Fall 2023 Newsletter

About Us
Shocker Financial Wellness
Shocker Promise Academy
Give Something Back
Scholarship Updates
Advising Pro-Tip: Financial Aid & Drops/Withdrawals
FAFSA Launch 2024-25
Financial Aid Day
Student Impact

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Through a mission focused on access, affordability, and support, the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships is dedicated to assisting Shockers through the entire student life cycle.

The financial aid programs at Wichita State are focused on preserving student access to a quality college education through need-based aid, recruiting academically talented students through merit-based aid, and supporting our University's recruitment and retention efforts.

Our office works in tandem with partners across campus to support students at every stage of their educational journey. Financial aid is about changing the future for WSU students and the future generations of those students' families for the greater good.

Financial Aid & Scholarships wrapped up the 2022-2023 academic year with a whopping grand total of $110 million in paid financial aid and scholarships to more than 10,000 students! Over $30 million was provided in need-based gift aid to more than 5,000 students.

Now, just two months into 2023-2024, we’ve already paid over $51 million to over 9,000 students, with additional disbursements expected in the spring and summer terms. It’s shaping up to be another great year as we help students unlock every dollar in federal, state, university, and external funds to provide access and affordability to a Wichita State education!


photo of Sheelu Surender, executive director of the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships     Sheelu Surender      
     Executive Director     
     Financial Aid & Scholarships




Decorative header for Shocker Financial Wellness on yellow background with piggy banks

This fall, Wichita State launched Shocker Financial Wellness in the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships! Shocker Financial Wellness serves to prepare students financially before taking their next steps off campus. Many students have little to no financial experience after graduation. It can take five to seven years for graduates to build credit, make sound money habits, and invest in their futures.

Our workshops and peer advising intend to connect students with tools and resources to learn about budgeting, money management, responsible borrowing, credit, and more. Students can interact with educators, attend upcoming events, and/or schedule an individual coaching appointment to start tackling their finances. 

Peer Mentors Available for Appointments: 
Ainsley Gallagher 
Brayden Copp

Shocker Financial Wellness

Decorative header for Shocker Promise Academy with pictures of all participants and mentors

On Aug. 7-11, our office welcomed 50 incoming Shockers to campus for the second year of Shocker Promise Academy (SPA). Shocker Promise Academy is a week-long orientation program geared toward the deeper exploration and utilization of resources on campus to ensure a successful first year at WSU. As part of the program, each student will continue their mentorship through a Promise Circle of four to five other scholars led by an SPA peer mentor. The Promise Circles serves as an accountability group and a space where students can relate with others going through a similar journey throughout their first year at WSU. Our 12 SPA peer mentors are successful continuing Shocker Promise scholars who have previously attended Shocker Promise Academy.
This program is exclusively designed to provide additional support to Sedgwick County Shocker Promise Scholars. The Shocker Promise Scholarship was created for incoming freshmen who come from limited-income families in Kansas. This scholarship fills the gap remaining in a student’s tuition and fees after applying other gift aid, scholarships, and grants to allow students to attend WSU without financial constraints. Our office would like to give a special thank you to Dr. Bobby Berry for teaching his “Ready, Set, Lead” course throughout the week. In addition, we would like to give a special shoutout to Terrance Williams and Janae Tunley for planning and coordinating this program.
SPA Mentors:
Nakyia Pierce, Amani Alsheikh, Damian Esparza-Aranda, Jose Michel, Derek Perry, Zainab Khan, Rosalba Dela Rosa-rubio, Kendah Ballout, Carlos Sosa, Thuy Nguyen, Itzel Sanchez, Joana Vazquez.

Students on SPA:

“Shocker Promise Academy gave me hope and showed college from a different perspective.” - Aaron Hill
“I made connections through the academy that helped me transition smoothly to WSU."

- Rachel Shaner
“I was able to learn about all the great resources I have at my disposal at WSU."

- Nabil Rahman
“Shocker Promise connected me with many students and staff members, which has helped during the transition from high school to college.” - Desiree Renteria
“I like the program and the amount of resources they give out to students. They have helped me a lot as I navigate my first semester of college like knowing where and who to talk about what I need.” - Alice Ukoha

Shocker Promise

Picture of Give Back Scholars and staff

Photo of a student speaking at theansas Give Back 20th Anniversary Celebration Photo of a student speaking at theansas Give Back 20th Anniversary Celebration

Since 2017 a $1 million donation from Give Something Back, Inc. (Give Back) has benefited more than 40 students to attend Wichita State to date. This fall we are proudly serving our fourth cohort of Give Back Scholars!

The goal of our partnership with Give Back is to provide resources and expertise to first-generation students who have selected WSU as their Kansas school of choice. Each recipient receives a combination of scholarships and federal and/or state grants to cover tuition, fees, on-campus housing and meals for four years to successfully earn a degree, while accumulating little to no debt.

In September, Dr. Shirley Lafever, Dr. Keith Pickus and Sheelu Surender attended the Kansas Give Back 20th Anniversary Celebration at the Eugene M. Hughes Metropolitan Complex. Students, their family and friends, mentors, partner schools and Give Back leadership joined together to celebrate 20 years of serving students of adverse childhood experiences to long-term success in a safe, caring, and supportive community.

Bob Carr, founder, started Give Back to share his accomplishments for the small gift that had been given for his own college education. His generosity continues to “give back” to thousands of students throughout the nation who have received this scholarship.

Wichita State junior, Aunisti Swan and sophomore, Tania Molina were both selected as student speakers for the event. Both delivered powerful and moving stories of the impact the scholarship has already made in their life. Each spoke of how they benefited from the college-prep and mentoring since being selected in high school, and how their dream to attend college at Wichita State University would not have been possible without this scholarship.

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Freshman Scholarship Awarding has begun!
The first group of incoming freshmen scholarships have been awarded with great excitement! Over $5 million in merit scholarships have been offered to date - and we’re just getting started!
No ACT/SAT – No Problem!
With the changing landscape of university admissions policies no longer requiring national test scores, we wanted to provide our incoming freshmen students with scholarship options they didn’t have before. We now offer the University Academic Scholarship based on GPA alone. Scholarship amounts will vary based on the strength of the scores. Students who take the ACT/SAT and have qualifying test scores are considered for Freshman Merit Scholarships. Awards can range from $4,000 to $24,000 over four years.


The Distinguished Scholarship Invitational (DSI) will be held on Saturday, Nov. 18. Three $64,000 Harry Gore Memorial Scholarships are awarded through the DSI process to high school seniors attending Wichita State in fall 2024! Additional scholarships are also provided to the finalists and semi-finalists. More information on how to apply by the Nov. 1, 2023 deadline is available at wichita.edu/dsi.
Get the word out to every high school senior you know so they don't miss out on FREE money for college. The admission deadline for merit scholarship consideration is Dec. 1, 2023. 

Scholarship Info

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The Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships (OFA) monitors enrollment levels (number of credit hours attempted) each term. If a student drops and/or withdraws from a course or courses and falls below the minimum credit hour requirements, they may be required to repay all or part of the aid they received.
Students may also be subject to Documentation of Attendance, the Federal Return of Title IV Funds policy, and the immediate repayment of disbursed aid. Financial aid staff rely on instructors to assist in documenting if students began attendance or otherwise engaged academically in the withdrawn courses. 
Dropping or withdrawing from courses can also affect a student’s future eligibility for financial aid under the OFA Satisfactory Academic Progress standards.
Advising Pro-Tip: Before dropping or withdrawing from a course, students should discuss their situation with a financial aid advisor to review the Documentation of Attendance and Return of Title IV Funds Policies as they relate to their circumstances and financial aid. Students can schedule an appointment at wichita.edu/finaidappt.

Dropping Courses with Financial Aid FAQs: wichita.edu/FinaidDrop
Tips for Advising Students with Financial Aid: wichita.edu/FinaidForAdvisors

Decorative header for FAFSA Launch 2024-2025

There are major changes and improvements coming to the 2024-25 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. As a result, the new form will be available in December 2023, not the usual October 1 date. The launch date will apply only for the 2024-25 FAFSA form.

The changes to the FAFSA form for the 2024-25 aid year include:

  • Expanded eligibility for federal student aid
  • A more streamlined application process


Decorative header for Financial Aid Day - staff holding decorative Shocker-themed money

On Oct. 18, the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships celebrated National Financial Aid Day with an Open House. We opened our doors to over 50 Shockers as they enjoyed music, raffles, Financial Wellness T-shirts, and more. Students had the opportunity to meet the staff and learn about the resources available to them.

Financial Aid Day celebrates and recognizes the contribution of all financial aid professionals across the U.S. who help students make their college dreams a reality. We proudly serve the students at WSU and can't wait for Financial Aid Day 2024!

Decorative header for Student Impact Activities

Student Impact has kept busy engaging with current and potential Shockers! From Wu’s Cash Cab during the first week of school to road shows with Admissions, our advisors happily share their expertise and knowledge. 
As of late, we have made it a priority to present during campus visits and at local high schools. Since August, we have participated in over 38 presentations and tabling events. 

Some important deadlines and upcoming events include:

  • General Scholarship Application for New and Continuing Students: Opens Nov. 1. on ScholarshipUniverse.
  • Campus Visits with Andover & KCK High Schools on Oct. 30
  • 2024-25 FAFSA: Available December 2023

Follow us on social media to stay updated and to know more about the FAFSA launch date! Instagram: @wichitastatefinaid