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.
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?
How do I apply for financial aid at WPI?
In order to apply for need-based financial aid at WPI for the 2017-18 academic year, you and your parents must complete the CSS PROFILE Application and Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
New for 2017-18: Both forms will require 2015 tax year information, which you may hear referred to as "prior, prior year" or "PPY" in many media outlets and other publications referring to changes in financial aid application procedures.
Here you will find links to all of the deadlines and forms you need to fill out to determine your financial aid eligibility.
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. Check out the pdf version of our 2017 Accepted Student Days open house presentation, as well as our Financial Aid Quick Reference sheet.
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.
- American Student Assistance: Assistance with student loan solutions.
- Benjamin Gilman International Scholarship Program: Scholarships for students receiving a federal Pell grant to study abroad
- CashCourse: A guide for students to making informed financial choices.
- College Scholarship Service: CSS Profile and Expected Family Contribution calculators.
- eduPASS: Information (including financial aid) for college-bound students.
- 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.
- General Financial Aid Information Page: Links to further sources of information about student financial aid.
- 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.
- US Department of Education
- Veterans Affairs - GI Bill: Veterans Affairs website related to education benefits for Veterans.