Top Financial Aid Tips
By Tori Nuccio, Associate Director of Financial Aid
At West Chester University, we’re known for offering a valuable public education at an affordable price.
In the Financial Aid Office, we review students for opportunities including gift aid options like scholarships and grants, student employment, and even federal loans.
We know everyone’s situation is unique, so we do our best to work with each individual student to help them navigate the best way to cover costs based on their circumstances.
Here are my top tips for starting the Financial Aid process at WCU:
1. File the FAFSA before our priority deadline (February 1st) each year. FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid and uses the details of your previous tax returns to help calculate school aid.
The 2021-2022 FAFSA is available starting October 1st at studentaid.gov and this year will use 2019 tax information. We are aware that many students and families have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and may qualify for a Special Situations Review in order to consider current earnings instead. For those situations, we ask that families wait to receive their first financial aid offer before contacting us and scheduling an appointment with a counselor.
2. You do not need to be accepted to file the FAFSA!
Filing early allows you and the Financial Aid Office to clear any alerts on the FAFSA which may prevent financial aid being from being offered.
We can hold the FAFSA for you during your admissions review. Once you file your FAFSA, review the Student Aid Report from Federal Student Aid (FSA) will email you. This will let you know if the FAFSA has been flagged for any action items such as completing a verification review or needing to register for selective service. These can hold up your financial aid award, so make sure to check your email and complete any steps necessary.
3. If you have questions, make a virtual appointment with the Financial Aid team.
The Financial Aid team will be offering virtual appointments to help students file in a virtual setting.
4. Get started early!
Eager to get started? Great! Students (and parents of students) can start by applying for their FSA IDs at https://studentaid.gov/fsa-id/, which will act as username and password for both the FAFSA and any federal financial aid paperwork needed during your time at WCU.
5. Don’t forget to check out scholarship opportunities.
You can learn about scholarship opportunities, including outside scholarships, at wcupa.edu/scholarships as well as on our West Chester University Financial Aid Facebook page.
If you have any questions about the Financial Aid process, please email the Financial Aid Office or call 610-436-2627.
We look forward to working with you and welcoming you the Ramily!
Tori Nuccio has been a proud member of the WCU Financial Aid team for eight years where she facilitates programs such as federal work study; financial literacy; and the Promise Program, a campus support program for foster and homeless youth. She is a first generation student who is passionate about eliminating barriers and helping others access a quality education. Tori has her bachelor's degree in Psychology and Business Administration from Immaculata University, a master's in Higher Education from Drexel University, and is currently working on her Doctorate of Public Administration at West Chester University.
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