Types of Financial Aid
When you apply for financial aid, you are applying for all aid resources. Financial aid is available from a variety of resources: U.S. federal government, state where you live, college you attend, or nonprofit or private organizations. Wilmington College awards scholarships and grant programs first, followed by self-help programs such as work opportunity and loans. Below you will find detailed information on the various types of financial aid available to students at the undergraduate level.
Scholarships are "free dollars" that do not need to be repaid. They are generally awarded based on academic merit, demonstrated financial need, academic major, or participation in an organization or activity.
PLEASE NOTE: As a NCAA Division III institution, Wilmington College does not award financial aid based on athletic participation, per NCAA Bylaw 15.4.1.
WC Endowed Scholarships
Endowed scholarships are comprised of the generous donations made by alumni, parents, friends, foundations, and companies who have confidence in Wilmington College’s mission. Your FAFSA result serves as your application for any of WC’s endowed scholarships.
Many Wilmington students also receive scholarships from outside organizations. It is the student’s responsibility to notify the Student One Stop Center of the amount and source of any outside funding received. Unlike entitlements, such as Federal Pell Grants, outside scholarships are considered to be a resource that may reduce or replace a loan, work opportunity, or grant that has already been awarded. It is Wilmington’s policy to reduce loan first, followed by work-study and then grants. It is possible that your Subsidized Stafford Loan (need-based) could change to an Unsubsidized Stafford Loan (non-need-based).
All students can explore scholarship opportunities outside of Wilmington College. Many outside agencies provide us with scholarship information that we, in turn make available to our students by posting the scholarship information on the "Scholarship Board" located just outside of the Student One Stop Center.
We also encourage you to check with your high school guidance counselor, place of worship, civic groups, clubs, parent’s employer, and the reference section of your public library. The Internet can also be a great source. Beware of any organization that asks for a fee. You don’t have to pay to find legitimate sources. Some free scholarship search engines you may want to try are:
Grants do not have to be repaid. They are available from a variety of sources, including federal and state governments and college funds. The largest source of grants at Wilmington College is WC’s own funds.
Federal Pell Grant
Federal grant. Based on financial need.
Federal SEOG Grant
Federal grant. Must be Pell Grant recipient.
Wilmington College Grant
WC grant. Based on academic achievement and financial need.
Work-study enables students to work and earn money to help defray personal expenses. It is a need-based employment opportunity given to you as part of your financial aid award. Work-study students are an important part of the college operations. Opportunities for employment during the academic year are campus-wide and include (but not limited to) the library, athletic facilities, administrative and academic offices.
While most work-study positions are on-campus, Wilmington College also partners with various off-campus sites such as the YMCA, area school districts, and counseling centers through our community service program. Unlike, other aid programs, work-study earnings are not guaranteed since it is your responsibility to find a work study job.
Also, work-study earnings will not be credited to your student account. Instead, students receive paychecks on a bi-weekly basis for hours worked. WC work-study positions are funded primarily by federal funds and are available only to students awarded Federal Work-study as part of their financial aid award.
Student employees are not eligible for traditional benefit packages, but there are other "benefits" like flexible hours, valuable work experience, insight into possible careers, and a better understanding of how the college operates. Available work-study positions are posted in College Hall, Pyle Center, and on the WC@Home page (for currently enrolled students). Students interested in obtaining a community service based work-study position are encouraged to meet with our Service Learning Coordinator.
Loans are money that you borrow and must be repaid according to the terms of each type of loan. A variety of low interest loans are available to students and parents. Loans make up a large part of a student’s financial aid award. It is in your best interest to only borrow what you need.
The amount you can borrow will be listed on your financial aid award notice. By accepting the loan, you are giving Wilmington College permission to certify and electronically transmit data to the U.S. Department of Education. You will also need to complete promissory notes and entrance counseling sessions online. This must be completed before loan funds can be disbursed to the student account.
Federal Perkins Loan
The Federal Perkins Loan has a fixed 5% interest rate. Repayment of this loan does not begin until nine months after a student drops below halftime (less than 6 hours). If eligible, students can receive up to $1,000 per academic year.
Step 1: Accept the Federal Perkins Loan listed on your Financial Aid Award Notice
Step 2: Complete the Perkins Loan Entrance Counseling Session
Federal Direct Stafford Loan
The Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan has a fixed 3.4% interest rate; whereas, the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan is fixed at 6.8%. No repayment of principal is required while the student is enrolled at least halftime. This loan program has a need-based component (subsidized) and a non-need-based component (unsubsidized). The only difference between these components is that you are responsible for paying the interest on the Unsubsidized Stafford Loan while you are in school. The amount you can borrow is based on your grade level and dependency status.
Annual Direct Stafford
First year students
(0-29 earned hours)
$3,500 $2,000 $6,000 Second year students
(30-59 earned hours)
$4,500 $2,000 $6,000 Third year and beyond
(60+ earned hours)
$5,500 $2,000 $7,000
Step 1: Accept the Federal Direct Stafford Loan listed on your Financial Aid Award Notice
Federal Direct Plus Loan (Parent Plus Loan)
The Federal Plus Loan allows credit-worthy parents and stepparents of dependent students to annually borrow an amount up to the cost of attendance minus financial aid. This loan program has a fixed 7.9% interest rate. Repayment typically begins within sixty days of final loan disbursement.
Step 1: Complete Online Federal Direct Plus Loan Application Process
Note: If a parent is pre-approved, the parent still must complete a Federal Plus Loan Master Promissory Note to complete the application process. If pre-approved, the screen will provide you with an option to complete your Federal Direct Plus Loan Master Promissory Note online. Please click on this option and complete the needed information.
Private Alternative Loan
Alternative Loan programs are designed to bridge the funding gap when savings, grants, student loans, and other resources are not enough. These programs allow families to borrow up to the cost of education minus financial aid and are deferrable while the student is enrolled at least halftime, although interest may accrue during this period. These loans also offer flexible repayment terms. Most alternative loans require the student to pass a credit check, and in most cases, a credit-worthy co-signer is required as well. Families should utilize all options (Perkins, Stafford and PLUS) prior to applying for an Alternative Loan because federal loans typically offer better rates, fees and repayment options. It takes approximately 60 days to process an Alternative Loan, so early application is crucial. Applications must be submitted no later than June 15. Processing time will be greatly reduced if you complete an online application.