What is Financial Aid?


Financial aid is money provided to help bridge the gap between your own resources and the amount of money needed to pay for the cost of attending Winona State University.

Feel free to contact the WSU Financial Aid Office if you have any questions about how financial aid works, how to apply for financial aid and more.

What are the Types of Aid?


There are many different types of financial aid, and students often use a mix of financial aid programs to pay their tuition and living expenses.

Find the best financial aid resources for you:

Am I Eligible for Financial Aid?


Most likely yes! In fact, 80% of WSU students qualify for some form of financial aid.

To receive federal or institutional funds from the WSU Financial Aid Office, you must meet these basic criteria:

  • You must have a high school diploma (or equivalent)
  • Be enrolled as a regular student (e.g. not special admit, or audit) in a degree-granting program
  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen
  • Be making satisfactory academic progress toward completion of your degree
  • You must not owe a refund on any federal grant
  • Not be in default on any student loan previously received
  • Be registered with the Selective Service and the INS if required by law to do so
  • You must not have been rendered ineligible for federal aid as a result of a drug conviction

Suspected cases of fraud or abuse will be reported to the U.S. Office of Inspector General. Scholarships and private loans may have other eligibility criteria.

How is Financial Aid Calculated?


The WSU Financial Aid Office uses this formula to calculate your financial aid.

Estimated Cost of Attendance - Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) from your FAFSA = Financial Need

Your level of financial need determines how much money you can be awarded through various aid programs. WSU tries to meet that need through need-based aid programs such as grants and scholarships.

If you have remaining need, you’ll be offered one or more of the following programs to cover costs:

  • Federal Work Study
  • State Work-Study
  • Federal Direct Loan

WSU’s estimated budget is based on the Estimated Cost of Attendance and includes tuition, fees, laptop, housing, food, books and supplies, transportation and personal expenses for one academic year (9 months).


Estimate Your Financial Aid

Answer a few questions to estimate your financial aid award

You can also use the Net Price Calculator to estimate typical expenses and how much financial aid you may be able to receive.

What is the timeline for Financial Aid?


The Financial Aid process has several steps and can take months before you receive your funds for Fall semester.

In general, you want to complete the FAFSA as soon as possible after Oct. 1 of the year before you plan to go to college. Be sure to complete any follow-up paperwork needed—ideally by Nov. or Dec.

Over the spring, the Financial Aid office will process your FAFSA. In May you’ll get an estimated financial aid award, then a final total around June or July.

Once you accept your funds, the money is disbursed to your student account around August or September in order to pay your tuition bill.

This timeline will vary depending on when you complete the FAFSA. Here’s a more detailed look at the financial aid timeline:

Student's Rights and Responsibilities


Going to college is likely your first major step as an adult. Even though you might not feel like a real adult yet, you are making financial decisions that will greatly affect your life for years to come.

There’s no need to be scared. Just take the time to understand your rights and responsibilities as a student when it comes to paying for your education.

You have the right to know:
  • The cost of attendance.
  • The refund policy for students who withdraw.
  • What financial assistance is available from federal, state, and institutional sources.
  • Procedures and deadlines for submitting applications for financial aid.
  • How financial aid recipients are selected.
  • How your eligibility was determined, including all resources the aid office considered available to you.
  • How and when funds will be disbursed to you.
  • An explanation of each type of award you receive.
  • For any student loan you receive: the interest rate, total amount you must repay, when your repayment begins, the length of your repayment period, and the cancellation or deferment provision of your loan.
  • For any Work-Study job: a description of the job, the hours you must work, the rate of pay, and how and when you will be paid.
  • The criteria used to determine satisfactory academic progress for financial aid purposes.
It is Your Responsibility to: 

  • Read directions thoroughly, complete all application forms accurately, and to comply with any deadlines.
  • Provide any supplemental information or documentation required by the office of financial aid or other agency if applicable.
  • Read, understand, and keep copies of any forms you are required to sign.
  • Repay any student loans you may receive.
  • Complete entrance and exit interviews on the web as required if you receive student loans while in attendance at Winona State.
  • Notify the office of financial aid of any changes in your enrollment status or financial status (including any scholarships or grants received from outside sources). Changes of address and enrollment status must also be reported to your lender if you have a loan.
  • Satisfactorily perform the work agreed upon in a Work-Study job.
  • Know and comply with all requirements for continuation of financial aid, including satisfactory academic progress requirements.