118 Killian Annex
1 University Drive
Cullowhee, NC 28723
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828.227.7042 fax

Frequently Asked Questions

What types of scholarships are there?
There are many different types of scholarships.  Some scholarships are awarded based on academic merit, and others are based on financial need.  Please see the other sections of our website for more specific information regarding scholarship opportunities available from WCU and beyond.

Typically, what are the deadlines for scholarships?
Prime months for scholarship deadlines are January through April for awards beginning the following fall term, but there are also many scholarships that have deadlines in the fall.  Many scholarships are only awarded once a year, so it’s important to begin your search early and keep a calendar of upcoming deadlines.

Is it possible to receive financial aid and scholarships?
Yes! Many students who receive scholarships also receive other types of financial assistance.
Does receiving a scholarship affect other financial aid?
It can.  Total financial assistance received through scholarships, grants, work-study and loans may not exceed the student’s cost of attendance. Receiving a scholarship may necessitate a reduction in other financial aid.  When possible, loans will be reduced first. However, it is sometimes necessary to reduce work-study, grants, and/or university scholarships. This is in accordance with federal regulations.  Anytime your financial aid award is adjusted, you will receive an updated award email from the Financial Aid Office.

Do I have to apply for need-based financial aid to receive a merit scholarship?
No, financial need is not a factor when considering students for merit-based scholarships.  However, we do encourage all students to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year.

How do I qualify for merit-based scholarships?
Merit scholarships are based on academic performance.  At WCU, we will evaluate your high school credentials and standardized test scores in order to determine whether or not you are eligible.  Merit scholarships for transfer students are based on the cumulative college grade point average.  There is no separate application required to be considered for merit-based scholarships.

How do I qualify for need-based scholarships?
In order to be considered for need-based scholarships, you must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by the March 1 priority filing deadline. 

What are some good tips in seeking scholarships through my community?
Outside scholarships are available from many different sources including churches, high schools, and private organizations. Check with your guidance counselor to see if there is a list of scholarships from your local area.  Another excellent resource for scholarships is your local community foundation. You can find the foundation that serves your area by doing an Internet search.

Where do I start?
Start in the places that are closest to you.  Does your place of employment offer scholarships?  What about your parents’ places of employment?  What about organizations or other places in which you or your parents are involved?  Our website will provide you with some additional links to help with your scholarship search.  There are many scholarships out there, but you’re going to have to spend time looking for them.

I received a letter from a company guaranteeing they will find scholarships for me, but I have to pay them for the search.  Should I do this?
No.  There are many scholarship search resources available to you at no cost. We do not recommend paying a fee for this type of service.  Also, be aware of scholarship scams.  You should never provide your bank account information or credit card number as part of a scholarship application or search. 

Why isn't my scholarship listed with my other financial aid?
We cannot post scholarships on your account until you tell us that you are receiving them.  Please submit the Outside Scholarship Form to our office along with a copy of your scholarship notification letter.

Do I have to report receiving a scholarship to anyone?
Yes! You must submit the Outside Scholarship Form to the Financial Aid Office.  If you do not report scholarships you receive to the Financial Aid Office, you may have to repay federal and/or state aid.

Where should the private donor of my scholarship send the award check?
Please see our donor information page for specifics related to sending scholarship checks.

My scholarship donor needs verification that I am enrolled before they will send the check. What do I do?
You may print your verification of enrollment from your My Cat account to submit to your donor.

My scholarship donor needs a copy of my grades before they will send my check for next semester.  How do I get that?
Depending on the requirements of your donor, you may print an unofficial transcript from your My Cat account.  If your donor requires an official transcript, you may request one at One Stop.


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