Department Sample Pages

FAQs

  1. How will Willamette University determine that I need financial aid?
  2. How will Willamette University determine if I will receive a merit-based scholarship?
  3. Are loans really financial aid?
  4. My family’s financial circumstances have changed, but the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) asks me to report only last year’s income. What should I do?
  5. Are athletic scholarships available?

1. How will Willamette University determine that I need financial aid?

Willamette uses data collected from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to calculate your family contribution and determine eligibility for both government and university aid funds. The formula used for this calculation is nationally standardized to allow for similar family contributions in similar circumstances, while also accounting for some factors that might be unique to a particular family. This need analysis formula considers parental income and assets, as well as factors as size of the family, age of the parent, and number of children attending college (Note: parents attending college are not considered). Also considered are necessary family expenditures such as taxes and standard cost of living. Although some colleges also calculate a percentage of home equity in determining the parental contribution, Willamette follows the federal methodology and excludes home equity from the calculation of the parent contribution. In addition to your parents’ contribution, you are expected to contribute toward your college expenses from summer and academic year income, savings and any other personal resources, such as trust funds.

Once we have determined your family contribution, that contribution is compared to the total annual costs at Willamette, which include tuition, fees, room, board, and estimated amounts for books, personal expenses and travel. If your family’s contribution is less than Willamette’s costs, financial need exists and you are eligible for need-based aid. If your family’s contribution exceeds Willamette’s costs, you are not eligible for need-based aid. Remember, all applicants for admission are automatically considered for the University’s academic, merit-based scholarships on a competitive basis.

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2. How will Willamette University determine if I will receive a merit-based scholarship?

Willamette University offers merit-based scholarships to academically qualified students. Eligibility for these scholarships is based strictly on your academic record, and your family’s financial circumstances are not considered. In addition to these scholarships, non need-based student loans are available through federal and private programs. If you would like information on alternative financing options such as long-term loans or payment plan options, contact the Office of Financial Aid at Willamette University.

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3. Are loans really financial aid?

We think so. Financial aid is any funding that assists you in paying for your education. Without loans, many students would not be able to afford a college education. Educational loans generally have low interest rates, and deferment and repayment provisions that allow students flexibility when it comes time to repay the loan. One of the long-term benefits of your education will be increased earnings, and dollars borrowed now to pay for your education are repaid with those increased earnings.

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4. My family’s financial circumstances have changed, but the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) asks me to report only last year’s income. What should I do?

We recognize that circumstances, such as a loss of a job or a divorce, can arise that affect a family’s ability to contribute toward educational expenses. If your family has unique, documentable circumstances that affect your ability to contribute toward educational expenses, you may request that we re-evaluate your eligibility for need-based assistance based on those circumstances. Requests for re-evaluation must be in writing, and must include a detailed description of your family’s unique circumstances.

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5. Are athletic scholarships available?

As a participant in NCAA Division III athletic programs, Willamette University does not provide athletic scholarships.

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