A Message from the Executive Director

Congratulations on your acceptance to Wilkes University!

The Office of Student Financial Services is excited to provide you with the enclosed estimate of your eligibility for gift aid (scholarships and grants) and self-help options (student loans and federal work-study), as well as a summary of estimated educational expenses for the 2021–2022 academic year.

Please carefully review the enclosed documents to understand your awards listed. Some Wilkes awards may be made possible through the generous support of Wilkes alumni and friends. The electronic version of this information packet, excluding your individual award notification, can be found below.

Additional information will be provided at a later date to students who commit to attending the University by submitting a $300 nonrefundable tuition deposit online at wilkes.edu/deposit.

Make your deposit

Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions. Our staff will help guide and educate you through this process. We look forward to seeing you on campus!

Jane F. Dessoye
Executive Director of Student Financial Services
Wilkes University Office of Student Financial Services
84 West South Street, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18766
Phone: 570-408-4512 | Fax: 570-408-4939
financialaid@wilkes.edu

When your financial notification is available, we will send an email notification to the email address you used for your Wilkes application. This email will include credentials to log in to your Wilkes University Applicant Status page. You may also log in to http://apply.wilkes.edu/status using the same email address. Use the “Forgot Your Password?” link to set up or reset a password.

On your status page under “Status Update,” select “View Update” to display your most recent letter. You will also be able to view previous award notification or admissions decision letters. 

For assistance accessing your portal, please contact our admissions office at 570-408-4400 or admissions@wilkes.edu.

As you review your enclosed financial award notification, please be aware of the following:

  • The financial aid listed is based upon full-time enrollment (minimum of 12 credits during each fall and spring semester). Any change in enrollment status or housing status must be reported to the Office of Student Financial Services and may impact eligibility.
  • Any federal work-study listed represents an estimate of your potential earning ability. It is not a guarantee of employment. Unlike other awards listed, the work-study award is not credited directly to your billing account; you will be paid directly on a biweekly basis for hours worked.
  • To receive federal Direct Loans, you (the student) must complete your Direct Loan entrance counseling and a Master Promissory Note (MPN). Both can be completed at https://studentloans.gov. If you wish, you may reduce or decline student loans by emailing financialaid@wilkes.edu with the subject “Decline Direct Loans.
  • If you intend to live on campus as a resident student, the room and board charge listed on your award letter is based upon a double room (two students per room) and the largest resident meal plan available.
  • You must maintain satisfactory academic progress to be considered for financial aid for subsequent years. Progress is reviewed at the end of each spring semester. The progress policy can be found at www.wilkes.edu/financialaid.
May 1, 2021 Admissions deposit deadline
June 1, 2021 If accepting federal direct loans, students can complete entrance counseling and Master Promissory Note. Also begin to apply now if pursuing federal parent PLUS Loan or Private/Alternative Loan.
Aug. 1, 2021 Monthly payment plan open for enrollment
Aug. 14, 2021  Fall 2020 semester invoice due
Oct. 1, 2021 2021–2022 Free Application for Federal Student Aid open for completion
Jan. 1, 2022  Monthly payment plan open for spring enrollment
Jan. 2, 2022 Spring 2022 semester invoice due

Direct Costs

DIRECT COSTS are the expenses charged to students by Wilkes University. These are estimated numbers pending approval from the Board of Trustees.

*Please note; Off Campus costs apply only to transfer students.

Undergraduate Direct Costs Resident Commuter Off Campus*
Tuition $ 37,994 $ 37,994 $ 37,994
General Fee $ 1,920 $ 1,920 $ 1,920
Room / Board (meals) $ 15,708 N/A N/A
Matriculation Fee (one time) $ 135 $ 135 $ 135
Total Direct Costs $ 55,757 $40,049 $ 40,049

Indirect Costs

INDIRECT COSTS are estimated expenses that students may incur each year. These costs are included in the cost of attendance for planning purposes but are not billed to students by Wilkes University.

*Please note; Off Campus costs apply only to transfer students.

Undergraduate Indirect Costs Resident Commuter Off Campus*
Books & Supplies $ 1,600 $ 1,600 $ 1,600
Transportation $ 1,000 $ 2,000 $ 2,000
Personal Expenses $ 2,000 $ 2,000 $ 2,000
Loan Fee $ 58 $ 58 $ 58
Living Expenses N/A $ 1,440 $ 9,500
Total Indirect Costs $ 4,658 $ 7,098 $ 15,158
Total Cost of Attendance $ 60,414 $ 47,147 $ 55,207

*First-year students are required to live on campus if not commuting from home.

The following may also impact your cost of attendance and financial aid:

Fees

Parking, laboratory and course fees may apply depending upon major and/or course selection each semester. These fees are in addition to the general university fee listed in the direct cost table. The general university fee includes charges for technology, student union, recreation, campus clubs and activities.

Verification

Some students are selected by the federal government for verification, a process requiring the Office of Student Financial Services to verify tax information against Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) filing information. Students selected for verification are notified by the Office of Student Financial Services by mail and through their Wilkes University email and are provided with verification instructions. Adjustments to financial aid may occur as a result of verification, in which case students will be notified via email.

Change in Housing Status

A change in housing status may affect your financial aid eligibility. Please notify the Office of Student Financial Services if you intend to change your status (living on campus to commuter, commuter to living on campus).

Commuter Meal Plan

Available for a fee to interested commuter students.

Outside Funding

Students must immediately report any scholarships, grants and/or other outside sources of funding to the Office of Student Financial Services. Although rare, the University reserves the right to adjust Wilkes University funds based upon receipt of the additional outside aid.

Wilkes Named and Endowed Scholarships

All full-time students are considered for these scholarships, and no formal application is required. Students selected as scholarship recipients are notified via email.

Federal Work-Study

Students who accept this employment opportunity will receive a check for hours worked on a biweekly basis. Federal work-study earnings are not credited to a student’s billing account. Students are not allowed to work more than 20 hours per week while classes are in session.

Books

If the amount of financial aid that is awarded to a student exceeds the direct costs for a semester, the student may obtain a bookstore voucher beginning two weeks before the start of each semester that will allow them to charge books against their student billing account at the University’s bookstore, Barnes & Noble. Books are not included in the direct costs charged to students by the University.

Annual FAFSA Filing

Students must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year to be considered for federal, state and institutional funds.

FEDERAL & STATE GRANTS

Federal grants do not need to be repaid and are awarded based on financial need. To determine eligibility, students must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each academic year. In addition, for eligibility in subsequent academic years, a student must maintain satisfactory academic progress.

Federal Pell Grant: Pell Grants are awarded to undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need as defined by the federal government. Annual amounts are determined by the student’s level of need and enrollment status.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG): FSEOG is awarded to undergraduate students with the greatest amount of unmet financial need who also qualify for the Federal Pell Grant. Funds are limited, so not all Pell-eligible students will receive the grant.

Pennsylvania State Grant: Pennsylvania residents are considered for this grant if they meet eligibility requirements established by the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) and complete the FAFSA each year before May 1 of the academic year. PHEAA may require additional documentation, as Wilkes University does not determine the amount of this award and simply acts as the liaison between PHEAA and the students. The amount listed on the award letter is an estimate of eligibility. Students can view their eligibility and actual award at aessuccess.org.

INSTITUTIONAL GRANTS, AWARDS & SCHOLARSHIPS

All Wilkes University grants, awards and scholarships apply only to undergraduate studies and undergraduate tuition; they do not need to be repaid. For eligibility for subsequent academic years, a student must maintain satisfactory academic progress and be enrolled in a minimum of 12 credits during each fall and spring semester.

Wilkes University Grant and Award: Wilkes University grants and awards are based on financial need. To determine eligibility, students must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each academic year.

Wilkes University Out-of-State Award: Undergraduate students whose permanent home address is located in a U.S. state or territory other than Pennsylvania receive this award.

Wilkes University Merit Scholarships: Recipients are selected during the admission process and must meet academic achievement criteria. Merit scholarships from Wilkes University are typically renewable for up to four years, providing the undergraduate student maintains full time enrollment and academic eligibility. Newly enrolled, first-year pre-pharmacy students will be eligible to receive 30% of their merit scholarship in each of the final two years of the professional program.

Hometown Advantage Award: The Hometown Advantage Award is available to U.S. citizens or permanent residents who reside in Luzerne and Lackawanna counties and who enroll at Wilkes as a first-time freshman. This award is renewable for up to four years, providing the undergraduate student maintains full-time enrollment and satisfactory academic progress.

Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Scholarship: The PTK Scholarship is awarded to new transfer students who are members of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. To qualify, proof of PTK membership must be submitted with the admission application. This award is renewable for up to four years, providing the undergraduate student maintains full-time enrollment and satisfactory academic progress.


Financing Options for Your Remaining Balance

Federal Direct Loans are included in your award notification letter. Direct loans are issued in the student’s name and must be repaid. To determine eligibility, students must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each academic year. The two types of Direct Student Loans are:

Subsidized Direct Student Loan: Students are not responsible for paying the interest on this loan while in school. Students must demonstrate financial need to be considered for the subsidized loan.

Unsubsidized Direct Student Loan: Students are responsible for paying the interest on the loan while in school. Financial need is not required to obtain the unsubsidized loan.

The interest rate for federal direct loans July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021, is 2.75%. The federal government determines the rate each year on July 1.

All federal direct loans are charged an origination fee. The current origination fee for federal student loans (subsidized and unsubsidized) is 1.057%. The origination fee is subtracted from the actual loan amount and, as a result, the lesser amount (net amount) is shown when the loan funds are received by Wilkes. For example, a student who borrows
$3,500 in a subsidized loan will see $3,463 as the amount disbursed to Wilkes for the 2021-2022 academic year. Please note that these loans are already factored into the financial aid award and the net amount of the loan is included in the financial aid calculation on the award notification.

To Decline Direct Loans:
If a student qualifies for, but does not want to accept the Direct Loan funds or wishes to reduce the amount borrowed, they must contact the Office of Student Financial Services by sending an email to financialaid@wilkes.edu with the subject “Decline Direct Loans.” The student must include their Wilkes Identification Number (WIN) in the email. This will allow our office to remove or reduce the loans on the student’s account.

To Accept Direct Loans:
Students who qualify for an Undergraduate Federal Direct Loan(s) must complete Direct Loan entrance counseling and sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN) online to accept the loan(s). The entrance counseling process ensures that the student has a full understanding of the rights and responsibilities of their loan. The MPN will serve as an authorization to borrow and promise to repay loans through the Direct Loan program. Parents should NOT complete the requirements on behalf of their student,
as this federal requirement is designed to benefit each student’s understanding of his/her rights and repayment responsibilities.

STEP 1: Complete entrance counseling online: https://studentloans.gov.

  1. Student signs in with the student’s FSA ID.
  2. Hover over the heading “Complete and Process Aid”; select “Complete Loan Counseling.”
  3. Click “Start.”
  4. Add School to Notify: Wilkes University.
  5. Select “I am completing entrance counseling to receive Direct Loans as an undergraduate student” and click continue.

STEP 2: Complete Master Promissory Note (MPN) online: https://studentloans.gov.
If continuing directly after completing the entrance counseling session, there is no need to sign in a second time.

  1. Under the heading “Complete and Process Aid,” select “MPN for Undergraduates.”
  2. Click “Start.”
  3. In the “School Information” step, select Wilkes University.

The Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) loan is a federal direct loan in a parent’s name. The interest rate through June 30, 2021, is 5.3%. The federal government determines the rate each year on July 1. The PLUS loan is charged an origination fee that will reduce the amount of funds that are actually applied to the student’s account. The current origination fee through Sept. 30, 2021, is 4.228%. For example, a parent who borrows $5,000 in a PLUS Loan will see $4,789 as the amount disbursed to Wilkes University. Repayment of principal and/or interest can be deferred until after the student graduates or is no longer attending. The parent borrower will undergo a credit check with the U.S. Department of Education.

Application Process:
To apply, a parent must log in to https://studentloans.gov after June 1, 2021, with the parent FSA ID (not the student’s). After the application is approved, the parent must complete a Master Promissory Note.

Step 1: Complete Parent PLUS Loan Application online: https://studentloans.gov.

  1. Parent signs in with parent’s FSA ID.
  2. Under the heading “Apply for Aid,” select “Apply for a Parent Plus Loan.”
  3. Click “Start.”

Step 2 (after approval): Complete the Parent’s Master Promissory Note (MPN) online: https://studentloans.gov.

  1. Parent signs in with parent’s FSA ID.
  2. Under the heading “Complete and Process Aid,” select “MPN for Parents.”
  3. Click “Start.”

If a parent is denied a Parent PLUS Loan, the parent may either obtain an endorser (someone who does not have an adverse credit history and agrees to repay the loan if the parent does not repay it) or choose to appeal the decision and document extenuating circumstances related to the parent’s adverse credit history to the satisfaction of the U.S. 

Department of Education. Once either of these courses of action has been completed, the parent will also be required to complete PLUS Credit Counseling. Please contact the Office of Student Financial Services to alert us if there is a plan to pursue a Direct PLUS Loan by obtaining an endorser or appealing the denial decision.

If a parent is denied a PLUS Loan and unable to appeal or obtain an endorser, the student is automatically eligible  to borrow up to an additional $4,000 in the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan.

Private student loans are made through private lending institutions not affiliated with the U.S. Department of Education or Wilkes University. A private loan allows a student (with a creditworthy co-signer), or a parent of a dependent student, to borrow funds for educational expenses. The borrower/cosigner will undergo a credit check with each loan lender. In most cases, repayment of principal and/or interest can be deferred until after the student graduates or is no longer attending. Terms, conditions and interest rates vary from lender to lender.

To apply for private/alternative loans, contact your bank or credit union after June 1, 2021, or review lender options at www.elmselect.com. This lender list is offered for your convenience; Wilkes University does not specifically endorse any particular lender on this list. Lending institutions are solely responsible for posting and updating their information to ELM Select. In addition, students are not limited to lenders on this list.

Please allow two to four weeks of processing time once the lender has notified Wilkes University of your eligibility.

Federal Nursing Loan
The federal nursing loan is a loan offered to financially deserving full-time undergraduate nursing students. It is offered at an interest rate of 5% with repayment deferred until nine months after graduation.

The Wilkes University payment plan simplifies budgeting by allowing a family to divide full or partial semester balances into five equal payments for the fall (each month, August through December) and, if continued enrollment is desired, five equal payments for the spring (each month, January through May). There is no interest fee attached to the plan, but there is a $25 fee for each semester the family wishes to enroll. Families may enroll in the payment plan via the student portal beginning Aug. 1, 2021.

You must enroll in the installment payment plan prior to the start of each semester.

Endowed Scholarships
Wilkes University offers over 200 endowed scholarships annually, made possible by the generous support of Wilkes alumni and friends. Most of these scholarships do not require an application and are automatically awarded through matching criteria established by the donors of the scholarship and students’ profiles.  

Internal scholarships that require an application will be posted on Today@Wilkes, a daily news digest emailed to current Wilkes students, faculty and staff.  

Outside Scholarship Opportunities
We encourage students to search for additional outside scholarships. When searching scholarships, students should be mindful that the scholarship criteria matches their college or personal attributes. 

Students are discouraged from engaging with scholarship search entities that charge a fee for participation. Here are a few FREE popular scholarship websites:

Students are also encouraged to contact their high school guidance counselor, local civic groups, parents’ places of employment, etc., to inquire about scholarship opportunities.