FAQs for Gateway

Please note that Gateway now applies only to upperclassmen.  Freshmen, new transfer students, and prospective students should all refer to the William & Mary Promise site.

Eligibility Questions
Student Contribution Questions
Costs Covered By Gateway Questions

Do I need to complete a special application in order to be considered for Gateway William & Mary?
No. All students  entering in the Fall who submit an undergraduate application to the Office of Admission by January 1 and a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) along with the CSS Profile that specify William & Mary's school codes  (FAFSA - 003705 and Profile - 5115) by March 1 will be considered.  Students entering in the Spring must submit an undergraduate application for the Office of Admission, the FAFSA with W&M's federal school code, and the Profile with W&M's school code by November 15 to be considered.  No special application is necessary.

Does the Gateway grant automatically renew for all four years of undergraduate education?
As with all need-based financial aid packages awarded by the College, annual review of a family's financial circumstances may result in more or less aid, depending on the assessed need.

How do I retain this award for future years?
We base Gateway William & Mary eligibility on your having a family income, including taxable and nontaxable money, of less than $40,000 and meeting our March 15 FAFSA filing deadline for returning students. 

Eligibility Questions

What are the criteria for eligibility?
Virginia students whose total family income is less than $40,000 per year may qualify for a Gateway grant that covers all unmet financial need up to the full cost of education. Where federal or private loans previously would have been necessary in order to finance an education, the Gateway grant will eliminate the need to assume any debt.

Do I need to be full-time to receive Gateway funding?
Yes, you do have to be full-time unless otherwise approved by the Financial Aid Office.

Am I eligible for Gateway funding as a transfer student?
No.  Transfer students are not eligible for Gateway.

Am I eligible for Gateway funding as a Flextrack student?
No.  Transfer students are not eligible for Gateway.

How long can I receive Gateway funding?
As with all College grant funds, your eligibility is restricted to eight regular semesters. If you need a ninth or tenth semester, you will be awarded only loans, and, if you are eligible, a Pell Grant.

What if my family income goes over $40,000?
We understand that you will have increases in earnings from year to year and may go over this level. As long as the rise is fairly small and in line with inflationary changes, i.e. 3-4% per year currently, you will continue to receive the Gateway award. If the increase is larger than this amount, your aid will be the same as other needy Virginians, who receive some of their aid in loan rather than all grants.

What if my domicile (residency) status changes to non-Virginian?
You must be a Virginia resident to be eligible for the Gateway program.

If I do not receive Gateway during my first year of attendance, can I get it in subsequent years?
No.  You must be awarded with Gateway during your first year at the College in order to have it as a continuing student. 

Student Contribution Questions
Do qualifying families have to make any contribution toward the cost of the students’ education?

That depends. In cases where the family income level is especially low, no family contribution will be required to cover the costs of attending William and Mary. In other instances, based on the information provided on the FAFSA, some contribution will be required of the family.

If all of my need is met with grant, why do I have any loan eligibility listed?
In many cases, Gateway students will have a very low expected family contribution and will not have any loan eligibility. In some cases, however, your expected contribution will result in an Unsubsidized Direct Stafford Loan being part of your offer. You may, if you wish, borrow that amount through the offered loans so that your total cost, not only your demonstrated financial need, can be met. The Financial Aid Office has further information on student loans. If you want us to send you a copy of the Financial Aid Guide, please email us at aid@wm.edu or give us a call.

What happens if I receive outside scholarship money?
Your full financial need has been met through the Gateway program. Any additional outside money will reduce your Gateway grant dollar for dollar.

Am I eligible to work on campus?
Absolutely! Please contact this office close to the start of the semester if you are having trouble finding employment on campus. Please make sure that your total employment hours do not exceed 10-15 hours per week. Read more about student employment.

Costs Covered by Gateway

The annual cost for tuition, fees, room, and board for Virginia students can be found at the Student Accounts Office. These expenses, as well as allowances for books, transportation, and personal items, are covered by Gateway.

Are room & board covered for qualifying students?
Yes. All incoming freshmen are required to live on campus in order to experience directly the benefits of an academic residential community. A majority of upper class students also live on campus, and the cost of housing and meal plans will be factored into the final award. 

Budgeted costs are based on weighted averages for room and the most common meal plan.  If your room & board costs exceed the amount in your listed Cost of Attendance in Banner Self-Service, your refund will be reduced accordingly.  We do not provide budget increases for more expensive housing and/or meal plans.

How do I pay for my books and other supplies?
In most cases, you will be eligible for a refund to help with your books and living expenses. When you arrive on campus, you should visit Student Accounts on the first floor of Blow Mem. Hall to move up to $500 of your refund to your WMExpress Card.  There are no direct-billed bookstore charges; if you want to use your financial aid to pay for books & supplies, you must transfer funds to your WMExpress Card.  Your remaining refund will be provided as a check mailed to your CSU box or listed local address or by direct deposit.  Student Accounts has until the end of add/drop to process your refund.  Please contact Student Accounts directly (757-221-1220 or [[bursar]]) if you need a refund before then.  Please keep in mind that any funds you put on your WMExpress Card cannot be taken off later; be sure to transfer only what you know you can use.

If your costs for books & supplies exceed the amount listed in your Cost of Attendance in Banner Self-Service, you may submit a request for a budget request to your counselor.  We do require copies of receipts.  The budget increase will be covered by a Direct Subsidized Loan only, not additional grant.

Is Gateway funding available for summer school?
No, we do not provide any grant money during the summer. Student loans and/or the Parent PLUS Loan will be available for you.

Can I receive Gateway funding if I study abroad?
Yes, you can receive grant money up to the amount it would cost you to attend W&M for that semester. If the abroad program costs more, you can borrow the additional expense through student loans or PLUS.

I need a laptop; how can I cover that cost?
We will be able to offer a Subsidized Direct Stafford Loan to cover that cost.  Please contact your counselor for further information.

What if I have to withdraw during a semester?
As an aid recipient, you may receive a refund after your direct College charges have been paid. The money that you receive is designed to cover the whole semester. If you decide to withdraw during the semester, you may owe the College some of the refund that you have received. Please contact your financial aid counselor before making a withdrawal decision.  The only time to withdraw without a penalty is during the first week of the semester.

Where can more information about how to apply for admission be found?
Call the Office of Undergraduate Admission at (757) 221-4223, toll-free at (877) 321-4892 or visit their website.

Where can more information about financial aid be found, and where should questions specific to an individual family’s financial circumstances be directed?

Call the Office of Financial Aid at (757) 221-2420, or review our website.