MONMOUTH, Ore. -- Western Oregon University (WOU) announced it will make estimated financial aid awards for the 2017-18 academic year available in December 2016 for prospective freshman and transfer students. This action will allow incoming WOU students significantly more time to receive and understand their financial aid if they choose to attend WOU.
The U.S. Department of Education now allows the Free Application for Financial Student Aid (FAFSA) to be submitted as early as October 1, which is three months earlier than the traditional January 1 filing date. This means students applying for college for the 2017-18 academic year could begin filing the FAFSA as early as October 1, 2016. In addition, students will be able to use income information from two years prior (2015 tax filings) to complete the 2017-18 FAFSA application. The goal is to provide students and their families greater opportunity to make fully informed college selection decisions.
WOU is one of the first public universities to announce that it will change its processing timelines to support students and families. According to Kella Helyer, WOU director of financial aid, "WOU is changing its process so that incoming students who complete their 2017-18 FAFSA in October should receive their estimated award letters from WOU in December. We've added a new financial aid counselor to work with students using this earlier schedule."
WOU has been a national leader in taking steps to keep college affordable. WOU's Tuition Choice Program provides students the opportunity to pick the tuition plan that works best for their budget and WOU's textbook rental program generates more than $500,000 in savings to WOU students annually.
"The high value of the WOU degree has been repeatedly recognized by groups such as The Economist Magazine, Educate to Career, and the College Affordability Guide. Providing students and their families an earlier estimated award is another step the university is taking to support students. We view affordability as a critical part of the student success equation," Associate Provost David McDonald said.
WOU financial aid dates
* Oct. 1, 2016: Students can begin filing FAFSAs
* December 2016: WOU will send out estimated award letters
* Feb. 1, 2017: WOU Priority FAFSA deadline
* March 1, 2017: WOU deadline for completed scholarship applications
Western Oregon University (WOU), founded in 1856 and located in Monmouth, is Oregon's oldest public university. The university has received national recognition for excellence for its focus on student learning and success by the Education Trust, US. News and World Report, American Association of State Colleges and Universities, National Association of Academic Advisors, and Parade Magazine. In 2015 WOU was recognized by the Education Trust as being a leader in graduating Pell Grant recipients and in 2010 as the top university in America at eliminating the Latino graduation gap. WOU is fully accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.