Understanding Your Award

Financial aid helps you pay for college by covering the gap between your own resources and the cost of attending WSU-Rochester. The financial assistance covers educational expenses such as tuition, university fees, books and other supplies.


Types of Financial Aid

There are several types of financial aid, including loans, grants, scholarships and work study. Your financial aid award may include a combination of these different types.

Gift Aid

Scholarships, grants, and other assistance, such as a tuition waivers, are forms of gift aid. You do not have to repay it or work for it. Gift aid is often awarded based on certain criteria such as demonstrated financial need, academic achievement, minority status or other type of merit.


Loans are sources of funding that spread the cost of education out over time. Loans must be repaid, though if you stay enrolled at least half-time, payments are not required until after you graduate. The loans offered in your financial aid awards are available from either the federal or state government.

If your student loan is based on need, it is subsidized. This means you do not have to pay any interest while you are in college. However, after you leave school, your payments include the amount you borrowed plus interest. Unsubsidized loans are not based on need. These loans require you to make interest payments while you are attending school.

Work Study

If your award includes work study, this means that you are able to earn a certain amount by working at in the university setting during the semester. Your work study hours are scheduled around your classes and you receive bi-weekly paycheck.

Being awarded work study does not mean you are automatically assigned a job, however. You still need to find and apply for a position. Career Services can help you find a work study job where you can earn the amount expected.

Visit the Financial Aid website for more information about financial aid awards and processes at Winona State University.