FAQ graduate students
What is the process to apply for financial aid?
The first step to apply for financial aid is the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). The application can be completed online at www.fafsa.gov. If additional documents are required they will be listed on your "to do list" in the WINGS student center.
What is the Federal School Code for UWL?
Is there a deadline date for applying for financial aid?
The priority date for applications for the fall semester is March 15th. 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 make a correction to my financial aid application?
Do I need to supply my parents' information on the FAFSA?
No. UW-La Crosse does not need parent information for graduate students. Graduate students are considered Independent for federal financial aid purposes.
Do I need to apply every year?
Yes. You must reapply each year. The FAFSA is available every January for the upcoming year.
How do I apply for summer financial aid?
You must complete the Summer School Financial Aid Application and submit it to UWL for consideration of student loans. 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.
How can I apply for UWL/institutional or private scholarships?
Information on UWL institutional foundation scholarships can be found at uwlax.academicworks.com. Deadline for UWL foundations scholarships is February 15 of each year.
Visit the UWL Financial Aid Scholarship page for access to a variety of outside databases that contain information about scholarships.
If I am not currently admitted to UWL, may I still apply for financial aid?
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 financial aid office once you have been admitted, to initiate the awarding process.
How do I check on the status of my financial aid?
If you are checking on the status of your FAFSA, visit the FAFSA website. 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. New students may be awarded in spring. Continuing students will not be awarded until after spring grades are posted.
Does my credit load affect my financial aid?
Your financial aid is awarded based on your enrollment status. Half time and 3/4 time students will have their aid reduced accordingly. The total allowance is less since tuition is less for part-time students, but the living allowance is the same as long as you are at least half-time. You must be at least half time to be eligible for federal loans.
Full time -
9 credits graduate students
3/4 time -
7 or 8 credits graduate students
Half time -
5 or 6 credits graduate students Expand Item 7
What happens to my financial aid if I drop credits or withdraw from school?
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. If you drop a single course, your aid may or may not be impacted based on the date of the credit drop. Contact the Financial Aid Office to determine changes to your aid based on enrollment changes.
Do scholarships, assistantships, tuition waivers, Residence Hall positions, or Employee Reimbursement affect my loan eligibility?
Yes. Students can only get educational aid up to their allowed cost of attendance. If you are receiving any educational benefits (scholarships, employee tuition reimbursement, Military benefits, etc.) please complete our scholarship and resource notification form or report it using the WINGS student center online “Report Other Financial Aid” link. These benefits will reduce the amount of loans you are offered.
Should I pay for a scholarship search?
No. Often these types of organizations are scams and you are able to locate the same information for free.
Will my financial aid be affected if I receive a WI G.I. Bill tuition remission?
Financial aid awards may need to be adjusted for students who receive the WI G.I. Bill tuition remission benefit. If your WI G.I. Bill tuition remission is approved after your financial aid award has already been issued, your financial aid award will need to be reassessed to reflect the new tuition resources you have received. As a result, your loans may need to be reduced. Financial aid reassessments may occur throughout the semester and are required by federal law whenever a student's financial need changes as a result of receiving additional loans, grants, remissions or other resources.
How will I receive my financial aid refund?
Once your bill is paid in full, any additional funds will generate a refund. When you activated your Tower One card, you had to choose one of three options for your refund:
- deposit it into your Tower One debit account,
- deposit it into an account at your own lending institution, or
- a paper check to be mailed to you.
Your refund will be disbursed to you in which ever manner you chose.
* Note: If you have not yet ordered or received your student ID card by mail, contact the Cashier's Office.
What if I don’t get an assistantship and am not eligible for work-study, can I still work on campus?
Yes. There are a number of student employment opportunities on campus that are non work-study.
What if my aid award is not enough to cover my expenses?
Students have the option to appeal their cost of attendance/aid eligibility for approved educational expenses. Approved expenses include books, housing, transportation, child care, and a one-time computer purchase. Documentation will be requested and in some cases an adjustment to your financial aid award can be made. Contact the Financial Aid Office to find out if you may qualify for a cost of attendance appeal.
What are unsubsidized loans?
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. Graduate students are not eligible for subsidized loans.
Is there financial aid available for a study abroad experience?
Yes. There is the possibility of increased loan eligibility if the experience is approved for credit through UWL and part of coursework required for your degree.
I am an international student; do I qualify for federal student financial aid?
You must be a US citizen or an eligible non-citizen to be eligible for federal student assistance. There are some private alternative educational loan lenders that will allow international students to apply with a co-signer that is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
What can I do if my Education Loan is in default?
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. http://www.ed.gov/offices/OSFAP/DCS/default.html. 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 servicing agency.
What if I have other questions?
Please feel free to contact us at the UWL Student Financial Aid Office.