Award Letter Information

The following section provides students with valuable information on how awards are calculated and disbursed.  It is best to read this section after you have filed the FAFSA for 2017-2018, and have received your financial aid award letter.  You can view your award letter online under eServices.

Your have applied for financial aid by completing your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and possibly completing the verification process (when the Department of Education selects some applications to verify accuracy of their information reported). 

You have received your award letter, but what does it really mean? Have you been offered grants and scholarships, or will you need to borrow and pay back loans too?

 

Next Steps

Your award letter is not a bill. Your award letter indicates the maximum eligibility you can receive/apply for in the various types of aid.
  • Your actual bill with Winona State once available can be viewed on your Winona State eServices page (www.winona.edu; “Resources,” "eServices," login, “Bills and Payments” tab)
  • Your award letter is based upon your financial need (see “How was my need determined” and “How was my award letter determined”) and our “Cost of Attendance.” Click on the “Cost of Attendance” link for further information. Use the “Cost of Attendance” only as a guide to help you determine how much of your award on your award letter you really need to apply for.
  • Now that you have been awarded (we award assuming students are full time – 12 credits for undergraduates and 6 credits for graduates (exception: MN state grant views 15 credits as a full time student)), please review the various types of aid.

    If you are not a full-time student and would like your award letter revised to reflect the actual number of credits you are taking, please contact our financial aid office by phone at 507.457.5090 or by email at financialaid@winona.edu. We would need to know how many credits you are taking.
The Financial Aid Office assumes you want to receive grants and scholarships since they are considered gift aid and do not have to be repaid, so we have already accepted these awards for you. These awards disburse based upon the number of credits you are enrolled for at disbursement.

Further action is needed however for the loans. The award letter lets you know your eligibility, but the application process still needs to be completed. The loans are not automatically processed for you.

 

Note: Continuing students will not be mailed their award letter. They will receive an email notification through their WSU email account once they have been awarded, and they will be directed to their student e-services page to view their award letter online.

The following are the various types of financial aid you may see on your award letter.

Grants

  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal SEOG Grant
  • Federal Teach Grant
  • Minnesota State Grant
  • Minnesota Child Care Grant Program
  • Minnesota G.I. Bill

 

Scholarships

  • Presidential Honor Scholarship
  • Academic Achievement Scholarship
  • Outside Scholarships – if you are receiving an outside scholarship and it is not shown on your award letter, please notify our Financial Aid Office by sending us a copy of the award notification you received from the source. You may email, fax, or mail the notification. Our email address is financialaid@winona.edu, our fax number is 507.457.5628, and our mailing address is Winona State Financial Aid Office, P.O. Box 5838, Maxwell Hall, Winona, MN 55987.
  • WSU Foundation Scholarship - if you are supposed to receive a WSU Foundation Scholarship, and it does not appear on your financial aid award letter, please contact our financial aid office at 507.457.5090. Visit the foundation scholarship page for more information. 

 

Loans

  • Federal Direct Loans (Subsidized and Unsubsidized)
  • Federal Perkins Loan
  • Optional Alternative Loans (“Opt. Loan Limit”) which includes Federal PLUS Loan (parent loan) as an option.
Your demonstrated financial need is determined by a financial analysis through the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).

Your need is simply the difference between the projected student and/or parent contribution. This dollar amount is based on a number of factors, including:
  • income
  • assets
  • household size
  • number immediate family members in college
  • the projected cost of attendance for the period for which you are applying for aid
 In short, it's this formula: Cost of Attendance – Estimated family contribution = Financial Need.

Once we have determined your demonstrated financial need, we attempt to meet as much of that need as possible from the need based aid programs available. First, we consider any Federal Pell Grant and/or Minnesota State Grant, Federal SEOG, institutional or other outside gift assistance you may be eligible for. 

We subtract your gift assistance from your calculated need. If you have remaining need, we complete the package using one or more of the following programs: Federal or State Work-Study, Federal Perkins Loan, or the Federal Direct Loan. 

Grants and scholarships are considered gift aid, meaning this is aid that does not have to be paid back. Therefore, we assume you want to receive grants and scholarships listed on your award letter, so we have already accepted these awards for you. There is no further action you need to take to obtain these types of aid. 

These awards will disburse based upon the number of credits for which you are enrolled. If you are not a full-time student (12 credits for an undergraduate and 6 credits for a graduate), you can contact our financial aid office with questions on how much and if this aid will disburse based upon the number of credits for which you will be enrolled. 

Federal Direct Loans

  • Log into Student e-Services
  • Under Financial Aid Award, click on Loans
  • You will see 5 tabs at the top of the screen
  • The first tab, Loan Period, make sure that you have the correct award year. (Example: If you are attending the 2017-2018 academic year, Fall 2017 and/or Spring 2018, the award year would be 2018). On the second tab, Pre-Requirements, if you have borrowed previously, it will tell you that you have fulfilled these requirements, green check marks. If you are a first time borrower, it will tell you that you will need to do entrance counseling and the Master Promissory Note (MPN), red “x”s, and a link to the Federal Student Aid | Student Loan website. It can take up to three business days for this tab to update that you have completed these requirements.
  • On the third tab, Loan Application, you will need to select how much of the loan that you want.
  • The fourth tab, Submission, you will need to read the information and submit your loan request. It takes a few seconds for the submission to go through.
  • The fifth tab, Loan Status, is where you can track the status of your loan. Right after you submit your loan request your loan status will say processing. It will continue to say processing until the loan is certified.
  • Winona State will then certify and disburse your loan onto your student account. It can take several weeks for your loan to certify, so please complete the process right away.

Perkins Loan

First time Perkins loan borrowers at WSU must complete a Perkins loan promissory note and entrance counseling. You should receive an email from ECSI, our servicer of the Perkins loan, directly you to complete the Promissory note and Entrance Interview.

  • The Federal Perkins Loan promissory note is available to sign electronically at the ECSI website. This is a multi-year promissory note to be completed one time for all years of participation in the WSU Federal Perkins Loan program.
  • The Federally required Federal Perkins Loan entrance interview is available to complete at the ECSI website. The entrance interview is completed one time as the start of Federal Perkins Loan borrowing.
  • When a student is no longer enrolled at WSU ECSI makes Federal Perkins Loan repayment arrangements and Federal Perkins Loan payments are made to ECSI.

Optional Alternative Loans

Instructions on Applying for an Optional Student Loan


How to apply for a MN SELF Loan

  • Visit the MN SELF Loan Website. This link will take you to the MN Office of Higher Education website where you can apply for the SELF loan.
  • This loan is open to MN residents and nonresidents attending Winona State University.
  • You must have a credit worthy co-signer to borrow from this loan.
  • Quarterly interest payments are required while you are in school.
  • You must be accepted into a degree granting program prior to borrowing. (If you completed a Graduate Special application or an Additional Major application, you are not officially accepted into a degree seeking program.)
  • Follow the instructions on their website to complete the MN SELF Loan process.

 

How to apply for a Private Educational Loan

  • Visit the Private Educational Loan website. This link will take you to the FASTChoice website.
  • You can learn more about private educational loans by completing borrowing essentials. It is not required that you complete borrowing essentials to borrow from a private educational loan. You can skip right to the private loan lender list by clicking on "I've already completed Borrowing Essentials".
  • You can compare summary information about each loan listed.
  • If you are interested in a specific loan, click "Apply" to visit that lender's application website.

 

How to apply for a Federal Parent PLUS Loan

  • Visit the Federal Parent PLUS loan website. This will take you to the Federal Student Aid | Student Loan website
  • The parent taking out the loan must sign in under their social security number and federal pin number in order to complete the processing for this loan.
  • First time PLUS loan borrowers will need to complete the Request a PLUS Loan and a Master Promissory Note.
  • Continuing borrowers for the same student will only need to complete the Request a PLUS Loan. You must have a separate promissory note and loan request for each student you are borrowing for.
  • The student must have a current year FAFSA completed before taking out this loan. If you are denied this loan please contact the Financial Aid Office.

 

Grants and Scholarships

Grants and scholarships are considered gift aid, meaning this is aid that does not have to be paid back. Therefore, we assume you want to receive grants and scholarships listed on your award letter, so we have already accepted these awards for you. 

These awards will disburse based upon the number of credits for which you are enrolled. If you are not a full-time student (12 credits for an undergraduate and 6 credits for a graduate), you can contact our financial aid office with questions on how much and if this aid will disburse based upon the number of credits for which you will be enrolled.


Federal Direct Loans, Federal PLUS Loans, MN Self Loans, Work Study

  • Federal loans must be certified by WSU by the last day of the semester the loan is for. Please complete all of your necessary steps prior to the end of the semester, to allow for sufficient loan processing time.
  • Federal Direct loans (Subsidized and Unsubsidized), Federal PLUS loan, and MN SELF loan funds are sent by the lender to WSU for delivery to the borrower. Once Winona State receives the funds, we apply them first to your Winona State bill. Once your bill is paid in full and if there is an overage in aid, the overage amount will then get direct deposited back to you usually within 1-3 business days. Please make sure you have a direct deposit account set up with Winona State.
  • Direct loan funds can only be held for 3 days. You must notify the Financial Aid Office if you will be late registering so that your loan funds are not returned and your loan cancelled.
  • You must be at least half time to be eligible to receive Federal or MN state loans and work study (6 credits for undergraduate students and 3 graduate credits for students admitted to a graduate program). Students who have Federal or State work study positions receive their bi-weekly paychecks through direct deposit to their personal bank account. Work study funds are not deducted from the student’s bill directly upfront or as they earn the money. This money earned is direct deposited to the student directly, and they can choose to take that money and pay towards any amount they might still owe Winona State or they can use it for any of their other personal expenses.
  • You have the right to cancel all or a portion of a student loan any time within 14 days from the date of the disbursement. You may return any funds you do not wish to accept by returning that portion to the loan servicer directly or you may request that Winona State University cancel some or all of the loan and return the funds on your behalf.


Optional Alternative Loans

Optional Alternative Loans help bridge the gap between the cost of your education and the limited amount the government allows you to borrow in its loan programs. Federal education loans are less expensive than and offer better terms than optional alternative loans. You should exhaust your eligibility for federal student loans before borrowing from an alternative loan.

Most of the optional alternative loan funds are sent electronically by the lender to WSU for delivery to the borrower. Occasionally WSU might still receive a paper check from a lender, but this is uncommon. If a check is received, the student will be notified so that they can come in to endorse the check. Your lender should notify you of your disbursal date (when the lender will release the funds to WSU). Please contact the lender if you are wondering when the funds will be released.


Third Party Billing / Tuition Payment Procedures

If you are receiving financial assistance from a third party agency (Department of Vocational Rehabilitation, Job Service, Private Industry Council, etc.) you need to provide the Student Accounts Office with an authorization to bill your agency for tuition, fees, books, etc. Billing to your agency does not occur until approximately three weeks into the semester, and actual payment may not be received until three to four weeks after your agency is billed. 

Any other financial aid such as loans, grants, or scholarships will be applied to your account at their scheduled time. When your agency's payment is received your account will be adjusted if your financial aid and third party billing exceeds what you owe WSU. WSU will then direct deposit the difference into your bank account. Third party funding could affect your other financial aid. Please notify the Financial Aid Office if you will be receiving funds from an outside agency.

Questions Regarding this process should be directed to 507.457.5075

Fall Semester 2017

Classes Begin: Aug.21, 2017
Fall Tuition Due: Aug. 25, 2017
Financial Aid Disbursement: Sept. 1, 2017

 

  • Fall semester classes begin on Monday Aug. 21, 2017.
  • Payment for fall semester classes is due by Friday Aug. 25, 2017, unless WSU has received a valid 2017-2018 FAFSA by Aug. 25, 2017.
  • Financial aid disbursement begins on Friday Sept. 1, 2017. Please note we disburse financial aid each day after the first disbursement date. Your actual disbursement date depends on when you applied for your aid and if we have received the funds yet for you. If you have applied for an optional alternative loan, a loan through a private lender, please allow 3-4 weeks for this loan to fully process. Check with your lender for your scheduled disbursement date (when the lender plans to release the funds to WSU).
  • Once a student’s WSU bill is paid (Charges for tuition, fees, and residence hall housing) and if there is an overage in aid, it can take up to three business days for banks to deposit student account credit balances into your personal bank account. Please make sure you have a direct deposit account set up with Winona State. To set up your direct deposit, please go to your student e-services page, (www.winona.edu; “Resources,” “Find a Course,” once logged in, click on “Financial Aid” and then “Direct Deposit Setup.”)
  • If aid is applied to your bill and there is still an amount owed, you should be prepared to pay that amount with a personal check or other funds. You may also want to look into the optional alternative loans if all other aid has been used. You may also want to review the extended payment plan option our Winona State Student Accounts/Billing Office offers
  • You should be prepared to pay for books, supplies, and personal expenses from personal funds until financial aid disburses each semester. Bookstore loans through our WSU bookstore are available for a limited time at the beginning of each semester.

 


Spring Semester 2018

 

  • Classes Begin: Jan. 8, 2018
  • Spring Tuition Due: Jan. 12, 2018
  • Financial Aid Disbursement: Jan. 19, 2018
  • Payment for spring semester classes is due by Friday Jan. 12, 2018, unless WSU has received a valid 2017-2018 FAFSA by Jan. 12, 2018.
  • Financial aid disbursement begins on Friday Jan. 19, 2018. Please note we disburse financial aid each day after the first disbursement date. Your actual disbursement date depends on when you applied for your aid and if we have received the funds yet for you. If you have applied for an optional alternative loan, a loan through a private lender, please allow 3-4 weeks for this loan to fully process. Check with your lender for your scheduled disbursement date (when the lender plans to release the funds to WSU).
  • Once a student’s WSU bill is paid (Charges for tuition, fees, and residence hall housing) and if there is an overage in aid, it can take up to three business days for banks to deposit student account credit balances into your personal bank account. Please make sure you have a direct deposit account set up with Winona State. To set up your direct deposit, please go to your student e-services page
  • (www.winona.edu; “Resources,” “Find a Course,” once logged in, click on “Financial Aid” and then “Direct Deposit Setup.”)
  • If aid is applied to your bill and there is still an amount owed, you should be prepared to pay that amount with a personal check or other funds. You may also want to look into the optional alternative loans if all other aid has been used. You may also want to review the extended payment plan option our Winona State Student Accounts/Billing Office offers - http://www.winona.edu/billing/paymentprocedures.asp
  • You should be prepared to pay for books, supplies, and personal expenses from personal funds until financial aid disburses each semester. Bookstore loans through our WSU bookstore are available for a limited time at the beginning of each semester.

 

 

Please check the accuracy of all pre-printed information on your award letter and make any necessary corrections. Please contact the financial aid office at 507.457.5090 or FinancialAid@winona.edu if you are not going to be a full-time student and would like your award letter revised to reflect your actual enrollment.

All awards are subject to change based on the availability of funds. They may also change due to assistance you may receive from other sources such as private scholarships.

If you will be receiving funding from another source that is not shown in your award letter, please e-mail the Financial Aid Office at FinancialAid@winona.edu, fax us at 507.457.5628, or send us a copy of the award notification you receive from the source, Winona State Financial Aid Office, P.O. Box 5838, Maxwell Hall, Winona, MN 55987.

Awards are estimated and are based on the information available to us at the time of awarding. Your awards may be adjusted at the time of disbursement, and you will be notified of any changes on your online billing statement.

Students receiving financial aid must be in good academic standing and must maintain satisfactory progress.

Students should discuss with a Financial Aid Counselor how their aid will be affected if you drop classes or withdraw. If you plan to withdraw from all of your courses, you may wish to review the “Withdrawing from all courses” link.

If you have special circumstances as to your complete withdrawal, you may want to review the “Academic Appeals” and contact the Registrar’s office at 507.457.2800. If you are doing a complete withdrawal from WSU, you will want to also contact Student Accounts at 507.457.5076 to discuss the possible effects on your student bill and your financial aid.

Please notify the Financial Aid Office when you change the degree you are seeking.

 

 

Note: If you have any questions regarding your financial aid, please contact our financial aid office at 507.457.5090 or FinancialAid@winona.edu.

Also, you can schedule an appointment with one of our financial aid counselors to discuss any questions you might have. To make an appointment please call 507.457.5090 or stop by the Warrior Hub, second floor of Maxwell Hall.