Financial Aid FAQ

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The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed by Congress and signed into law to provide economic relief from COVID-19. One section of the CARES Act established the Higher Education Emergency Relief fund and sent money to schools to use for emergency financial aid grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the pandemic. Phishing emails are being received regarding CARES funding, do not provide personal information like your Social Security number or bank account information. You should only provide or update personal information through MyUW. The UW will use the information you have provided in MyUW to communicate with you or disburse aid to you.

For information about CARES Act and frequently asked questions, please see our CARES Act page. For more information regarding phishing scams, click here.

Report and Disclosures

October 8th, 2020 report (pdf)

HEERF Institutional Use and Minority Serving Institution

Completing the FAFSA

How do I apply for financial aid?

Financial aid is applied for every academic year by submitting a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Remember to list the UW school code of 003798 on your FAFSA. You can find more information about applying for financial aid by reviewing the application process.

When do I need to submit a new FAFSA?

Financial aid applications for the following academic year are always available starting October 1.  The priority deadline to apply for financial aid every year is January 15.  We recommend you transmit your application (or mail the form) no later than January 1 to ensure processing by the deadline.

Do I need to include my parents' information on my FAFSA?

A parent's signature and income information are required when you cannot answer "yes" to at least one of the questions in the Student Dependency Status section on the FAFSA.  If you are unable to obtain your parent's information because of extenuating circumstances, contact the UW Tacoma Office of Student Financial Aid before you submit your FAFSA.

What is the UW Tacoma FAFSA code?  Is it the same as the UW Seattle FAFSA code?

The school code for all UW campuses is 003798.

I lost my job, or my income has changed since I submitted my FAFSA.

If your household's financial situation has experienced a dramatic change or loss of resources that is not reflected on your FAFSA, you can explain your change in circumstances on the Revision Request for Change in Financial Situations.  We will reassess your eligibility for financial aid based on your new financial situation.

Can I be awarded financial aid before I am admitted?

To qualify for financial aid, you must be admitted to the University in an approved degree or certificate program (most non-matriculated students are not eligible for aid) and meet minimum enrollment requirements.
Applying for financial aid is separate from applying for admission.  For priority financial aid consideration, you must meet our priority deadline (your FAFSA must be dated and received by the federal processor by January 15) even if you don't know whether you will be accepted for admission.


Receiving and using your aid

How do I check the status of my financial aid?

You can check the status of your financial aid online through your MyUW account.  Once you log in, select Student Financial Services, then Financial Aid Status.  If you are still waiting to be admitted to the university, your status will only show whether your FAFSA has been received.

When will I get my financial aid award letter?

You will receive an email to access the Student Aid Report (SAR) information after you send in your FAFSA. If you did not supply an e-mail address, a paper SAR will be mailed to you. You must make any corrections requested on the form and mail or transmit it back as directed.

We begin sending award notices in the spring and continue through the summer. This may be sent to you electronically, so please check your UW email and MyUW regularly. The award notice shows you the types and amount of aid you are eligible to receive. Your award may be an estimate until we complete the review of your FAFSA information. Please accept your aid as directed, even if you are requesting or expecting changes. Unaccepted awards are subject to cancelation.

How do I receive my money after my tuition is paid?

Financial aid is disbursed first to your university student account to pay your tuition, U-PASS, late charges, student insurance, and other university fees. If the amount of your aid is greater than the charges on your student account, the difference will be sent to your bank account via direct deposit.

I have an outside source paying my tuition, where should I send the funds?

From the Student Fiscal Services website, select the link “Scholarships and Sponsors” then select the link below “Private Scholarships.”

I need to send in a form to my loan source saying I'm going to school here full time.

To verify your enrollment for insurance, loan deferment or other purposes, an enrollment verification form should be submitted to the Office of the Registrar. You can submit your own form for the specific agency, or use a form from Enrollment Services. Automatic enrollment verification is sent to the National Clearing House on the 10th day of the quarter.

What happens if I withdraw from classes?

If you withdraw before the start of classes, you must repay all financial aid that 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 policies on withdrawal for information on refunds. Tuition refunds, in general, must be returned to the financial aid programs.

Can I use financial aid for books or housing?

Financial aid is disbursed first to your university student account to pay your tuition, U-PASS, late charges, student insurance, and other university fees. If the amount of your aid is greater than the charges on your student account, the difference will be sent to your bank account via direct deposit at which point you could use the additional funds for books, housing, transportation, childcare, etc.

If I start in Winter or Spring quarter, will my loans transfer to UW Tacoma from my current school?

Financial aid and loans do not transfer between schools. You will need to re-apply for financial aid at UW Tacoma by adding the UW school code 003798 to your FAFSA.


Work study

How do I apply for work study?

You should indicate on your FAFSA that you are interested in work study; there is not a separate application. To qualify for work study jobs you must demonstrate financial need and have a work study award as part of your overall financial aid award. If you have financial need and haven't been awarded work study, you can talk to a financial aid counselor about being placed on the work study waiting list.

How do I find a work study job?

Once you have been awarded work study, you need to come to the Financial Aid Office to pick up a job referral form, which shows the amount of the award and the period of employment. You will then need to review the current work study job postings and contact the employer on your own to arrange an interview.

How do I get a job referral form?

Work study job referral forms can be picked up from the Financial Aid Office.

How do I access off-campus timesheets?

Off-campus timesheets are found online.


Contacting an aid counselor

When is staff available?

Financial aid counselors are available during set hours to meet with students on a drop-in basis.
Current drop-in hours are posted on our Contact Us page.

Can I set up an appointment?

If you are unable to come in during regular drop-in hours, you may email our office to request an appointment. 

There is a hold on my financial aid.  Who do I need to talk to?

You can view information regarding the hold on your account by checking the Financial Aid Status section of your MyUW.  You can also e-mail the Financial Aid Office or stop in to see a financial aid counselor during walk-in hours if you would like to review the hold on your account in further detail.  Keep in mind no account-specific questions will be answered via email unless it is sent from your UW email account.

Where can I submit my forms or documents?

Students are encouraged to use the electronic DocuSign Form links sent to them via email.  However, if students need to print or fax documents they can be faxed in or dropped off during our regular office hours.

It would be best to email Financial Aid first to confirm that would be acceptable for your particular documents.

UW Tacoma Financial Aid Fax:  (253)-692-4788

Students may also use the Secure Document Upload Link to submit their documents electronically.