Receiving Financial Aid: Next Steps
Financial aid is awarded in the form of a package, or combination of difference types of assistance.
Awards are based on the school’s determination of need (COA minus EFC) and the student’s actual need to attend college.
The rule is to take advantage of all ‘free money’ first (scholarships, federal and state grants), then self-help funding such as the work study programs and finally borrowed money (federal student and parent loans). The chart below may assist with this determination for accepting awarded student aid.
|Type of Aid||What the Student Should Know|
|Scholarships and Grants||Be familiar with conditions needed to receive and maintain the ‘free money’ award. You may need to have a certain GPA to continue receiving the aid. Aid may also be limited based on program.|
|Work-Study||Money is earned in the form of a paycheck bimonthly. The student works while in school in an on-campus or off campus location. Hours and wages are limited.|
|Federal Student Loans||Student loans must be repaid when you complete your studies or take a break from schooling for more than six months. Subsidized loans do not accrue interest while in school.|
|Federal Parent Loans||Parent is the borrower and receives the loan funding to assist their student while enrolled in coursework at the college. The funding is provided directly to the student or may be applied to the student’s account.|
|Private Loans||Loan funds will be repaid with interest. The terms and conditions will not be as good as federal student loans.|
The notification for awards and acceptance of awards are generated through Financial Aid emails to the student to log into their MyWestmoreland student portal. Students may accept or decline any self-help aid. All ‘free aid’ has been awarded as accepted for the student.
Please note: Notifications are emailed to the student at his/her Westmoreland email address upon following the completion of verification, special circumstances and/or dependency override.
When the financial aid awards and/or cash payments exceed the college charges, the student is eligible to receive a refund. Bookstore credit is available at this time.
If it is your first time receiving a Direct Loan, you will be required to :
- complete entrance counseling, a tool to ensure you understand your obligation to repay the loan
- sign a loan contract called a Master Promissory Note, agreeing to the terms of the loan.
As a student or parent borrower, you have the right to decline or reduce any or all of your federal direct or PLUS loan. To request cancellation of a loan disbursement, the student should complete this form.
Students should maintain regular and consistent attendance in all classes. Financial Aid disbursements are calculated on enrolled credits. Students who stop attending class, drop out or officially withdraw may owe money back to the federal and state financial aid programs.
Exit Counseling/Under 6 Credits
If you have received a subsidized, unsubsidized or PLUS loan under the Direct Loan Program, you must complete exit counseling each time you:
- Drop below half-time enrollment (6 credits)
- Leave school
Students must be taking at least 6 credits to be eligible for loan funds. If less than 6 credits, funds will be returned to the lender. Learn more about exit counseling here.