September of your Junior Year
Start searching for scholarships by checking with your high school counselor, parent’s employers, your employer, church, and a Williams admissions counselor.  Keep a calendar of the deadlines and materials required for each scholarship.

January -April Apply for federal financial aid using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Williams’ FAFSA school code is 001106.  The Financial Aid Office will be in contact with you should there be additional information or documentation required to process your application. The FAFSA is used to determine if you qualify for Federal Pell Grant, College Work-Study, Student Loans, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG), and Parent Loans. Williams should electronically receive your FAFSA results three to five days after you submit your FAFSA online.  Submitting paper applications could take four to six weeks.

April 1
Deadline to apply for the Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (SEOG).  You must have completed the FAFSA, qualify for a Pell Grant, and have financial need.  SEOG funds must first be awarded to students who show exceptional financial need.  The Financial Aid Office will determine the award amount which can vary.

Deadline to apply for College Work-Study. You must have completed the FAFSA, have financial need, and filled out a Work-Study Questionnaire.

Williams will begin mailing award packages to admitted students with complete financial aid files. In order to be awarded any scholarships or financial aid, make sure you are accepted for admission. Be sure to respond to the Financial Aid Office if you will be declining any scholarships or financial aid you have been offered.

June 1
Deadline to apply for the Arkansas Academic Challenge and other state scholarships. Applications are available at www.adhe.edu.  More information can be found by calling 1-800-54-STUDY.

If your family has unusual circumstances or your financial situation has changed drastically from what you originally filed on the FAFSA, contact the Financial Aid Office.


Academic and Performance Scholarships: These scholarships are awarded based on ACT score, GPA, and talent.  Financial need is not a factor.

Cost of Attendance (COA): The cost of attendance includes fixed costs (tuition, fees, room, and board) and variable costs (books, supplies, personal expenses, and transportation).

Expected Family Contribution (EFC): The FAFSA measures your family’s financial ability to contribute toward your education. The EFC is used to determine if you are eligible for Pell Grants, work-study and loans.

FAFSA: The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (www.fafsa.ed.gov).  Students and their families use this form to apply for federal financial aid such as Pell Grants, work-study, and student loans). It is also required when applying for any scholarships or grants awarded by the state of Arkansas such as the Arkansas Academic Challenge, Go! Opportunities Grant, etc.  The FAFSA may be submitted beginning January 1. Williams’ FAFSA school code is 001106.

Federal Work-study: College work-study is a federally funded program that allows a student to earn money to help pay educational expenses. Eligibility is determined by the FAFSA and is based on the student’s need, the amount of money the College has for the program, and the amount of aid that the student receives from other programs. The student earns minimum wage and is paid monthly on the hours actually worked. A student must fill out a Work-study Questionnaire before they will be placed in a position.

Financial Aid Package: The total amount of financial aid (federal, state, and institutional) a student is eligible to receive.

Financial Eligibility: The total amount of need-based financial aid a student can receive. The expected family contribution is used to determine if a student is eligible for need-based financial aid.

Grants: Awards based on financial eligibility that do not have to be repaid. The most common grant is the Federal Pell Grant.

Independent Student: One who is not required to submit parental data when applying for Financial Aid. For the 2019-2020 school year, an independent student is defined for federal aid purposes as a person who meets one or more of the following criteria:
1. Born before January 1, 1995;
2. An orphan or ward of the court
3. A veteran
4. A married student
5. A student attending graduate school
6. A student who has a dependent other than a spouse
7. An emancipated minor
8. In legal guardianship
9. Determined homeless by your school districts homeless liaison

Loans: Loans must be repaid. Subsidized and unsubsidized loans are deferred until after graduation, or if the student drops below half-time (6 hours per semester), or if the student withdraws from school. Unsubsidized loans accrue interest while the student is in school and you will receive quarterly interest statements showing the amount of interest that has accrued since the loan was disbursed (interest does NOT have to be paid until the student enters repayment).

Payment Plans:

Beginning Fall 2021, students are expected to be financially settled by the start of the first day of classes.  This means they must have their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) completed if they intend to file, and either need to have their account paid, or have a payment plan system established with Cashnet. Students who are not financially settled by the last day to add/drop classes (fifth day of the semester) may have their enrollment dropped for the semester. Students will be able to make payments on their student accounts in three, four, or five installments with all accounts paid off by the day before final exams begin. Students requesting financial aid need to complete their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) prior to the start of the semester.  The first payment will no longer include financial aid.  Student payments will be the balance owed after financial aid has been awarded.  Students who do not pay their account in full will need to sign up for a payment plan through Cashnet, a third party vendor with whom WBU is partnering.  Students will be able to set up automatic payments with a bank account or a credit card.

Fall Semester Payment Plans

Five Payments                    Four Payments                   Three Payments

July 10                                   August 10                             September 10

August 10                              September 10                       October 10

September 10                       October 10                             November 10

October 10                             November 10

November 10

Spring Semester Payment Plans

Five Payments                    Four Payments                   Three Payments

January 10                            February 10                          February 10

February 10                          March 10                               March 10

March 10                               April 10                                  April 10

April 10                                  Day before Finals           Day Before Finals

A late fee will be assessed at the end of each month on all past due balances. Student accounts that have missed two consecutive payments will need to make arrangements to pay the balance in full by the next payment due date or they may be administratively withdrawn from classes.

SAR: The Student Aid Report is the response letter sent to students, by the federal processor, who apply for federal aid by filling out the FAFSA.