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Financial Aid 101

Westminster College in Pennsylvania is here to assist you, the student, and your family in understanding the complexities of the financial aid process. However, there is one thing that you should remember: the selection of a school should not be made until the availability of financial aid has been explored, which can include grants, loans and merit-based scholarships. Most people have the misconception that income is the only factor in determining need. However other variables are considered, such as family size, number of family members in college, age of older parent, savings, investments, and various allowances to income and assets. This means that you should file the FAFSA form and review the financial aid available to you through Westminster College. Our goal is to help you receive the aid for which you are eligible, and in the process, we hope to make Westminster affordable for you and your family.


Westminster Financial Aid 101

Since its founding in 1852, Westminster College has offered students of all economic backgrounds a superior liberal arts education. There are many financial resources available to students and families who seek assistance. Financial aid is money to be used in meeting expenses related to the completion of an educational program.

The financial aid award is based on your individual financial need and eligibility, and may include various types of aid. This is your financial aid package. This package may include any combination of college scholarships, grants, loans, and/or employment. Eligible students meeting required deadlines are offered the maximum amount of aid available after considering external sources such as the Federal Pell Grant, State Grants and non-Westminster college scholarships. In general, to qualify for the various types of Financial Aid you must have:

  • A Social Security Number
  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen
  • Have a high school diploma, or GED, or have the ability to benefit as demonstrated by and independently administered test
  • Be enrolled as a student in an eligible program
  • Make satisfactory academic progress
  • Male citizens of the U.S. and male immigrant aliens 18 through 25 years old must be registered with the U.S. Selective Service System to be eligible for federal student loans and grants. Men can register at any post office, or register now online.
  • And have financial need

To apply for Financial Aid begin by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). In order to receive consideration for as many programs as possible you should file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year before May 1st.

In order to complete the FAFSA form you will need student and parental income and asset information. You will also need both a student and a parental PIN numbers to finalize the application. Go to to apply. If your parents are married, you only need one parental PIN number. If your parents are separated or divorced, the parent you live with or the one who has custody should complete the FAFSA form and apply for the necessary PIN number. If the custodial parent has remarried, the income of that parent and their new spouse (stepparent) must be used.

You must provide parental information on the FAFSA form unless you answer yes to one of the following questions:

  • Will the student turn 24 years old this year?
  • Is the student married?
  • Is the student working on a Master's or Doctorate Degree?
  • Was the student on Active Duty in the U.S. Armed Forces?
  • Does the student have children or other dependents that he/she supports?
  • Is the student an orphan or ward of the court?
  • Is/was the student an emancipated minor or in legal guardianship?
  • Is/was the student homeless, determined to be homeless, or at risk for homelessness?

If the answer is no to all of these questions, the student is dependent and must include parental information on the FAFSA form. Most students are considered dependent.

By entering the Westminster College Title IV code of 003392, a copy of your completed FAFSA form will be sent to our institution. We will in turn send you an award letter listing your specific financial aid package. Some of the various types of financial aid that you may qualify for would be Federal Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), State Grants, Federal Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford Loans and Federal Perkins Loan.


Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

Student Requirements

Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

Federal legislation mandates that institutions of higher education establish minimum standards of satisfactory academic progress (SAP) for students receiving federal financial aid. These standards apply to all Federal Title IV financial aid programs.

To remain eligible for most types of financial aid, particularly federal and state assistance, students must meet minimum academic requirements at the conclusion of each academic year. PLEASE NOTE: SAP standards are the minimum criteria for maintaining federal financial aid eligibility.  Certain forms of financial aid may carry other requirements for renewal.

The financial aid satisfactory academic progress policy includes a qualitative measure (accumulative grade point average) and a quantitative measure (maximum time frame for completion of the education program).  All periods of enrollment including summer sessions, at Westminster College or elsewhere are considered whether or not a student received financial aid.  If students who transfer to Westminster College meet the satisfactory academic progress for all previous periods of enrollments, satisfactory academic progress reviews at Westminster College will take into consideration only those credits that apply toward the student’s current program.  These credits will be counted as both hours attempted and hours completed. Grades for courses transferred to Westminster College are not included in the student’s accumulative grade point average (GPA).


Qualitative Progress (Minimum GPA)

At the end of the fourth and all subsequent semesters*     2.000 GPA 

*Semesters in college shall include transfer semesters as well as semesters at Westminster College.


Quantitative Progress (Maximum time frame)

Students are expected to complete all academic requirements for their degree within 150% of the published length of the educational program in which they are enrolled. 

Required Hours to Complete Degree
Maximum Attempted Hours
Undergraduate Degree
Bachelor of Music Degree
Graduate Degree


Students are required to earn 75% of the credits hours attempted in each term.

*For the purposes of calculating the percentage of credits completed standard, and the maximum time frame standard, credits attempted includes any class for which a grade is assigned.  Grades include (besides A,B,C,D,F), “I” (incomplete), “W” (withdrawn), “WF” (withdrawn failing), and  “S” (satisfactory) or “U” (unsatisfactory) in a Pass/Fail course.

Failure to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress

If at the conclusion of an academic year a student fails to meet the GPA or credit hours standard a student will be placed on financial aid suspension.  The student will be notified of the financial aid suspension status by mail (both regular and college email) as soon as possible after all final grades have been submitted to the Westminster College Registrars Office.

Appeal of Financial Aid Suspension

Students have the right to appeal financial aid suspension if they feel that the academic deficiency is a result of extenuation circumstances (illness, injury, etc).  A detailed explanation of why the student failed to make SAP and what has changed that will allow the student to make SAP at the next evaluation, along with relevant supporting documentation should be submitted to the Financial Aid Office.  Appeals submitted without appropriate documentation will be denied.

Once the appeal has been submitted, the Satisfactory Academic Progress Committee will review the documentation.  Approval of the appeal will change the student’s status to financial aid probation for one semester.  An approval of an appeal may also include certain conditions that a student must fulfill.  At the conclusion of the financial aid probation semester the student must be making SAP, or successfully following an academic plan if one was included as part of the appeal approval. Students will be notified of appeal decisions by mail (both regular and college email).

If the appeal of financial aid suspension is denied, students have the option of enrolling at Westminster College without eligibility to receive financial aid.  If a student enrolls at Westminster College without the benefit of financial aid and subsequently meets satisfactory academic progress standards, they can then regain financial aid eligibility.

Please note:  Students are limited to 1 (one) financial aid suspension appeal while enrolled at Westminster College.

For questions regarding the financial aid satisfactory academic progress standards, please contact us at (724)946-7102 or visit the Financial Aid Office in the Remick Admissions House, Westminster College, New Wilmington, PA 16172.


Please retain this information for you permanent record.

Code of Conduct and Statement of Ethical Practices

The Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA section 493) requires institutions of higher education participating in the administration of educational loan programs to develop, publish, administer and enforce a Financial Aid Code of Conduct.  Any Westminster College officer, employee or agent who has responsibilities with respect to student educational loans is required to comply with this Code of Conduct outlined below:

Westminster College shall not enter into any revenue-sharing arrangements with any lender.

No officer or employee of Westminster College who is employed in the Westminster College financial aid office or who otherwise has responsibilities with respect to educational loans, or agent who has responsibilities with respect to education loans, shall solicit or accept any gift from a lender, guarantor, or servicer of education loans.  A “gift” means any gratuity, favor, discount, entertainment, hospitality, loan, or other item having a monetary value of more than a de minimus amount.

An officer or employee of Westminster College who is employed in the Westminster College financial aid office or who otherwise has responsibilities with respect to education loans, or an agent who has responsibilities with respect to education loans, shall not accept from any lender or an affiliate of any lender any fee, payment, or other financial benefit (including the opportunity to purchase stock) as compensation for any type of consulting arrangement or other contract to provide services to a lender or on behalf of a lender relating to education loans.

Westminster College shall not for any first time borrower, assign, through award packaging or other methods, the borrower’s loan to a particular lender.  Westminster College will not refuse to certify or delay certification, of any loan based on the borrower’s selection of a particular lender or guaranty agency.

Westminster College shall not request or accept from any lender any offer of funds to be used for private education loans (as defined in section 140 of the Truth in Lending Act), including funds for an opportunity pool loan, to students in exchange for providing concessions or promises regarding providing the lender with a specified number of loans made, insured, or guaranteed under this title, a specified loan volume of such loans, or a preferred lender arrangement for such loans.  An “opportunity pool loan” means a private education loan made by a lender to a student attending Westminster College or the family member of such a student that involves a payment, directly or indirectly by such institution of points, premiums, additional interest, or financial support to such lender for extending credit to the student or the family.

Westminster College will not request or accept from any lender any assistance with call center staffing or financial aid office staffing.  A lender may provide professional development training for financial aid administrators, educational counseling materials, financial literacy materials, or debt management materials to borrowers, provided that such materials disclose to borrowers the identification of any lender that assisted in preparing or providing such materials, or staffing services on a short-term, nonrecurring basis to assist Westminster college with financial aid-related functions during emergencies or disasters.

Any employee who is employed in the Westminster College financial aid office or who otherwise has responsibilities with respect to education loans or other student financial aid of Westminster College, and who serves on an advisory board, commission, or group established by a lender, guarantor, or a group of lenders or guarantors, shall be prohibited from receiving anything of value from the lender, guarantor, or group of lenders or guarantors, except that the employee may be reimbursement for reasonable expenses incurred in serving on such advisory board, commission, or group.


Statement of Ethical Practices

Westminster College, a member of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA), also adheres to NASFAA’s Code of Conduct for Financial Aid Professionals listed below:

An institutional financial aid professional is expected to always maintain exemplary standards of professional conduct in all aspects of carrying out his or her responsibilities, specifically including all dealings with any entities involved in any manner in student financial aid, regardless of whether such entities are involved in a government sponsored, subsidized, or regulated activity. In doing so, a financial aid professional should:

Refrain from taking any action for his or her personal benefit.

Refrain from taking any action he or she believes is contrary to law, regulation, or the best interests of the students and parents he or she serves.

Ensure that the information he or she provides is accurate, unbiased, and does not reflect any preference arising from actual or potential personal gain.

Be objective in making decisions and advising his or her institution regarding relationships with any entity involved in any aspect of student financial aid.

Refrain from soliciting or accepting anything of other than nominal value from any entity (other than an institution of higher education or a governmental entity such as the U.S. Department of Education) involved in the making, holding, consolidating or processing of any student loans, including anything of value (including reimbursement of expenses) for serving on an advisory body or as part of a training activity of or sponsored by any such entity.

Disclose to his or her institution, in such manner as his or her institution may prescribe, any involvement with or interest in any entity involved in any aspect of student financial aid.

Veterans and Military Service Members

Westminster College welcomes men and women who have served in our country's military services. Our counselors work with veterans, active duty personnel, reservists, and dependents to help ensure they receive maximum tuition benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Defense and Armed Forces.

Westminster College's traditional undergraduate, adult studies, and graduate programs are approved for GI education benefits and military tuition assistance by veterans, active duty personnel, or qualifying dependents. Westminster College participates in the Yellow Ribbon program.


College Credit for Military Education

Veterans and those currently in the military service may be eligible to receive undergraduate elective credit for Basic Training and formal education gained in the military. Eligibility will depend upon review by the College Registrar and is based upon The American Council on Education's (ACE) recommendations for military training and experience to be considered for college credit.


College Credit for CLEP/DANTES

Westminster College awards college credit for passing scores on CLEP/DANTES exams in relevant subject areas. The College Board will provide military service members with transcripts that document CLEP exam results.


Military Tuition Assistance Top-up

To be eligible you must be approved by your branch of the military and be eligible for Montgomery GI Bill™ Active Duty benefits. The amount is the same as the amount received through the Montgomery Bill but cannot exceed the cost of the course. If you are receiving a Tuition Assistance award your Montgomery GI Bill™ benefit will be reduced. See your education services officer and submit a VA Form 22-1990 to your VA Regional Processing Office. For more information please visit

Individual military service branch websites provide information regarding how to apply for military tuition assistance. Please use the following links to check on your eligibility.


Montgomery GI Bill™ and Other VA Programs is an excellent source for Veteran's information. You can easily navigate the site to find information regarding the various VA programs. Some of the programs included are the Montgomery GI Bill™-Active Duty (Chapter 30), Montgomery GI Bill™ - Selective Reserve (Chapter 1606), Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (Chapter 31), the Reserve Education Assistance Program (REAP; Chapter 1607), the Veterans Education Assistance Program (VEAP; Chapter 32) and other educational benefits for Survivors' and Dependents Educational Assistance Program (DEA; Chapter 35). If you are a child of a member of the Armed Forces that died in the line of duty on or after September 11, 2001 you may be eligible for benefits under the Marine Gunnery John David Fry Scholarship Program.


Post-9/11 GI Bill™ (Chapter 33)

To qualify for the Post-911 GI Bill™ you must have at least 90 days of aggregate service after September 10, 2001 or honorably discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 continuous days following September 10, 2001. Go to for additional information about the Post-911 program.


Yellow Ribbon GI Education Enhancement Program (Yellow Ribbon Program)

If you qualify for 100% of the Post-9/11 GI Bill™, you qualify for the Yellow Ribbon Program. The Yellow Ribbon Program allows colleges and universities to enter into an agreement with the Veterans Affairs to fund tuition and fees. Therefore the student not only receives funds from the VA but the school will match the contribution by 50% of the difference after the cap. To qualify you must serve in an aggregate period of active duty of at least 36 months after September 10, 2001 and be honorably discharged. Or if you are a dependent of an eligible Service Member they can transfer their benefits to you. To check your eligibility or complete the Transfer of Entitlement form, please visit the website.

To assist you in finding the VA program in which you qualify you can use the benefit comparison tool by clicking the following link: If you qualify for more than one program you must choose the program that suits your education needs.

The amount of tuition and fees, housing allowance and book stipend depend on the amount of time in which you have served.


Other Financial Aid

Once you receive notification of your specific VA Program, you may find that you still need additional funding for your education. At that point you may decide to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. This can be done at By entering the Westminster College Title IV code of 003392, a copy of your completed FAFSA form will be sent to our institution. We will in turn send you an award letter listing your specific financial aid package. Some of the various types of financial aid that you may qualify for would be Federal Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), State Grants, Federal Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford Loans and Federal Perkins Loan.

Federal Pell Grants are a program designed to aid students with financial need. This is a grant and not a loan therefore it does not need to be repaid. The amount of the awarded Pell Grant is based on your family contribution which is calculated from your information listed on the FAFSA form. The maximum Pell Grant amount for the 2015-2016 academic year is $5,775. The College does not award the Pell Grant.

The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) is awarded to aid students with exceptional financial need. A student must be registered at least half time and academic progress is required for renewal. This is a non-repayable grant.

State Grants are non-repayable awards based on financial need and full time student status. If you live in Pennsylvania you must file the FAFSA form by May 1st to be considered for this award.

Federal Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford Loans have fixed interest rates and are determined by the students need. Repayment begins six months after a student ceases to be enrolled at least half time. The student has ten years to repay the loan. A Subsidized Stafford Loan is awarded on the basis of financial need. You are not charged any interest while you are enrolled in school at least half time, during a grace period, or during authorized periods of deferment. An Unsubsidized Stafford Loan is not awarded on the basis of need. You have an option of paying the interest while you are in school or deferring the loan until repayment. You will be charged interest from the time the loan is disbursed until it is paid in full.

For the 2015-2016 academic year, the maximum annual amounts for full-time dependent undergraduates enrolled in a program of study are:

  • First-year $3,500 subsidized, $2,000 unsubsidized
  • Second-year $4,500, subsidized, $2,000 unsubsidized
  • Third-year $5,500, subsidized, $2,000 unsubsidized
  • Fourth-year $5,500, subsidized, $2,000 unsubsidized

If you are a full-time independent undergraduate student you may receive an additional $4,000 at the freshman and sophomore level and an additional $5,000 for your junior and senior years in unsubsidized loan.

The maximum aggregate amount is currently $31,000, but only $23,000 of this amount may be in Subsidized Stafford Loans for an undergraduate dependent student. The maximum amount for an undergraduate independent student is $57,500 with no more than $23,000 in Subsidized Stafford Loans. A graduate student may borrow up to $20,500 each academic year in Unsubsidized Stafford Loan. The maximum aggregate amount is currently $138,500. A graduate student may not have any more than $65,500 in total Subsidized Stafford Loan. The graduate debt limit includes any Stafford Loans received for undergraduate study.

The money for the Federal Perkins Loan is provided in part by the federal government and the college. A student must have financial need to be eligible and be at least a half time student. The interest rate is 5% beginning with the repayment period that starts 9 months after the recipient ceases to be enrolled at least half time. Repayment is to the school. The maximum amount of Perkins Loan each year is $5,500 with an overall aggregate of $27,500. Since funds are limited you may not receive the maximum amount.

There are a number of privately funded loan programs that provide funds to credit worthy students. Although the interest rates and terms may not be as generous as the Federal Loan programs, some students and their parents may be interested in this type of borrowing. Students are strongly encouraged to pursue the lower cost federal loans before private loans.

Below is a list of lenders that Westminster College students have chosen over the past three years. This list is not exclusive and any lender may be used even if they are not listed:

Private Lenders:

PNC Bank
Sallie Mae
Sun Trust
Liberty Bank
Wells Fargo

Federal Credit Unions:

Butler Armco
Eli Lilly
Priority First
Erie Community
Seven Seventeen
Erie General Electric
Custom Choice
First Capital
Mountain Laurel


The maximum amount of additional loan a student can borrow is the annual cost of attendance (tuition, fees, room, board books and personal expense allowance) less the financial aid the student is receiving for the academic year.


Readmission and Refund Policies Due to Service Obligations

If a student is called to military duty during an academic period for more than 30 days that student is placed on a Leave of Absence and will not be penalized either financially or academically. If a student chooses to withdraw from courses the tuition and fees will be fully refunded. If sufficient work is completed and the academic record is listed as incomplete for all courses then the student will return to complete the courses with tuition and fees already paid. The student must meet with the Registrar's office to determine which option is feasible. With either option room and board will be prorated on a percentage basis.

Upon his or her return to Westminster, the service member will be readmitted with the same academic status as when he or she last attended or was accepted. The student must notify the school in writing of their military service and intention to return to school within 3 years after the completion of his or her service period.


How to Use Your GI Bill™ Benefits and Military Tuition Assistance at Westminster College

  • Veterans Affairs requires a completed VA Form 22-1990, to apply for educational benefits under Chapter 30, Chapters 1606 and 1607, Chapter 33, Chapter 35 and Chapter 31. The form can be completed online at the Veterans Online Application (VONAPP) website.
  • Westminster applicants who are applying for or have already been approved for the Montgomery GI Bill™ education benefits or military tuition assistance need to contact the Westminster College Financial Aid Office for assistance in using their benefits at (724)946-7102.

Net Price Calculator

As you use the Westminster College Net Price Calculator, please remember:

Your award estimate is meant to be a guide to help you plan for a Westminster College education. The accuracy of the estimate is dependent on the accuracy of the information you provide when using our Net Price Calculator.

The estimate is based on the current parameters used for first year students entering in the Fall of 2015.

Results are not guaranteed, but are an estimate of what you may be eligible to receive.

The Westminster College Office of Financial Aid has the final authority on determining any financial aid award resulting from the submission of the appropriate financial aid applications and forms.

The Net Price Calculator is not an application for admission or financial aid.

The information collected by the Net Price Calculator will not be retained by Westminster College in any way.

To learn more about Westminster College, contact the Office of Admissions to schedule a visit.



Contact Information


Office Hours
Monday-Friday 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM

Financial Aid: (724) 946-7102

Business Office: (724) 946-7140

Admissions Office: (724) 946-7100
   or (800) 942-8033

Fax Number
Financial Aid: (724) 946-6171