- Complete FAFSA application
- Priority deadline is Feb. for the next academic year
- Funds are limited and are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis
- Apply for aid every year
- Webster's Title IV code: 002521
- Complete the tax form information using actual figures
- Request official copies of all prior tax-return transcripts
- Double check for common errors
- Keep a copy of all documents
- Ask questions: if you are not clear on a question, call Webster's Financial Aid Office at 314-968-6992
Who Qualifies for Financial Aid?
To receive federal student loans, grants, or scholarships, students must be one of the following:
- U.S. citizen
- U.S. national
- U.S. permanent resident (I-151, I-551 or I-551C)
If you’re not in one of these categories, you must have an Arrival-Departure Record (I-94) from the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) showing one of the following designations to be eligible:
- Asylum granted
- Indefinite parole and/or humanitarian parole
- Cuban-Haitian entrant, status pending
- Conditional entrant
What Financial Aid Programs are Applicable?
May apply for:
- Direct Stafford Loan (subsidized and unsubsidized)
- Parent PLUS Loan
- Federal Pell Grant
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
- Webster University Grant
- Missouri Student Grant State aid programs
- Work Study
- Federal work study
- Webster University student employment
May apply for:
- Direct Stafford Loan
- Graduate PLUS Loan
Student Loan Options
Direct Subsidized Loans are need-based loans and are available to eligible undergraduate students. Repayment of principal is postponed while the student is in school and during a six-month grace period after the student leaves school or drops below half time status. These loans are made by a lender, such as a bank, credit union or savings and loan association; are insured by a state or nonprofit guarantee agency; and are reinsured by the federal government.
The federal government pays (subsidizes) interest on the borrower's behalf:
- While student is in school
- In their grace period
- During authorized periods of deferment of repayment
Direct Unsubsidized Loans are non-need-based loans and are available to eligible undergraduate and graduate students. Repayment of principal is postponed while the student is in school and during a six-month grace period after the student leaves school or drops below half time status. The interest on Unsubsidized Direct Loans while the student is in school however is the borrower's responsibility to repay. These loans are made by a lender, such as a bank, credit union or savings and loan association; are insured by a state or nonprofit guarantee agency; and are reinsured by the federal government. Additionally, these loans:
- Are available to students who do not qualify, in whole or in part, for Subsidized Stafford Loans
- Have terms that are the same as the terms for subsidized loans, except that the federal government DOES NOT pay any interest on the borrower's behalf
- May either accrue interest while the student is in school and then be added to the loan balance, or the borrower may begin making interest payments after the first loan check is disbursed
- Accrue interest during the borrower's grace period and during authorized periods of deferment of repayment
- Parent PLUS Loans allow parents of undergraduate students to borrow up to the student's cost of attendance minus other aid for each dependent student who is enrolled at least half-time.
- Graduate PLUS Loans allow graduate students to borrow funds up to the student's cost of attendance.
PLUS loans do not require that the student have demonstrated financial need. However, the combination of PLUS loans and any other aid may not exceed the cost of education for the term of the loan.
Private Education Loans are not state, federal, or institutional aid programs. Instead, they are loan programs specifically tailored for educational expenses by private lenders. Since these programs are created by the lenders themselves, there are often different terms and conditions for receiving them. Interest rates, fees and maximum loan amounts are among the many factors that may vary from lender to lender. We strongly encourage students to borrow first from the Federal Loan Programs. With the use of a survey process, we developed a recommended lender list, allowing our students to compare private alternative education loan lenders.
- Lenders to consider
Often a student or parent will find that the information required on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid does not realistically reflect their circumstances or their ability to provide the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). When this happens, a student may choose to submit an appeal to the Financial Aid Office in St. Louis requesting their situation be reviewed by first sending an email.
Appeals may be one of two types: change in financial circumstances or dependency appeal.
In the first and most common type of appeal the student provides additional information that will assist in determining the student's eligibility for aid. The office should be notified in writing of changes in financial circumstances resulting from one or more of the following conditions:
- Divorce or separation
- Death of a family member
- Loss of employment or significant reduction in income or benefits
- Other unusual expenses or circumstances
The second type of appeal is called a dependency appeal. This appeal is for a student who feels that they should be considered independent from their parent(s) for student aid purposes, even though they do not meet any of the automatic independent criteria as outlined in the FAFSA. Dependency appeals may be submitted only if you are in danger of abuse, either physical or mental, from your parent(s), or you have been abandoned by them (supporting documentation is required).
A variety of documentation is required for a dependency appeal. Please contact your counselor for clarification on required documentation. Approval of a dependency appeal does not guarantee that status in future years. Dependency appeals must be re-certified every year. You should submit a complete dependency appeal with a completed FAFSA or Renewal Application directly to the Financial Aid Office in St. Louis. Your appeal may be reviewed by a committee of administrators. Additional documentation may be required to substantiate your appeal.
Webster's mission is to provide funds to the best of our ability to students who truly need financial assistance to attend college. Often, we cannot do that unless we are fully aware of unusual circumstances that may exist. If you have any questions about whether a particular situation might qualify, you should discuss it with your counselor.
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Common FAFSA Application Errors
Most mistakes are made because students and/or parents either don't follow or don't understand the application instructions. While few errors will cause you to have to start all over, most errors will significantly delay the processing of either your FAFSA at the federal level, your award at the college level or both.
Please read the instructions that accompany the application. Then, if you are not clear on a question, take the time to call either your school or the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FED AID (1-800-433-3243).
More Common Application Errors
- Be sure your Social Security number is accurate and written clearly on the form. The processing center and University use this number to drive the application process; an error here can cause serious delays.
- If you have not completed your first bachelor's degree by July 1 then this question on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid should be answered with a "no." Read this carefully.
- Mark your appropriate enrollment status. Full-time equals at least 12 credit hours in a semester or at least six credit hours in an eight-week term (at least nine credit hours in a semester or at least five credit hours in a nine-week term for graduate and professional students); three-quarters time equals at least nine to 11 credit hours in a semester; half-time equals at least six credit hours in a semester or at least three credit hours in an eight-week term (at least five credit hours in a semester or at least three credit hours in a nine-week term for graduate and professional students).
- You should enter any veterans educational benefits that you will receive during the academic year. This includes reservists, national guardsmen, previous active-duty and dependents of veterans. This information can affect your aid eligibility if not reported correctly.
- If you are a dependent student, list the marital status of the parent you live with. For example, if your biological parents are divorced and you live with your mother who has remarried, her status is "married." Given this same scenario, when completing the income information, both the mother's income and her husband's must be listed on the application.
- The number of people you list as being part of your household should be people who are being supported by that household.
- All income information needs to be completed. If the income is not applicable to you, place a zero in the appropriate space. A blank may cause a delay in processing.
- Do not leave any of these questions blank. A zero indicates none or not applicable. A blank indicates you skipped the question to check a figure and didn't come back to it. Many applicants who think they do not have to complete this section cause their aid to be delayed when we have to request it. If you complete the section but were not required to, the information will not be used in the calculation.
- We base your cost of attendance on your housing code. If you do not complete this question, we may assume a cost less than what you may be eligible to receive.
- Webster University's Title IV Code is 002521.
- If you wish your counselor to be able to discuss your financial aid with your parent or spouse, we must have a written release to that effect signed by you for the award year noted on the Webster University application. There are no exceptions.
- Be sure you electronically "sign" your FAFSA. If you are a dependent student, or if your parents' information was required, then at least one parent must also “sign.”
Frequently Asked Questions
All it takes to apply for financial aid is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the Webster University application.
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