Financial Aid Options for Wilkes University Students

Written by: Kristyn Pilgrim
Updated: 7/15/20

Wilkes University is a private, nondenominational university located in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. It is a highly ranked college, with about 2,500 undergraduate students across its 27-acre campus. As a small university, students receive personalized attention.

In addition to Wilkes University claiming 46 majors and a 94% job placement rate, 90% of the students receive financial aid. For the 2019-2020 school year, tuition was $35,814, with room and board totaling $15,108. 


The first thing students and parents need to do when exploring financial aid is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This can be filled out online, as well as on the Android or iOS app.

There are a few pieces of financial and personal information you need to complete the FAFSA. If you are considered dependent, you will need to provide your information and your parents’ information. If you aren’t sure if you are independent, these questions will help you to determine your status, such as when you were born, if you are married, if you are a veteran of the U.S. armed forces, and if you have any dependents.

Before filling out your FAFSA, have the following information available:

  • Your Social Security number
  • Your Alien Registration number (if you are not a U.S. citizen)
  • Records of money earned, including your federal income tax returns and W-2s
  • Records of investments and banks statements
  • Records of untaxed income
  • The ability to create an electronic signature 

Financial Aid Package 

Once you submit your FAFSA, you will receive an acknowledgment that your application was processed, which will also contain your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Your financial need will be calculated by determining the cost of attendance for your college or university (costs associated with attending, tuition, fees, books, supplies, room and board, transportation, personal expenses, and any other predicted miscellaneous expenses).

Wilkes University awards scholarships and grants first – both forms of free money – and then the different types of employment and loans in which the student qualifies for in a Financial Aid Award letter that the student can accept or reject. Some awards may require supplemental applications, but most are automatic.

After financial aid is used to take care of school charges, students can apply for book vouchers of up to $750 a semester. Each semester, they can request a book voucher to purchase books through the school’s Barnes & Noble bookstore. 

Undergraduate Students  

Several forms of financial aid are available to Wilkes University undergraduate students.

As of 2020, more than 96% of students at Wilkes University received some form of financial aid, with the majority of undergraduate students receiving between $14,000 and $21,000 in merit-based scholarships. Need-based grants are also available.

The 2020-2021 total direct cost of undergraduate attendance for those living on-campus is $54,287, $38,887 for commuters, and $38,887 for those living off-campus. There are also fees such as parking, laboratory, and course fees. 

Student Loans

Wilkes University participates in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program, where loans are given to students to cover the costs of a college education. Undergraduate students might be eligible for:

  • Direct Subsidized Loans: For eligible undergraduate students demonstrating financial need
  • Direct Unsubsidized Loans: For eligible students but demonstrating financial need is not necessary
  • Direct Consolidation Loans: The combination of eligible federal student loans into a single loan with a single loan servicer

Private student loans are an option for students needing aid beyond those already offered. 


Undergraduate students are eligible for:


Wilkes University encourages its students to participate in work-study programs to earn money to help pay for their education and related expenses while building their resumes.

Undergraduate students are eligible for:

  • The Federal Work-Study Program, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Education and Wilkes University, will employ students demonstrating financial need.
  • The University Student Employment Program, funded by Wilkes University, will employ students who do not necessarily demonstrate financial need.
  • The State Work-Study Program, funded by the state of Pennsylvania and administered by the PHEAA; students must be Pennsylvania residents with financial need and are placed in career-related or community-enrichment positions.
  • There are off-campus employment opportunities in the area. 


Undergraduate students are eligible for merit scholarships, out-of-state awards ($2,000 for freshmen residing outside of Pennsylvania), and the Blue & Gold Opportunity Grant ($8,000 for students not awarded a merit scholarship but who show potential).

Merit scholarships for 2020-2021 include:

  • Trustee Scholarship: $21,000
  • Presidential Scholarship: $19,000
  • Provost Scholarship: $16,000
  • Dean Scholarship: $14,000

Transfer scholarships include:

  • Transfer Merit Scholarship: $9,000 to $16,000
  • Out-of-State Award: $2,000
  • Blue & Gold Opportunity Grant: $4,500
  • Phi Theta Kappa Scholarship: $2,000
  • Economic Relief Award: $1,000 to $3,000 (for students who’ve been impacted by COVID-19)

Undergraduate students are also eligible for:

  • Leadership Scholarships: Typically for returning students and leaders of student organizations
  • Named Scholarships: Typically for returning students with varying requirements; these scholarships memorialize lost loved ones
  • Veterans Scholarships: For veterans, including the Yellow Ribbon program, the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and other resources
  • Air Force ROTC Scholarships: Based on merit and participation in the U.S. Air Force
  • Multicultural Service Scholarships: Typically for returning students who come from diverse cultural and economic backgrounds who contribute to community service activities on campus; financial need may be considered; renewable
  • Bierly Fellowship: Created to fund unique experiential learning outside of campus
  • Alumni Scholarships: A GPA of 3.0 or higher is needed; eligibility is based on at least one parent graduating from the school

Graduate Students

Wilkes University offers financial assistance to its graduate students, as well. Graduate students benefit from teaching positions, reimbursement from their employers, loans, scholarships, grants, and veterans assistance. But first, graduate students must fill out the FAFSA.

In addition to private loans, graduate students have the following financial assistance programs and opportunities:

  • Assistantships and counselorships are available to graduate students. There is a list of graduate assistant positions available.
  • Employer/company reimbursement allows for tuition deferment of up to 30 days after a course ends in the case an employer reimburses students for their tuition.
  • Student loans, such as the Direct Unsubsidized Student Loan and Grad PLUS Loan, are available for graduate students.
  • Scholarships and grants are also available for graduate students:
    • MacArthur Grants Human and Community Development
    • Spencer Foundation
    • Department of Homeland Security
    • Growth Everywhere Scholarship
    • The Neil Patel Scholarship Program
    • Doctoral Candidates – American Educational Resource Association
    • Government Finance Officers Association
    • National Institutes of Health
    • Doctors of Nursing Practice
    • The National GEM Consortium  
    • National Physical Science Consortium
    • The Paul & Daisy SOROS Fellowship for New Americans 
  • Yellow Ribbon Program benefits 

Study Abroad

For students participating in study abroad programs, there are additional resources available to help with the cost of unique international experiences.

Scholarships for study abroad include:

  • Stephens Scholarship – up to $5,000 per students, available to three students
  • Bierly Fellowship
  • Institutional Scholarships
  • National Scholarships:
    • CIEE Global Access Initiative (GAIN) Scholarship
    • The Gilman International Scholarship
    • Boren Scholarship
    • Freeman in Asia Scholarship
    • Bridging Japan Scholarships
    • Rhodes Scholarship
    • Fund for Education Abroad

This guide to financial assistance for Wilkes University students is just one of the ways that is here to guide you through the many financial decisions you’ll make as you begin your journey into higher education. Whether you are weighing your options for borrowing funds, learning about the best ways to pay back student loans, or comparing schools, can help with all of your college financial needs.