2014-2015 Undergraduate Catalog/Student Handbook 
    Nov 30, 2023  
2014-2015 Undergraduate Catalog/Student Handbook [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Financial Aid


The primary purpose of the Financial Aid office at Westfield State University is to assist eligible students in meeting their educational expenses through a variety of federal, state, institutional and private programs. Assistance can be in the form of gift aid (grants and scholarships) and self-help programs (loans and work-study). The Financial Aid Office serves to assist students throughout the financial aid process.  For a full understanding of financial aid porgrams and policies please visit westfield.ma.edu/financialaid.

For additional information, call (413) 572-5218, e-mail financialaid@westfield.ma.edu.

Policies And Criteria

The policies and criteria for awarding financial aid are as follows:

  1. The philosophy of financial aid is that the family has the responsibility to meet as much of the educational costs of their children as is reasonably possible. Financial Aid is a supplement to the family resources.
  2. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be completed before March 1st in order to receive priority consideration. FAFSAs submitted after the deadline will be considered on a funds-available basis. The most efficient way to file the FAFSA is electronically at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Before you complete the FAFSA, it is important to obtain a PIN number for both the student and the parent. You can request a PIN at www.pin.ed.gov. The PIN will be sent to your e-mail address. Please protect your PIN by keeping it in a safe place.
  3. In addition to the FAFSA, students may be required to submit appropriate parent and student income verification to the Financial Aid Office.
  4. Financial aid awards are not renewed automatically. Students must reapply for aid each year.

Satisfactory Academic Progress and Financial Aid

In order to comply with Federal Regulations, Westfield State University has developed guidelines for students to maintain or re-establish eligibility to receive financial aid.

Full-time students must be enrolled for at least 12 credits each semester. This determination is made at the end of the ADD/DROP period each semester. Financial Aid awards are adjusted proportionately by credits carried for those in part-time attendance through the Division of Graduate and Continuing Education.

Students must make satisfactory academic progress toward an undergraduate degree by successfully completing at least 21 graduation credits each academic year (only 10.5 credits if enrolled for one semester during that academic year). Westfield State University has two special admission opportunities, the Learning Disabilities Program and the Urban Education Program. Students enrolled through either program are held to a standard of 18 graduation credits each year (only 9 credits if enrolled for one semester during that academic year). The maximum time frame to complete an undergraduate degree cannot exceed 150% of the published length of the program. For instance, if the published length of an academic program is 120 credit hours, the maximum time frame in which to complete the program could not exceed 180 attempted credit hours (120 x 1.5). These standards are adjusted proportionately for those students in part-time attendance through the Division of Graduate and Continuing Education. Credits are awarded for a course grade of D or better. Day students who fail to meet this requirement at the end of the spring semester will be notified by the Financial Aid Office and will be ineligible for financial aid for the next academic year. However, students who are deficient in credits may use the summer following the academic year to earn additional credits to meet the satisfactory progress standard.

Appeal Process

Students who experience extenuating circumstances, beyond the normal demands of student life, may submit a letter of appeal. The letter must include the following:Appeals regarding Satisfactory Academic Progress and financial aid eligibility may be submitted in writing to the Satisfactory Academic Status Committee, attention Catherine Ryan, Director of Financial Aid. If the appeal is approved, the student will be placed on SAP probation for one semester and will be awarded financial aid. The financial aid award will be made on a funds available basis. The student may be required to work with staff to develop an academic contract detailing the terms of the probationary period. At the conclusion of the probationary period, the student must have either met the terms of the academic contract and/or regained satisfactory academic progress in order to receive financial aid in the subsequent term.