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How to receive your financial aid

Financial aid generally begins disbursing one week prior to the first day of the quarter.  To have your aid disbursed, you must have been awarded and accepted your aid, not have any holds on your aid, be registered for the minimum required credits, and, if you are borrowing loans, have completed required entrance counseling and signed promissory notes.

If these conditions have been met, aid will disburse first to your University student account to pay your tuition, U-PASS, late charge and other university fees. If the amount of your aid is greater than the charges on your student account then the difference will be sent to your bank account via direct deposit.

If you are not signed up for direct deposit, an aid check will be automatically mailed to your local address on file. Please check your address information on MyUW and update it if necessary. Aid checks may take up to 10 business days to reach you by mail; signing up for direct deposit will allow you to receive your funds quickly and safely.

Learn how to use your MyUW to check your Financial Aid Status


Signing up for direct deposit

The easiest and quickest way to sign up for direct deposit or to confirm your direct deposit status is through your Financial Aid Status under Student Finances in MyUW. If you are not able to access this site, contact Student Fiscal Services at sfshelp@uw.edu.

Clear all holds

Your aid will not disburse if there are any holds on your account. If you have been asked to provide documents or information or have been told that the Financial Aid Office is reviewing your eligibility, follow up with them as soon as possible. You can tell what aid is available to you, what has been disbursed and whether or not there are any holds on your aid by using the Financial Aid Status service in MyUW under Student Finances.

Minimum credit load

You must be registered for a full-time credit load (12 credits for undergraduates and professional students; 10 credits for graduate students) in order for aid, except Stafford and PLUS Loans, to be disbursed. If you drop below full-time enrollment after the start of classes, aid already disbursed to pay charges on your account will not be canceled; however, no additional aid will be disbursed to you. If you drop below full-time before the start of classes and aid has been disbursed to you, you will owe a repayment of aid.  If you have been awarded aid as a less than full-time student then please see the Financial Aid Office for minimum credit load information. 

Loan-specific requirements

Federal Student Loans (Stafford, Unsubsidized Stafford, Graduate PLUS, Parent PLUS, Perkins, or Health Professions/Nursing Loan)

If you are a first-time borrower at the UW for a Stafford, Unsubsidized or Graduate PLUS loan, you will be required to complete Entrance Counseling before your loan can be disbursed. This can be done online at www.studentloans.gov.

New borrowers of Federal Direct Stafford Loans also need to sign a master promissory note (MPN) online at www.studentloans.gov.  Generally students who borrowed through the Federal Direct Stafford Loan Program last year and signed an MPN will not be required to sign a new MPN this year. You are required to sign an MPN even if you expect your entire loan to be used to pay charges on your University account.  If you want to make arrangements to receive a paper MPN for your Federal Direct Stafford loan, please contact the Office of Student Financial Aid via email at osfa@uw.edu.

You can sign your MPN for the Perkins Loan and/or the Health Professions/Nursing Loan on the web in the Financial Aid Status section of MyUW.  If you wish to request a paper MPN for a Perkins or federal Health Professions/Nursing loan, contact Student Fiscal Services via email sfshelp@uw.edu or through the live chat function on the Student Fiscal Services website.

Graduate PLUS Loans (GPLUS)

Each year the government’s Direct Loan servicer provides a Direct PLUS Loan application on www.studentloans.gov.  As part of the application, a credit check will be completed.  If your credit is approved then you must complete a PLUS master promissory note (MPN) for gradute/professional students on the same website.  If your credit is denied and you obtain an endorser for your loan, you will need to sign a PLUS MPN for each GPLUS loan that is endorsed.

If you want to make arrangements to receive a paper MPN for your Grad PLUS loan, please contact the Office of Student Financial Aid via email at osfa@uw.edu.

Parent PLUS Loans (PLUS)

If you have been awarded and choose to accept a Direct PLUS Loan for parents, your parent borrower will need to apply for the loan by logging on to www.studentloans.gov with the parent's FSA ID.  As part of the application process, a credit check will be completed.  If your parent’s credit is approved, they will need to complete a PLUS master promissory note (MPN) for parent borrowers on the same website.  If their credit is denied, endorser options will be presented to them.

Parent Loans are disbursed to the student’s University student account to pay any charges. When completing the application, parent borrowers indicate whether any remaining loan proceeds should disburse directly to the student or to the parent. Loan proceeds disbursed to the parent borrower are sent automatically via paper check from Student Fiscal Services.

Pay your own tuition if your financial aid is late

If your tuition is not paid by the end of the third week of the quarter, you will be charged a $120 late payment penalty.  If financial aid is not available to pay your tuition by this date then short-term loans may be arranged through MyUW Personal Services.

Please visit the Cashier’s Office website for options to pay tuition or other fees on your University account, including information about the tuition payment plan.

If you must withdraw from school

If you withdraw before the start of classes, you must repay any financial aid you have received. If you withdraw during the quarter, you may have to repay some of your aid. If you do not officially withdraw but fail to pass any classes, you will be considered to have unofficially withdrawn and may have to repay aid. A withdrawal may affect your future aid eligibility. Please see the Time Schedule or Withdrawal and refund for information on refunds. Tuition refunds, in general, must be returned to the financial aid programs.