Should I file for the FAFSA even if I don't think I'll qualify for financial aid?
Yes. Don’t neglect to fill out the FAFSA because you think you won’t qualify. There’s no income cutoff for financial aid. Plus, some scholarship programs rely on the FAFSA to award scholarships.
I am not a Washington State resident. What kind of aid can I receive?
We can determine your eligibility for federal financial aid only. We are unable to offer state, institutional, or university scholarships to non-resident applicants.
We recognize the cost to attend a university in another state is a significant financial investment. As a non-resident student, your financial aid award will primarily consist of federal financial aid. We realize that for many non-resident students, federal loans may make up most or all of their financial aid offer from UW so, we encourage students and their families to take that into consideration in their decision to attend the university, particularly if finances are a factor in their selection of a college. We are unable to offer state, or university grants to non-resident applicants.
My financial aid is not enough t cover my expenses. What are my options?
If your financial aid award is not enough to cover your expenses, you have several options: Talk to one of our counselors to see if any adjustments can be made to your award. Loans, both need-based (Subsidized Stafford) and non-need based (Unsubsidized Stafford, Parent PLUS, or Graduate PLUS) may be available.
If you incur expenses during the school year that are not part of the standard student budget that we use to award financial aid, you may complete a Revision Request for Additional Expenses and submit it to our office. We will review your request to determine if these additional expenses are allowable and can be used to increase the budget. If we are able to approve the request, then we will determine if there is any additional financial aid that can be awarded. Please note that not all expenses are allowable, so please read the directions on the Revision Request for Additional Expenses carefully and provide the appropriate documentation with the request. Additional aid usually comes in the form of loans.
The FAFSA and WASFA applications open every year on October 1 and closes more than a year and a half later on June 30th. For the 2022-2023 school year, for example, you can apply for the FAFSA between Oct. 1, 2021 and June 30, 2023.
The University of Washington's priority deadline to apply for financial aid every year is January 15. We recommend you submit your online application no later than January 1st to ensure processing by the deadline.
What should I do if I miss the Priority Deadline?
If you miss the University's priority deadline of January 15th, you should still complete the FAFSA application as soon as possible. If you submitted your financial aid application after January 15, you may appeal to meet the priority date based on extraordinary circumstances.
Do I need to include my parent's 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 or WASFA. Learn more about appeals and special circumstances.
What do I do if my (or my parents') income changes?
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.
Financial Aid Forms
How can I submit my verification forms?
Students are encouraged to use the electronic DocuSign Forms if possible. However, if students need to download and print documents they can do so, however, we ask that you use the Secure Document Upload Link (SDUP) to submit your completed forms to our office. You can also submit other documents such as tax returns via the SDUP.
If you have questions about the documents being requested, please contact our office.
I submitted my financial aid documents, how long does it take to process?
The amount of time it takes us to respond to you depends on our workload (volume of other students with requests) and the time of year (March through September are our peal processing and review times). You can view our current Processing & Response Timelines here.
For information received that is received late, we will try to complete the review before the tuition deadline for the quarter, but you may want to review information on the short term loan program to help with your expenses before your aid is ready.
Because of the volume of students who want aid, it is important for you to apply early and respond to any requests for information as soon as possible.
How can I check the status of my documents?
Students can track the status of their submitted documents in their MyUW account under Financial Aid Status, under Required Documents. Each required document shows a requested date (the day we requested the documents via your student email), the received date (the date we received your documents), and the status of the document.
Receiving Financial Aid
When will I receive 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 student email (make sure to check your spam folder and add email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org to your 'safe senders' list) 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 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, then Award Accept/ Reject. If you are still waiting to be admitted to the university, your status will only show whether your FAFSA has been received.
How do I receive my aid after tuition is paid?
Financial aid is disbursed first to your university student account to pay your tuition 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 you do not have direct deposit set up, the funds will be mailed to your local mailing address on your UW student account.
What do I do if I have a hold on my account preventing my aid from disbursing
Holds prevent aid from disbursing to your for a variety of reasons, Usually, holds are placed because we are missing requested documentation, or you may not be registered for the number of credits your aid is set up for, or you may not have completed enough credits in the previous quarter or academic year.
To check the type of hold on your account visit your MyUW account under financial aid status and you are welcome to contact us with any remaining questions.
Maintaining Eligibility for Financial 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 Financial Aid Status. If you are still waiting to be admitted to the university, your status will only show whether your financial aid application has been received.
When will I get my financial aid award letter?
We begin sending award notices in the spring and continue through the summer. This will be sent to you electronically, so please check your UW email and your MyUW Financial Aid Status page regularly. The award notice shows you the types and amount of aid you are eligible to receive. Your award may be a preliminary estimate until we complete the review of your FAFSA information. 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. Please view our Disbursements page for more information.
Where do I send scholarship checks and other outside resources paying my tuition?
Scholarship checks should be mailed to:
University of Washington - Scholarships
PO Box 24967
Seattle, WA 98124-1967
Please have the sponsor include the following information with the check:
UW student number
Quarter or academic year that the payment covers
Sponsor’s full address, including fax and email address if available
How do I put my federal student loans in deferment?
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 do I need to do to maintain my financial aid?
To maintain your eligibility for financial aid, students must be making Satisfactory Academic Progress. Students who receive financial aid should familiarize themselves with the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy to ensure they do not become ineligible for financial aid.
After reviewing the full policy, students should contact a financial aid counselor if unsure if the credits required for maintaining or reinstating eligibility.
What can I do if I failed to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)?
If you did not meet the progress requirements because you had special circumstances, you may file an appeal with our office. You will need to demonstrate unusual circumstances beyond your control that are not likely to recur in the immediate future. You will need to explain what has changed in your situation so that you will now be able to make academic progress. If approved, you will need to meet the requirements of an individual academic plan to continue to receive financial aid.
Dropping a Class / Withdrawing
What happens if I withdraw from my 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.