Graduate Catalog

2014 – 2015


2013-2014 Graduate Catalog Archive

Office of Graduate Studies
McKelvie Hall, 102 W. Rosedale Avenue
West Chester University
West Chester, PA 19383
Phone: 610-436-2943
Fax: 610-436-2763
gradstudy@wcupa.edu

Catalog Home


Revised March 2014

Financial Aid

Withdrawal/Enrollment Change and Aid
Student Consumer Rights and Responsibilities
Federal Perkins Loan Program
Direct Loans
Direct Graduate PLUS Loan
Graduate Assistantships
Frederick Douglass Graduate Assistantships
Residence Hall Graduate Assistants
Institute for Women Graduate Grant
Federal Work Study
Scholarships and Awards

The purpose of financial aid at West Chester University is to provide financial assistance and counseling to students who can benefit from further education, but who cannot obtain it without such assistance. Financial assistance consists of gift aid in the form of scholarships or grants and self-help aid in the form of employment or loans. The main responsibility for meeting educational expenses rests with students. Financial aid is a supplement to family contributions and is to be used for educational expenses.

Eligibility for financial aid, with the exception of some assistantships and scholarships, is based on demonstrated financial need. Family income, assets, and family size influence the demonstrated financial need of the student.

All documents, correspondence, and conversations among the aid applicant, his or her family, and the Office of Financial Aid are confidential and entitled to the protection ordinarily arising from a counseling relationship.

In order to receive need-based financial aid, the student must

  1. Meet enrollment requirements for the specific aid program and must be making satisfactory academic progress. See the Office of Financial Aid for a more detailed explanation of this requirement.
  2. Submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid before March 1 for priority consideration. All students, regardless of state residency status, must complete this form in order to be considered for financial aid at West Chester University. This application will be used to determine demonstrated financial need for the student. All students are encouraged to complete this application.
  3. Submit any other requested documentation concerning financial and family circumstances that may be requested by the Office of Financial Aid, or any agency that administers financial assistance programs.

The submission of the information described above does not automatically entitle a student to receive financial aid. The Office of Financial Aid follows the regulations established by the federal government in awarding aid. Aid applicants are ranked according to unmet need (based on budget, federal and state grants, and expected family contribution), and available funds are offered to the neediest students first. Students must apply for financial aid each academic year.

Direct questions concerning financial aid to the Office of Financial Aid, 25 University Avenue, West Chester University, West Chester, PA 19383, 610-436-2627 or write to finaid@wcupa.edu. Office hours are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; and Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Withdrawal/Enrollment Change and Aid [top]

Students who officially withdraw or change their enrollment status may be entitled to a refund of certain fees, in accordance with University policy. (See section entitled "Fees and Expenses".) If the student has been awarded financial aid for the semester in which the withdrawal or enrollment change occurs, a portion of the refund will be returned to financial aid program funds. Financial aid refunds due to withdrawals or enrollment changes are processed in accordance with federal, state, and awarding agency guidelines and regulations. A student considering withdrawal or an enrollment status change should consult the Office of Financial Aid to determine the impact of that action on current and future financial aid.

Student Consumer Rights and Responsibilities [top]

You have the right to ask a school the following:

  1. The names of its accrediting organizations
  2. About its programs; its instructional, laboratory, and other physical facilities; and its faculty
  3. The cost of attendance and its policies on refunds to students who drop out
  4. What financial assistance is available, including information on all federal, state, local, private, and institutional financial aid programs
  5. What the procedures and deadlines are for submitting applications for each available financial aid program.
  6. What criteria it uses to select financial aid recipients
  7. How it determines your financial need. This process includes how costs for tuition and fees, room and board, travel, books and supplies, personal and miscellaneous expenses, etc., are considered in your budget. It also includes what resources (such as parental contribution, other financial aid, your assets, etc.) are considered in the calculation of your need.
  8. If you have a loan, you have the right to know what the interest rate is, the total amount that must be repaid, the length of time you have to repay the loan, when you must start repaying it, and any cancellation and deferment provisions that apply.
  9. If you are offered a work study job, you have the right to know what kind of job it is, what hours you must work, what your duties will be, what the rate of pay will be, and how and when you will be paid.
  10. To reconsider your aid package, if you believe a mistake has been made
  11. How the school determines whether you are making satisfactory academic progress and what happens if you are not
  12. What special facilities and services are available to the disabled

You have the responsibility to do the following:

  1. Review and consider all information about a school's program before you enroll
  2. Pay special attention to your application for student financial aid, complete it accurately, and submit it on time to the right place. Errors can delay your receipt of financial aid.
  3. Provide all additional documentation, verification, corrections, and/or new information requested by either the Office of Financial Aid or the agency to which you submitted your application
  4. Read and understand all forms that you are asked to sign and keep copies of them
  5. Accept responsibility for the promissory note and all other agreements that you sign
  6. If you have a loan, notify the lender of changes in your name, address, or enrollment status
  7. Perform in a satisfactory manner the work that is agreed upon in accepting a college work study job
  8. Know and comply with the deadlines for application for aid
  9. Know and comply with your school's refund procedures

Federal Perkins Loan Program [top]

The Federal Perkins Loan Program is a cooperative effort of the federal government and West Chester University which enables qualified students to secure educational loans under attractive conditions. Each borrower must do the following:

  1. Be enrolled or accepted in a degree program
  2. Demonstrate financial need
  3. Maintain satisfactory academic progress in the curriculum

The combined total of undergraduate and graduate loans cannot exceed $60,000. Approval of loans depends on the student's financial need and the availability of loan funds. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid must be filed. For further information contact the director of financial aid.

Direct Loans [top]

Direct Loans are low-interest loans for students and parents to help pay for the cost of a student's education. The lender is the U.S. Department of Education rather than a bank or other financial institution.

To be eligible for a loan, a student must do the following:

  1. Be enrolled or accepted in a degree program
  2. File a Free Application for Federal Student Aid
  3. Maintain satisfactory academic progress
  4. Be classified as at least a half-time student

The maximum loan per academic year for graduate students is $20,500 (unsubsidized) or the cost of the education. The total maximum indebtedness for all years of undergraduate and graduate study is $138,500 with no more than $65,500 subsidized.

Direct Graduate PLUS Loan [top]

Graduate students may borrow under the PLUS program up to their cost of attendance, minus other financial aid received. Each borrower must do the following:

  1. Be enrolled or accepted in a degree program
  2. File a Free Application for Federal Student Aid
  3. Maintain satisfactory academic progress
  4. Be classified as at least a half-time student

Graduate Assistantships [top]

A limited number of graduate assistantships are available to qualified, graduate students. Interested students should contact their graduate coordinator to determine the availability of assistantships. All hiring decisions are made by the department in which the assistantship is located. To be eligible to receive a graduate assistantship, the student must satisfy the following requirements:

  1. Must be a fully matriculated, degree-seeking, graduate student; certification students are not eligible, and provisionally accepted students are not eligible unless the provisions are removed before the semester begins. Exceptions must be approved by the dean of graduate studies.
  2. Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 for current graduate students (Graduating seniors must have an undergraduate GPA of at least 2.8.)
  3. Have indicated interest in a graduate assistantship on the electronic application for admission to graduate studies.

Information regarding work hours, tuition remission, and stipends for graduate assistantships may be found on the graduate studies website.

Maintaining graduate assistantships requires students to demonstrate both satisfactory performance in meeting assigned hours, dates, and responsibilities, as well as good academic standing.

Students awarded graduate assistantships who fail to maintain good academic standing (minimum GPA of 3.0) will have their assistantships revoked or will not have them renewed. This policy includes courses taken during summer sessions. Departments also may stipulate higher academic standards for maintaining assistantships.

Frederick Douglass Graduate Assistantships [top]

These graduate assistantships are named after Frederick Douglass, a great nineteenth-century American abolitionist and writer and a frequent visitor to West Chester. Douglass gave his last public lecture at West Chester Normal School on February 1, 1895. Applicants with excellent academic credentials may apply for these assistantships. Efforts are made to appoint qualified candidates from historically underrepresented and underserved populations who have leadership experiences in their backgrounds or as part of their academic goals. This consideration is in keeping with the spirit of Douglass' life of public service and the University's mission to be a source of encouragement to the African American, Native American, Hispanic American, and Asian American communities. Students with Frederick Douglass graduate assistantships serve the Frederick Douglass Institute. These are full-time (20 hours per week) assistantships that provide a tuition waiver and $5,000 stipend for the academic year. The awards are made on an annual basis and are renewable for a second year. Students may use these assistantships to pursue a master's degree in one of the University's graduate programs. Interested individuals with excellent credentials should contact the Office of Graduate Studies and Extended Education or the website, www.wcupa.edu/.

Residence Hall Graduate Assistants [top]

Opportunities to serve as residence hall graduate assistants are open to all full-time graduate students. Graduate assistants live in the University residence halls and assist the full-time, professional resident director in providing direction for the personal, social, and educational development of the resident students. Residence life graduate assistants are also supervisors for student workers and serve as University judicial hearing officers. These positions are full-time (25 hours a week) graduate assistantships that offer a stipend, tuition remission, and room and meal plan. Preference is given to students enrolled in the M.S. higher education counseling/student affairs program and to those with prior residence hall living experience. Applications may be made through the Office of Residence Life and Housing, Sykes Student Union, 610-436-3307.

Institute for Women Graduate Grant [top]

The Institute for Women at West Chester University offers an annual grant of $750 to a woman graduate student who is accepted into a master's degree program at West Chester University. The award is based on high academic achievement; evidence of potential for contribution to the applicant's field of study; a record of leadership in school, community, church, or other setting; and evidence of service to others. Applications, including reference forms, are available from the Office of Graduate Studies and Extended Education. Completed materials must be submitted by March 15. Only students who have filed all required admission credentials and plan to enroll for a minimum of six graduate credits are eligible.

Federal Work Study [top]

Graduate students may apply through the Office of Financial Aid for University or federal work study funds. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid also must be filed.

Scholarships and Awards [top]

Applied Statistics Scholarship. This scholarship supports a graduate student in the applied statistics major who has shown exceptional academic achievement in his or her studies. Interested students should contact the director of the applied statistics program.

Michael Bannon Scholarship Fund. The fund supports a student in the M.S. in education degree program with at least 15 credit hours completed. Application is by invitation only. Students must be recommended by a department chairperson or Phi Delta Kappa member, and two additional WCU faculty members.

Communicative Disorders Graduate Scholarship. This award is given to a graduate student enrolled in SPP 501 (Foundations of Research) and is based on the quality of his or her research proposal. Interested students should contact the graduate coordinator in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders for more information.

Sharon H. Ennis Graduate Study Scholarship. This fund was established in memory of Dr. Sharon H. Ennis, associate vice president for information services at West Chester University in 1998. To be eligible, an applicant must be a female M.B.A. student with a concentration in technology and electronic commerce who strives to be versed in management, business, e-commerce, computer technology, the Internet, telecommunications, and related emerging technologies. In addition, an applicant must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher and have completed 12-15 credits at West Chester University. Consideration will be given to candidates with financial need. A committee comprised of M.B.A. faculty and chaired by the associate provost and dean of graduate studies will choose the recipient.

Sender Frejdowicz Scholarship. This scholarship supports a graduate student in the holocaust and genocide studies master's degree program who has demonstrated academic excellence. Interested students should contact the director of the holocaust and genocide studies program.

Cheryl Hamel Counseling Scholarship. This scholarship supports a full- or part-time graduate student pursing a master's degree in elementary or secondary school counseling with a GPA of at least 3.50. The application is available online; more information is available from the Department of Counselor Education.

Ian Hancock Graduate Scholarship in Holocaust and Genocide Studies. This award is given to a full-time graduate student enrolled in the holocaust and genocide studies master's degree program. An application and additional information are available from the director of the holocaust and genocide studies program.

Institute for Women Fund. This award supports a female graduate student enrolled in a master’s degree program who has high academic achievement, contributes to a field of study, and has a record of community, church, or other leadership. Applications are available from the Office of Graduate Studies and Extended Education.

Charles Mayo Scholarship. A financial grant is awarded yearly to an upperclass or graduate student in political science in memory of Charles Mayo, former president of West Chester University. Funded by contributions, the award is administered by faculty of the Department of Political Science. The value of the scholarship is approximately $300.

Irene Shur Holocaust and Genocide Studies Scholarship. This scholarship supports a graduate student in the holocaust and genocide studies master's degree program who has demonstrated academic excellence. Interested students should contact the director of the holocaust and genocide studies program.

Mustalish Graduate Scholarship in Holistic Health. This scholarship supports a graduate student studying for the master of public health degree, integrative health track. Interested students should contact the College of Health Sciences for more information.

Dr. Charles S. Swope Scholarship Foundation. The Memorial Scholarship Trust Foundation was established by Charles E. Swope and Richard M. Swope in memory of Dr. and Mrs. Charles S. Swope. Dr. Swope served as president of West Chester University for a quarter of a century. Applicants must be enrolled full time and be graduates of West Chester University. Scholarships are $1,000 each. Applications must be filed on or before April 9. Selection is made during May, with scholarships commencing in September.

Shirley Walters Memorial Research Scholarship. This scholarship supports a graduate student majoring in secondary education who is involved in scholarly research and has a GPA of at least 3.25. Interested students should contact the Department of Professional and Secondary Education for more information.

WCU Alumni Association Graduate Scholarship. This scholarship supports a graduate student with demonstrated financial need, meritorious academic achievement, and involvement in campus activities. Applications and additional information are available from the Office of Alumni Relations.

Greater West Chester Chamber of Commerce M.B.A./James Hamilton Scholarship. Established by the West Chester Chamber of Commerce, this scholarship is awarded to an M.B.A. student who has resided in the greater West Chester area for at least the previous 12 months. Candidates should have completed a minimum of nine graduate credits with a 3.0 GPA or better. A committee comprised of M.B.A. faculty will choose the recipient.