Federal, state, and institutional grants do not require repayment.
Awards are based on financial need and academic achievement and, in some cases, the quality of the personal essay submitted as part of the scholarship application process.
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).
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.
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 their 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 they need 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 request to have their award reviewed by our office by submitting a revision request with documentation (physician statement, child-care or baby-sitter bills, etc.). Contact the Office of Student Financial Aid to consider the additional costs in their 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 do not qualify 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.
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. An FSA ID can be obtained by registering through fsaid.ed.gov. To access FAFSA on the Web, go to https://studentaid.gov/h/apply-for-aid/fafsa. Paper applications can be printed here. at https://studentaid.gov/sites/default/files/2021-22-fafsa.pdf. Paper Applications must be mailed directly to the Central Processor and generally take much longer to process.
The FAFSA is available each year starting October 1. Students should complete their 2021-22 FAFSA for the upcoming year (defined as summer through spring quarters) beginning October 1.
A student who wishes to apply for financial aid to support study during the summer quarter must submit a separate summer application (in addition to the FAFSA or WASFA) in their MyUW accounts (available April 1 for the upcoming summer quarter).
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 regarding scholarship opportunities, visit our Financial Aid website.
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 is subject to tax. For more details, refer to the IRS Publication 970: Tax Benefits for Education.
Washington College Grant - The nationally recognized Washington College Grant (formerly the State Need Grant) makes education and training beyond high school affordable. In 2021-22, more low and middle income families will qualify. An eligible student from a family of four making around $50,000 or less per year would receive a full award. Partial grants are available for families making up to the state’s median family income, around $97,000 per year. Amounts vary based on income, family size, and the school or program attended. Recipients must meet program requirements and attend an approved institution or program. Updated eligibility tables and award amounts for 21-22 are available at the Washington State Achievement Council (WSAC) website.
There is no separate application for the Washington College Grant. Students should complete a state or federal financial aid application, which colleges will use to determine eligibility and make awards.
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.