Graduate Students

Filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

The Application for Financial Aid (FAFSA) is the application for all federal and state financial aid. This application will need to be completed for every school year you plan you use financial aid. It is recommended that you wait two weeks after you submit your Federal Tax Return to the IRS before you complete the FAFSA. This way you can use the IRS data retrieval system to input your financial information onto the FAFSA.

Response from the Financial Aid Office when FAFSA is received:

  • Tracking Letter: If you receive a tracking letter it is because further information or a change in status is needed. A student who has not been admitted yet will receive this letter notifying them that an award letter will not be sent until they have been officially admitted. This letter will also be sent if the student is selected to provide tax documents and other verification materials before the file is complete. To reduce your chances of being selected for verification, you will want to use the IRS data retrieval system when completing your FAFSA.
  • Award Letter: This letter communicates the student’s eligibility levels for student loan borrowing and provides the instructions for students to follow to accept and process the loan(s). The Financial Aid Office will send you an email to your WSU email account when you can view your award letter online.  You can view your award letter and accept your Federal Direct Loan on the Student e-Services area of the website. Students should not begin any loan processing steps until they receive an award letter. WSU is not able to certify any loans until the student has been awarded.

Financial Aid Disbursement

As part of the Budget Control Act, starting with the 2012-2013 school year, graduate students will no longer be eligible to borrow a subsidized Federal Direct Loan. Graduate students can still borrow the unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan and the Federal Graduate PLUS loan. These loans still require that you complete the FAFSA application.

  1. Admission status must be as a regular graduate student seeking a degree. Grad special students are not eligible for federal loans and will be referred to alternative private loans.
  2. Enrollment is required at the level of 3 graduate credits for disbursement at a half time status and 6 graduate credits for full time status
  3. Completion of the loan processing steps
  4. Entrance counseling requirements have been met
  5. Direct deposit authorization was successful
  6. Meets satisfactory academic progress standards