Types Of Financial Aid
Federal financial aid is funding that is provided by the United States government. Merit- and need-based student aid can include grants, loans and work-study programs. The information below details the types of federal student aid available. The only form needed to apply for the aid below is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), unless otherwise noted.
Federal Work-Study (Student Employment)
Work-Study is a limited need-based employment program that allows students to earn a paycheck working part-time on campus or at non-profit community service agencies. It is designed for those who are pursuing an eligible WCTC degree.
To apply for Work-Study, students must:
- Complete the FAFSA. Students must qualify for financial need in order to be eligible.
- Search for a job. WCTC uses a web-based system for viewing and posting on- and off-campus jobs. The system is called Wisconsin TechConnect. Create an account and view jobs.
Payment information for Work-Study students:
- Federal Work-Study is paid in bi-monthly paychecks just like most part-time jobs. Federal Work-Study earnings are not automatically subtracted from what is owed to WCTC.
These are need-based grants awarded to students pursuing their first post-secondary degree. Student eligibility/award amount is determined by the U.S. Department of Education.
Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG)
This is a limited grant program available to students with high financial need. The institution, within federal guidelines, determines the award amount.
The Federal Direct Loan Program
Direct Loans are funded through the U.S. Department of Education using funds obtained from the U.S. Treasury. This program offers students and parents with one point of contact since the loans are made, backed and serviced by the U.S. Dept. of Education and borrowers make loan payments to the Dept. of Education for the life of their loans.
Federal Direct Loans must be repaid upon dropping below half-time enrollment or graduating. Depending upon your income, the loan may be subsidized ( need-based, interest is not charged while you are in school) or unsubsidized (non-need-based, interest is charged while you are in school). The loan has a 10-year standard repayment period, and there is no pre-payment penalty. The interest rate is fixed and is determined, by the date the loan is disbursed (see chart below). An origination fee, which is partially offset by a federal rebate, results in a net fee incurred when the loan arrives (see chart below).
|Loans Distributed Between||Interest Rate||Net Fee|
|7/1/2010 - 6/30/2011||4.5 %||0.5%|
|7/1/2011 - 6/30/2012||3.4 %||0.5%|
|7/1/2012 - 6/30/2013||3.4%||1.0%|
|Loans Distributed Between||Interest Rate||Net Fee|
|7/1/2010 - 6/30/2011||6.8%||0.5%|
|7/1/2011 - 6/30/2012||6.8%||0.5%|
|7/1/2012 - 6/30/2013||6.8 %||1.0%|
To apply for a Direct Loan:
- Complete the FAFSA
Federal Direct Loans require students to complete the FAFSA and be admitted and enrolled at least half time (six credits) in an eligible program.
- Complete the online Entrance Counseling
All first-time loan recipients are required to complete online entrance counseling which will describe the terms of the Direct Loan as well as your rights and responsibilities as a Direct Loan borrower.
- Complete the Direct Loan Master Promissory Note
The Direct Loan Master Promissory Note is the legally binding document you sign agreeing to repay the Direct Loan. You may sign the MPN electronically with your U.S. Department of Education PIN number, or you can print and mail it.
Repayment information: Direct Loans enter repayment six months after you graduate or drop below half-time enrollment. If you drop below half-time enrollment, graduate or leave WCTC, you are required to complete an online exit counseling session, which will describe your repayment information.
Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)
This Federally insured 7.9 percent fixed interest rate loan is available to parents of dependent students. PLUS loans enable parents to borrow up to total cost of education for an academic year, less any aid awarded to the student. Repayment begins 60 days after loan is fully disbursed. In addition to submitting the federal PLUS Loan Application, a separate WCTC PLUS Loan application is required.
To apply for a PLUS loan:
- Complete the FAFSA
WCTC students must file the FAFSA to determine grant eligibility prior to the parent applying for the Parent PLUS loan. Students should also apply for the lower-interest Direct Loan before a parent applies for a Parent PLUS loan
- Complete the WCTC PLUS loan application
Download the WCTC Parent PLUS loan application and mail it or fax to the WCTC Financial Aid department.
- Complete the PLUS Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN)
The Parent PLUS Loan Master Promissory Note is a legally binding document agreeing to repay the Parent PLUS loan. You may sign the MPN electronically with your U.S. Department of Education PIN number, or you can print and mail it.
Repayment Information: The PLUS loan goes into repayment 60 days after it is fully disbursed for the year, but parents can make arrangements to make interest-only payments while the student is in school. Parents can even make arrangements to defer all payments until after the student graduates by requesting forbearance from the loan servicer yearly.
Parents desiring PLUS loans are required to apply yearly. Get more information.
A number of state aid programs are available to Wisconsin residents. The following is a brief description of the programs. More information is available at the Wisconsin Higher Educational Aids Board (HEAB) website. HEAB is the state agency charged with monitoring and establishing award criteria for state aid programs. The only form needed to apply for the aid below is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Wisconsin Higher Education Grant
The WHEG program provides grant assistance to undergraduate, Wisconsin residents enrolled at least half time in degree programs at Wisconsin technical and University of Wisconsin colleges, and Tribal institutions. Awards are based on financial need. Eligibility cannot exceed 10 semesters.
Wisconsin Academic Excellence Scholarships
Academic Excellence Scholarships are awarded to Wisconsin high school seniors who have the highest grade point average in each Wisconsin high school. Students are nominated by their high school and must be enrolled on a full-time basis.
Wisconsin Talent Incentive Program (TIP)
The TIP Grant provides assistance to financially needy and educationally disadvantaged Wisconsin resident students attending Wisconsin colleges and universities First-time freshmen students are nominated for the TIP Grant by counselors of the Wisconsin Educational Opportunity Programs (WEOP). Interested students should contact their high school counselor, WCTC's Financial Aid department or their contact their regional WEOP coordinator.
Wisconsin Minority Retention Grant
These need-based awards are provided to Wisconsin resident minority undergraduates enrolled at least half time in their second year or a two-year academic program. According to Wisconsin statutes, a minority student is defined as a student who is either an African American; American Indian; Hispanic; or Southeast Asian from Laos, Cambodia or Vietnam admitted to the U. S. after Dec. 31, 1975. To be considered for the grant, contact the WCTC Financial Aid department.
Wisconsin Tribal / Indian Grants
Wisconsin residents who are at least 25 percent Native American and are undergraduate or graduate students enrolled in a degree program may apply for these grants. Awards are based on financial need with a limit of 10 semesters of eligibility. HEAB has an informal matching arrangement with grant funds awarded by the Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs and Wisconsin Tribal governments. For eligibility requirements, dollar amounts and applications, visit the HEAB website.
Wisconsin Hearing and Visually Handicapped Student Grant
These need-based grants are awarded to Wisconsin undergraduate students who have a severe hearing or visual impairment. A separate application may be obtained at the HEAB website.
Wisconsin Nursing Loan
The Wisconsin Nursing Loan provides loans to Wisconsin residents who are enrolled at least half time at an eligible in-state institution that prepares them to be licensed as LPN or RN nurses. The student who participates in this program must agree to be employed as a licensed nurse in Wisconsin. For each of the first two years the student works as a nurse and meets the eligibility criteria, 25 percent of the loan is forgiven. The balance remaining after forgiveness must be repaid at an interest rate of 5 percent. If the student does not practice nursing and meet the eligibility criteria, the loan must be repaid at an interest rate of 5 percent. If funds are available, eligible students will be contacted by the Financial Aid department to apply for this loan.
Scholarships are financial awards given to students that do not need to be paid back. These can be merit-based, need-based and program- or career-specific. Additionally, a FAFSA is not required to be filed in order to be eligible for scholarships.
There are essentially two types of scholarships available to WCTC students: WCTC Foundation Scholarships and external scholarships.
WCTC Foundation Scholarships
- These benefit students from nearly every program area. There are also specialty scholarships that benefit students with disabilities, non-traditional students, minority students and others.
- An application for financial aid is not required to apply for WCTC Foundation Scholarships; however, for some of these scholarships, financial need is one of the criteria and to be considered, application for financial aid is required.
Apart from WCTC Foundation Scholarships, the Financial Aid office also has applications for a number of external scholarships. These are funded by a variety of individuals, organizations or other foundations.
Any student who has served in any branch of the military in the United States, including regular service, Selected Reserves or National Guard, may be eligible for some form of financial assistance. For detailed information on these benefits, visit the WCTC Veterans page.
Unforeseen financial emergencies are reported as one of the top reasons students drop out of school. Dreamkeepers is helping to change that by providing financial assistance to students faced with short-term financial emergencies. Dreamkeepers also provides students access to an online financial planning tool and refers students to other local, state or federal resources. All of these resources help students achieve their educational and life goals.
Please contact your program counselor to discuss the barrier and to determine if you qualify for the Dreamkeepers Grant or to obtain other resources.