Financial Aid

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Approximately 68 percent of students attending the University of Washington Tacoma receive federal, state or institutional financial aid to help them pay for their education.

Types of Aid

There are four basic types of aid:

  • Grants: Federal, state and institutional grants do not require repayment.
  • Loans: Must be repaid, generally beginning six to nine months after a student graduates or leaves school. Loans require repayment with interest (interest rate and when interest accrual begins varies depending on the program).
  • Work-Study: Students can be employed either on or off campus, with the primary focus being that students enhance their field of study by working part-time in a career-related position.
  • Scholarships: Awards are based on financial need, and/or academic achievement and in some cases the quality of the personal essay that is submitted as part of the scholarship application process.

Financial Need

For most aid programs, financial need is defined as the difference between what it costs to attend school and what the student can afford to pay. The amount a student should be able to pay is determined by a standard, federally mandated need-analysis method. The method establishes whether a student is financially independent (unmarried students under the age of 24 years may be considered dependent and in that case must provide parent information) or financially dependent on his or her parents and takes into account past earnings and benefits, a percentage of net assets and all other sources of support.

There is no income standard or other simple method of determining whether a student will qualify for need-based financial aid. Any student who thinks he or she needs help should apply.

If a student has additional medical, transportation, child-care, or other unusual expenses not covered by the living allowance, the student may, by submitting a revision request with documentation (physician’s statement, child-care or baby-sitter bills, etc.), ask the Office of Student Financial Aid to consider the additional costs in his or her budget.


To qualify for federal financial aid, a student must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or other eligible non-citizen
  • Be admitted to the university in an approved program and meet minimum enrollment requirements (most distance learning, correspondence and non-matriculated students are not eligible for financial aid)
  • Not be in default on a previous student loan or owe a repayment on a grant or loan for which the student was not eligible
  • Be registered with the Selective Service (if required)
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress based on federal, state and institutional requirements.
  • Provide financial information (including parents’ information, where required)
  • Be free of any federal or state drug-related convictions while you were receiving federal student aid

Eligible students are considered for funding based on three things: need, class level and state residency status. Need determines priority for those programs within the class level. Students with the fewest resources are given first priority for all aid funds.

Apply for Aid

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the basic application for most types of financial aid.

Students must complete and submit their FAFSA information directly to the federal processor online. Students must apply for a Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID in order to complete the online FAFSA. A FSA ID can be obtained by registering through To access FAFSA on the Web, go to Applications are also available from the Office of Student Financial Aid.

Students should complete their 2017 - 2018 FAFSA for the upcoming year (defined as summer through spring quarters) beginning October 1. Effective 2017-18, the FAFSA will become available each year on October 1. 

A student who wishes to apply for financial aid to support study during summer quarter must submit a separate application.

*Students who are not eligible to complete the FAFSA due to their immigration status may still be eligible to apply for state and institutional aid by completing the Washington Application for State Financial Aid (WASFA).

Important Dates

For first priority consideration for most aid programs, the FAFSA must be received by the federal application processor by the university's annual priority application date. Students who submit their FAFSAs after the priority date, fifth-year students and part-time students may be eligible to borrow funds through the Federal Stafford Loan or the Federal PLUS Loan Programs. Undergraduates may qualify for a Federal Pell Grant.

For students eligible to file a WASFA, that application must also be received by the processor by the university's annual priority application date.

Students who apply for financial aid should remember to keep copies of financial documents used in completing the FAFSA or WASFA, continuously monitor their UW email account for official correspondence from the Office of Student Financial Aid, and notify the Office of the Registrar of any change in address.

Consortium Agreements and Dual Enrollment

UW Tacoma students will occasionally need to enroll at a community college to complete admission deficiencies. The credits at the community college may be counted toward the student’s total quarter enrollment credits using a financial aid consortium agreement. Both UW Tacoma and the community college must approve consortium agreements. If approved, consortium agreements enable the student to receive financial aid based on the total credits being taken at both institutions. Agreements must be submitted to the Office of Student Financial Aid no later than three weeks prior to the start of the quarter.  Students may also qualify to receive aid if enrolled in the UWT-TCC Dual Enrollment program.


Consideration for need-based scholarships is given based on information received on the FAFSA or WASFA (on-time applicants only). Scholarship lists are available through the Office of Student Financial Aid and at websites listed later in this section.

UW Tacoma offers several scholarships available to fund study only at UW Tacoma. For information on scholarship opportunities, contact the Office of Student Financial Aid at 253-692-4374 or check online to see the list of scholarships

Student Tax Information

Student Fiscal Services monitors student tax information at the University of Washington. This information includes data for use in claiming educational tax credits and deductions that you have paid for tuition and fees. In addition, the UW provides information to help you determine if your scholarships, fellowships, grants or tuition reductions are taxable. The UW cannot provide individual tax advice. If you have questions, you should consult your tax advisor about your specific circumstances.

Scholarships, fellowships, grants and tuition reductions are not considered taxable income if they are used solely for qualified educational expenses. Any amount used for personal or non-qualified expenses are subject to tax. For more details refer to the IRS Publication 970: Tax Benefits for Education.

Washington State’s Guaranteed Education Tuition (GET) program is a 529 college savings program named for the section of the IRS code that defines these types of plans. This program allows individuals to prepay for students’ college educational expenses. Funds from the GET program are used to reduce qualified educational expenses. The amounts used to pay these expenses are not taxable or reported to the IRS on the 1098T forms that the UW provides students for filing their tax returns.

Go to to find links to the following topics:

For questions, please email or call 206-221-2609 for assistance.

Online Resources


Students can use MyUW to:

  • Find current student account balance
  • Review financial aid award
  • Check status of submitted financial aid documents
  • Get a summary of disbursed financial aid and aid-check availability
  • Determine if outside lender loan funds are available
  • Get the latest recorded student account payment
  • Set up direct deposit of financial aid funds
  • Pay tuition electronically
  • Apply for short-term loans