Understanding Financial Aid
Because most college undergraduates receive some type of financial aid, it is a worthwhile effort for your family to explore all possible options. And we’re here to help!
Most financial aid is provided by the federal and state governments, though individual colleges and universities, scholarship organizations, and employers may also be sources. Financial aid can be awarded based on financial need or merit, which considers high school academic performance, and can encompass a wide range of assistance—from loans that must be repaid, to grants and scholarships that are gifts, to work-study opportunities that enable students to earn money.
What is Financial Aid?
A college using a need-based approach compares its cost of attendance (including tuition, room and board, fees, personal expenses and books) to the expected contribution from the family. If the family contribution is less than the cost of attendance, a financial need exists. The college then offers the applicant a financial aid package consisting of grant or scholarship, loans, and work-study in an attempt to meet the financial need of the family.
How do I apply for financial aid at WPI?
Find links to all of the deadlines and forms you need to complete to determine your financial aid eligibility in the list below
For more information on filing the FAFSA please watch these informative videos
First Year Financial Aid Applicants
Information for the forms you'll need to apply for financial aid at WPI will be found in our First Year Students Applying for Aid site .
Returning WPI Students
Information for the forms you'll need to apply for financial aid as a returning WPI student will be found on our Returning Undergraduate Students Applying for Aid page.
Information for the forms you'll need to apply for financial aid as a Transfer student applying to WPI will be found on our Transfer Students Applying for Aid page.
Information for the forms you'll need to apply for financial aid as an international student applicant will be found on our International Students Applying for Aid page.
Information for the forms you'll need to apply for financial aid as a WPI Graduate student will be found on our Graduate Student Applying for Aid page
Students Attending Summer (E Term)
Information for the forms you'll need to apply for financial aid for Summer (E Term) studies at WPI can be found on our Students Attending Summer (E Term) page
Financial Aid Presentations
Our Student Aid & Financial Literacy team offers several helpful presentations to students and their families when they visit us on WPI’s open house days we also have some helpful information in our Financial Aid Quick Reference sheet.
You can view our Financial Aid Accepted Student Slide Show page with short videos for a detailed explanation of financial aid.
This is an
in pdf format in case you need links and other references from the presentation
The resources below will help you and your family understand your responsibilities regarding financial aid awards.
Independent/Dependent Student Status
WPI believes that the primary responsibility for an undergraduate education lies with the student and parent, to whatever extent possible. Therefore, all undergraduates applying for WPI institutional funds are required to provide parental information regardless of federal dependency status. Although a student may meet federal guidelines to be considered an independent student, and therefore receive federal funds as an independent student, the ability of parents to assist their children, regardless of age and dependency status, is a factor WPI considers in determining eligibility for institutional need-based grants. Because of this, the WPI Office of Student Aid & Financial Literacy will require parental information from all students applying for need-based institutional aid. This information can also be found in the financial aid section of the undergraduate catalog.
Financial Aid Resources
We’ve assembled some helpful online resources that can provide guidance and additional information. These sites are not affiliated with WPI, which assumes no responsibility for their content.
- Benjamin Gilman International Scholarship Program: Scholarships for students receiving a federal Pell grant to study abroad.
- College Scholarship Service: CSS Profile and Expected Family Contribution calculators.
- EFC Estimator: Quick online method to estimate Expected Family Contribution.
- FastWEB: Financial aid search across the Web.
- Fellowships and Scholarships: Learn more about fellowship and scholarship opportunities for graduate school.
- Money Geek: A website containing a variety of education related financial information as well as other after school information like cost of living, home buying. Loan calculators as well.
- NSLDS (National Student Loan Data System) for students: The US Department of Education's central database for student aid.
- Office of the Ombudsman: Department of Education division that assists with problems with student loans.
- SMART: Department of Defense scholarships for civilians. Can cover full tuition.
- Student Aid on the Web: Federal government's website dedicated to available federal aid
- Tuition Management Systems: Offers payment plans and BorrowSmart® education payment counseling.
- Veterans Affairs - GI Bill: Veterans Affairs website related to education benefits for Veterans.