To receive federal student aid, you must meet the following requirements:
- Be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen.
- Have a valid Social Security Number
- Have a high school diploma or a General Education Development (GED) Certificate.
- Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment at a school that participates in the federal student aid program.
- Returning students must be making Satisfactory Academic Progress.*
- Not have a drug conviction for an offense that occurred while you were receiving federal student aid (such as grants, loans, or work-study).
- You must not owe a refund on a federal grant or be in default on a federal student loan.
- You must demonstrate financial need (except for unsubsidized federal loans).
*In order to be considered making Satisfactory Academic Progress, students must meet both quantitative and qualitative measures. See the Satisfactory Academic Progress information for more detailed information.
Westfield State University follows the U.S. Department of Education guidelines in administering its financial aid programs. Simply stated, the formula used to determine eligibility is:
- Cost of Attendance minus Family Contribution (EFC) equals Demonstrated Need
Your Cost of Attendance is determined annually by the Financial Aid Office. Standard average expense budgets are used for each student based on where he or she will be living during the academic year.
The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is determined by information supplied on your FAFSA and calculated according to guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Education. The following factors are considered:
- Family income;
- Number of family members;
- Number of family members attending college on at least a half-time basis, excluding parents;
- Family assets, excluding the primary residence and qualified retirement plans;
- Essential family living costs.
The Appeal Process
If your family situation changes after your receive your financial aid package, you may formally appeal the decision. Appeals are handled throughout the academic year, beginning in late September.
Circumstances warranting an appeal may include but are not limited to, the following: the loss of a job or other income; a death in the family; a family divorce or separation; and/or unusually high medical bills. All appeals are considered on an individual basis and with regard to funds availability. We believe that all of our students deserve the benefit of a first look before we begin appeals.
Institutional Philosophy on Athletics and Financial Aid
Twenty Westfield State University varsity teams for men and women compete in Division III of the NCAA, which emphasizes the educational impact that athletics programs have upon their participants, rather than satisfying the entertainment needs of the public. Since the determination of varsity status for any Division III team is independent of gate receipts or other revenue, no team is relegated to the category of a “minor sport”. And, in compliance with NCAA Division III regulations, a student’s athletic ability is not a factor is determining the financial aid award package.