The most important step in applying for financial aid is completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This needs to be done every year you attend school in order to be eligible for federal and state funding. The FAFSA can be completed at: fafsa.ed.gov. When filing the FAFSA application, search for Washington State University or enter WSU’s school code: 003800.
Students must apply for financial aid every year. FAFSA opens Oct. 1 for the following academic year.
After you apply for aid, be sure to frequently check your myWSU Tasks tile for Financial Aid To-Dos and check the status of your aid. For more information, visit the WSU Student Financial Services website at financialaid.wsu.edu.
Note for International Students: International students are not eligible for financial aid through WSU, and international students residing in the United States who have a visa status of F1, F2, J1, J2, or B2 may be limited in the number of credits in which they can enroll through WSU Online. Contact the International Programs office for more information, or 509-335-2541.
Stay Eligible: Keeping Your Financial Aid
Federal and state regulations require that students receiving federal and state financial aid make satisfactory academic progress toward the completion of their degree. Therefore, as a WSU student aid recipient, you must be in good academic standing and making acceptable progress in your degree program while meeting other financial aid eligibility criteria.
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is determined by several factors described in detail in WSU’s SAP Manual. These include grade point average, maximum time frame limits, and minimum credit hour requirements, among other factors.
For state aid recipients, your SAP compliance will be reviewed at the end of each term (fall, spring and summer). For federal aid recipients, this compliance review will only be conducted at the end of spring term.
You will be notified via email if you have not made satisfactory academic progress. If you receive financial aid and are subsequently determined to be SAP disqualified, your aid will be withdrawn. You will also be responsible for repaying the funds, unless a SAP Appeal is filed and approved.
It is important to note that all students are subject to the SAP Policy. Even if students have not been receiving financial aid in previous terms, they must be in compliance with the SAP Policy to receive aid in the future.
More information about SAP requirements can be found at the office of WSU Student Financial Services Satisfactory Academic Progress webpage.
Semester charges (tuition, course fees, etc.) are posted to students’ accounts approximately mid-July for fall semester, mid-December for spring semester, and 24-48 hours after you register for summer courses. The financial aid disbursement process starts the week before classes begin and runs nightly through the remainder of the semester. Students should make sure they have no outstanding to-do items; this can potentially hold up aid disbursement. First time loan borrowers must sign a Master Promissory Note and complete the Entrance Counseling in order for their federal loans to disburse, available at studentloans.gov.
Note: Due to constraints related to the disbursement of financial aid prior to the start of class, it’s recommended that students plan to pay for text books ahead of time and allow aid to reimburse them.
Financial aid will directly apply to tuition and any leftover financial aid will be given to the student as a refund to use for books, other educational expenses or living expenses. This refund will come in either a direct deposit (which the student has to set up) or a check. If Direct Deposit is set up by the student, funds will generally be available in their bank account within three business days after it appears on their WSU student account. Please remember that financial aid funds will not automatically apply to course fees or past charges unless the student sets up his/her financial aid to apply to all charges.
For quick instructional videos on how to set up direct deposit and authorize financial aid to pay all charges please visit financialaid.wsu.edu/Videos.
Students are awarded based on full-time enrollment (12 credits undergraduate, 10 credits graduate). If a student is enrolled at less than full-time, his/her grant funding will not disburse until after census day (the 10th day of classes). Depending on how many credits a student is enrolled in, grant funding may be prorated and adjusted to reflect this. Some grants and scholarships require full-time enrollment. If you plan to attend part-time, be sure to contact Student Financial Services to discuss what your aid package will look like.
Summer Session is a great way to get ahead in your academics, and it is important to keep in mind that the Summer Session is separate from all other terms and that the financial aid process is different as well. To be considered for summer financial aid a student needs to file a FAFSA application for that academic year and register for summer classes.
Once the student has registered for classes, Student Financial Services will send the student a notice to their WSU email when their award is available. Typically, federal financial aid for summer consists of Pell Grant and federal loans that a student may have qualified for during the academic year but did not accept or use. In other words, summer financial aid is the left over award monies the student did not use during their fall and spring terms. For more information please visit financialaid.wsu.edu/summer-session/.