to demonstrate evidence of campus involvement and extra-curricular activities since beginning college
- Always include your resume even if the application doesn’t ask for it – it provides the reviewers with your vital information in a clear concise format if done correctly
- If an essay is required, be sure to proofread your essay; reviewers will not be impressed with poorly written essays or essays that don’t address the stated topic. Visit the Writing and Learning Commons to ask for help or ask your faculty mentor to review your essay
- It always helps to contact the scholarship contact person even if you have to make up a reason to call – they get to know you and it opens lines of communication during the review process
To view your financial aid information, log into MyCat:
1) Click on Personal Services
2) Click on Account and Payment Information
3) Click on Bill+Payment
4) Click on My Profiles tab and Payment Profile
5) For Direct Deposit, select Electronic Checking as the payment method and Go. Enter your bank account information. Prior to saving your information, you must check the box indicating that you would like your refund check deposited into that account.
Remember that you must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year that you plan to continue enrollment in the fall. The FAFSA is available online at www.fafsa.ed.gov starting Jan. 1st of each year.
You will then receive your Student Aid Report (SAR). The SAR lists the information you reported on your FAFSA as well as your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). You may receive a Missing Information Letter (MIL) requesting additional documentation or information. Continuing students will receive MILs by campus email. You can use your MyCat accounts to check for missing documents. All students applying for financial aid must complete a Personal Data Application (PDA) Form 101, which is available on the forms page on the Financial Aid office website.
After review, you’ll receive a Financial Aid Notification (FAN) indicating all types and amounts of aid you’re eligible to receive for the fall and spring semesters. Review the FAN and return it to the Financial Aid Office only if you want to reject or reduce one or more of the aid types awarded. If loans are accepted by the student and/or parent, information about completing the required promissory note will be sent to the borrower.
All awards you accept, except for work study, will be applied to your account. After you register for classes, you will receive a bill showing all school charges and any financial aid available to cover the charges. The bill, and any money due after financial aid awards have been considered, must be returned to the Controller’s Office by the payment deadline indicated on the bill to avoid having classes canceled due to nonpayment.
Financial Aid Office | Killian Annex | 828.227.7290 | finaid.wcu.edu