What is the process to apply for financial aid? expanding section

The first step in applying for aid is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at www.fafsa.gov. Be sure to include UWL’s school code, 003919, on the FAFSA. Once UWL receives the FAFSA results, we will send you an e-mail letting you know whether we need any additional documentation.

Do I need to fill out the FAFSA every year? expanding section

Yes. You must reapply each year. The FAFSA is available every October 1 for the upcoming year.

If I am not currently admitted to UWL, may I still apply for financial aid? expanding section

Yes. However, a financial aid counselor will not be able to review your file for a financial aid award until you have been admitted. If you submitted your FAFSA prior to admission to the college, please contact the UWL Financial Aid Office once you have been admitted, to initiate the awarding process.

Is there a deadline date for applying for financial aid? expanding section

The priority date for applications for the fall semester is March 15th each year. This is not a deadline since applications are accepted throughout the academic year. Students applying for the current spring term whose applications are received after April 30th are unlikely to have their applications processed in time to receive aid.

How do I fill out the FAFSA if my parents are separated or divorced? expanding section

Answer the questions about the parent that you lived with more during the last twelve months. If this parent has remarried, answer the questions on the rest of the form about that parent and the person whom your parent married (your stepparent).

What should I do if my family has special circumstances or changes in income since our taxes were filed? expanding section

Contact the UWL Financial Aid Office to inform them of these changes. If necessary, documentation will be requested and in some cases an adjustment to your financial aid award can be made.

How can I be independent for financial aid purposes? expanding section

If you can answer 'YES' to any of the following questions:

  • Are you 24 years old?
  • Will you be working on a Master's Degree in the upcoming year?
  • Are you married?
  • Do you have children that you provide at least half of their support?
  • Are you an orphan?
  • Are you a veteran?

General financial aid FAQ

How do I check on the status of my financial aid? expanding section

If you are checking on the status of your FAFSA, visit the FAFSA website, www.fafsa.gov. If your FAFSA has been processed, you will receive an email notification when UWL has received your FAFSA. Once your award is available, you will receive an email notification to your campus email and the financial aid award will be posted to your WINGS Student Center.

Do scholarships, assistantships, or Residence Hall Staff positions affect my eligibility? expanding section

Yes. If it is necessary to reduce other financial aid as a result of a scholarship, assistantship and/or RA position, aid would be reduced in the following order: loans, work-study and grants. Report any scholarships or other resources on the 2019-20 Scholarship & Other Resources Notification Form or report it using the WINGS student center online “Report Other Financial Aid” link.

Does my credit load affect my financial aid? expanding section

Your financial aid is awarded based on your enrollment status. Half time and 3/4 time students will have their aid reduced accordingly. You must be at least half time to be eligible for financial aid.

Full time

12 credits undergraduates 
9 credits graduate students

Half time - 

6 credits undergraduates
5 credits graduate students 

3/4 time - 

9 credits undergraduates 
7 credits graduate students

What happens to my financial aid if I drop credits or withdraw from school? expanding section

Depending on the date of your withdrawal, all or a portion of the student financial aid awarded to you may be returned to the student financial aid programs.

How will I receive my financial aid refund? expanding section

Once your bill is paid in full, any additional funds will generate a refund. Student refunds at UWL are managed in partnership with Nelnet Business Solutions. They provide an easy, efficient, and safe way get your refund each semester if money is due back to you.

Refunds are processed by direct deposit to any bank account of your choosing within 2-3 business days after the refund is processed. You will need to set up a refund profile in Nelnet and provide your banking information for the account you want your funds deposited into.

To access the Nelnet profile page, log into your WINGS account and look for the "Student Choice Refund" link in the Finances section of your Student Center page.

How do I apply for summer financial aid? expanding section

You must complete the Summer School Financial Aid Application and submit it to the UWL Financial Aid Office for consideration of student loans and federal work-study only.

The application is available after January 1.

Loan amounts borrowed in the summer may affect eligibility for the upcoming academic year.
You must also complete the FAFSA for the upcoming year in order to be eligible for summer aid.

Some students may qualify for a Federal Pell Grant.

Is there financial aid available for a study abroad experience? expanding section

Yes. There is the possibility of increased loan eligibility and there is a small need-based grant available to Wisconsin students who qualify.

There is a Study Abroad Brochure that gives more information regarding the financial aid options for study abroad.

I am an international student, do I qualify for federal student financial aid? expanding section

You must be a US citizen or an eligible non-citizen to be eligible for federal student assistance.

Why does the Financial Aid Office need my Social Security Number? expanding section

Disclosure of your Social Security Number (SSN) is requested for the student records system of UWL and for compliance with Federal and State reporting requirements.

Federal law requires that you provide your SSN if you are applying for financial aid.

The privacy and confidentiality of student records is protected by law and the University will not disclose your SSN without your consent for any other purposes except as allowed by law.

What if I have more questions? expanding section

Feel free to contact us at the UW-La Crosse Financial Aid Office, 215 Graff Main Hall, 608.785.8604, if you have additional questions.

Loan FAQ

What is the difference between subsidized and unsubsidized loans? expanding section

Subsidized loans are 'subsidized' by the Federal government. The government is paying the interest on the loan while you are enrolled in school.
Unsubsidized loans are not 'subsidized' by the Federal government. As such, the borrower is responsible for the interest while enrolled. If the interest is not paid by the borrower during that period of enrollment, the interest will capitalize on the principal and the loan amount to be repaid will increase.

How much do I owe in student loans? expanding section

To view all of your federal loans, interest rates and the current holder of the loan and the contact information for that servicer, log in to www.nslds.ed.gov.

When will I begin to repay my loans? expanding section

You don’t have to begin repaying most federal student loans until after you leave college or drop below half-time enrollment. However, PLUS loans enter repayment once your loan is fully disbursed (paid out).
Your loan servicer or lender must provide you with a loan repayment schedule that states when your first payment is due, the number and frequency of payments, and the amount of each payment. Keep in mind that your loan may have a grace period.

What can I do if my Education Loan is in default? expanding section

If your student loan is in default, you are not eligible to receive further financial aid until the default has been cleared.

The US Department of Education has set up a website to help you clear the record, https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/default. This site provides information of Federal Stafford, PLUS, Direct and Perkins Loans and discusses the consequences of default, help determine which agency holds your defaulted notes, outline options for clearing your default status, and explain how to possibly resolve disputes on your status. You may also want to contact your lender and/or guarantee agency.

Scholarship FAQ

How can I apply for UWL/institutional or private scholarships? expanding section

For UWL/institutional scholarships, visit the UWL Foundation to apply online. Click on "Opportunities" and select "Ours" to find information about these scholarships. Deadline is February 1 of each year. 

For information about private external scholarships:

  1. Visit the UWL Foundation website and click on "Opportunities".
  2. Visit the UWL Financial Aid Scholarship page for access to a variety of outside databases that contain information about scholarships.
Should I pay for a scholarship search? expanding section

No. Often these types of organizations are scams and you are able to locate the same information for free. Visit our scholarship page for additional information.

How do I report scholarships that I receive? expanding section

Inform the Financial Aid Office of the amount and the name of the donor of all scholarships you will be receiving by reporting it using the WINGS student center online “Report Other Financial Aid” link or on the 2019-20 Scholarship & Other Resources Notification Form and return the form to the UWL Financial Aid Office. If you have questions, contact the UWL Financial Aid Office.