Welcome to the Office of Financial Aid
Federal School Code 042629
The Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine Office of Financial Aid approaches the financing of education in a holistic way that is consistent with the institution’s mission, vision, and values. The information, programs, and services we provide are accurate, unbiased, without prejudice or personal gain, and compliant with all other institutional policies and procedures to the best of our knowledge and ability.
One of the most important decisions that students make is choosing how to finance their education. Our goal is to ensure that applicants and students have the information, tools, and resources necessary to achieve lifelong educational and career success.
Students accepted to, or enrolled in, degree-seeking programs are eligible to apply for financial aid. Certificate programs are not currently approved for financial aid.
For all degree-seeking programs, our office administers federal Direct Unsubsidized and Grad PLUS loans, private/alternative loans, external scholarships, and third-party financial assistance programs, such as veteran's benefits.
For the MD degree program, we administer institutional merit- and need-based scholarships, the Armed Forces Health Professions Scholarship Programs (HPSP), and the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Scholarship Program.
We provide services, information, and counseling to assist students as they navigate their financial aid options in the areas of:
- Applying for financial aid and the financial aid process
- Exploring sources of funding
- Budgeting and money management techniques
- Debt and loan management
- Personal financial concerns
We help students maintain their financial wellness by making tools, resources and qualified individuals available throughout medical school to provide individualized assistance. The financial wellness program is part of the medical school curriculum under the competency of Personal Management and Self-Care.
Click here for financial wellness resources.
Applying for Financial Aid
WMed offers financial assistance for it's degree programs, including the Doctor of Medicine, master's, and dual-degrees. Certificate programs are not eligibile for financial assistance. WMed does not offer study abroad programs.
WMed is approved by the U.S. Department of Education for participation in federal student aid programs as of March 2017. Applicants and current students should submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be considered for financial aid programs, including institutional scholarships and federal student loans.
Our priority deadline is March 31 each year.
Steps to submit the FAFSA and apply for financial aid:
- Submit the FAFSA at https://fafsa.ed.gov
- If applying for need-based institutional aid, include parent data unless eligible for an exclusion (see Merit Based Scholarships section below)
- Both the 2016-17 and 2017-18 FAFSA require 2015 (not 2016) federal tax year information
- Review the Student Aid Report (SAR) sent from the federal processor to make sure there are no requests for missing or incomplete data
- Some students may be selected for a process called "Verification." If selected, the student (or parent, if applicable) may be asked to submit a signed copy of the federal tax return, including all schedules, or a federal tax transcript obtained from the IRS. Our office will communicate via the email address on file if additional documentation or information is required as a result.
IMPORTANT UPDATE ABOUT THE FAFSA DATA RETRIEVAL TOOL (DRT)
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Federal Student Aid (FSA) recently announced that the Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) on the FAFSA website will be unavailable until extra security protections can be added. Students and families should plan for the tool to be offline until the start of the next FAFSA season. Students (and parents, if required) completing a 2017-18 FAFSA for WMed should manually enter 2015 (not 2016) tax information.
Merit-Based and Need-Based Scholarships (for the MD degree program)
All students are automatically considered for merit-based awards without being required to submit an application. Award notices are sent electronically to students via the email address on file.
A FAFSA may be required by some external scholarship programs.
When completing the FAFSA for need-based aid consideration, the student and parent sections must be completed unless the student:
- Is 30 years of age or will turn 30 by December 31 of the academic year in which aid is requested.
- Has dependents other than a spouse.
- Is a veteran of the armed forces.
- Has not been claimed on another individual’s federal tax return for at least 7 years.
- Was granted “independent” status by an undergraduate financial aid office.
Students demonstrating eligibility for need-based scholarships may be required to submit signed copies of federal tax returns, including all schedules or federal tax transcripts obtained from the IRS. This is due to the current unavailability of the DRT tool on the FAFSA.
Student Loan Programs
Students who submit a FAFSA and meet federal eligibility requirements will be offered federal Direct Unsubsidized and Grad PLUS loans as part of their financial aid award offer. Students should carefully consider their expenses and borrow only the amount of loans that they need.
Students are encouraged to consider borrowing federal loans before considering private/alternative loans. Federal loans include benefits such as fixed interest rates and income-driven repayment plans not typically offered with private loans. Private loans may not have the same flexibility of repayment or may be more expensive than federal student loans.
Students considering private/alternative loans can find information about Student Loan Comparisons at:
AAMC Federal versus Private Loans
FinAid Student Loan Comparisons
Students can compare private education loans at:
Before applying for or accepting federal or private/alternative loans, review the Loan Programs information.
Application Dates and Deadlines
|Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)||Anticipated early 2017 based on pending approval by the U.S. Department of Education||Priority deadline is March 31|
|Federal and Private/Alternative Loan Applications|
Upon completion of FAFSA and notification of eligibility by the Office of Financial Aid.
Federal Student Loans also require completion of a Master Promissory Note and Entrance Counseling.
Priority deadline is March 31.
Allow at least 3 weeks prior to the academic year start date for the application process.
|External Scholarship Programs||Check with individual programs. Some require a FAFSA to determine need criteria.||Check with individual programs.|
Eligibility for Financial Aid
To receive and maintain eligibility for financial aid, students must meet the following criteria:
- Have a Social Security number
- Be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States
- Complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and submit any requested documents on an annual basis within stated deadlines
- Register with the Selective Service, if required
- Be a degree-seeking student enrolled and attending at least half-time (certificate programs are not currently eligible)
- Not be in default on any state or federal grant or loan received at any institution
- Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress
Students who may be at risk for meeting eligibility requirements should contact the Office of Financial Aid to discuss their circumstances.
Click on the links below to access this important information.
- WMed Scholarships
- External Scholarships and Awards
- Scholarship Searches
- Service Commitment Scholarships
- Basic Tips for Student Loan Borrowers
- Managing Student Loans During Medical School
- Federal Student Loans
- Private/Alternative Loans
- AAMC Searchable Database
- National Health Service Corps (NHSC)
- Veterans Affairs
Contact the Office of Financial Aid if you would like additional assistance or information, or have questions about available funding opportunities.
Last Revised 4/03/2017