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General eligibility criteria

A page within Financial Aid

Who is eligible for financial aid?

To receive federal, state, and/or institutional financial aid, applicants must: 

  1. Be a United States citizen, permanent resident, or other eligible non-citizen 
  2. Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a degree-seeking or eligible certificate student. (Note: Classes taken outside of the student's program of study will cause adjustments to the student's financial aid offer.)
  3. Have a high school diploma or equivalent
  4. Not be in default on a federal loan or owe money on a federal student grant overpayment
  5. Maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP)

All applicants for financial aid must submit a FAFSA online. UW-La Crosse has a priority date of February 1 although FAFSAs can be completed during the academic year and aid will be delayed until all necessary documents are received.   All documents must be received by your last day of attendance in that aid year.

Beginning with the 2024-25 aid year, each contributor (student, spouse, parent) must have a valid FSA ID to consent to the use of their IRS data.  If you don't have one it can be created online.

Students will invite their contributor (spouse or parent) by e-mail.  To send the e-mail you must enter their full legal name, date of birth, social security number, and e-mail address.

Student Responsibilities

Students are responsible for paying their bill regardless of when their financial aid comes in. It is the student’s responsibility to complete all steps of the application process.


The following charges are not eligible to be paid with any federal funds (including all Federal grants and all Federal Direct Loans):

  • Textbook and Murphy Library fines
  • Parking fines
  • Any drug/alcohol sanctions and workshop charges
  • ID card replacement charges
  • Stop payment or NSF check charges
  • Equipment/supply replacement or non-return charges (including damage to Residence Hall property)
  • Program fees for First Flight or Rec LLC
  • Athletics -- misc equipment charges, tryout/roster fees, trip expenses, nutrition program
How are award amounts determined?

A Student Aid Index (SAI) is calculated by the federal processor using the information reported on the FAFSA. Family income, assets, and household size are considered in the federal methodology. Need is determined by taking the cost to attend UW-La Crosse and subtracting the SAI. Once need is established, the Financial Aid Office offers grants first, then Federal Work-Study, and then loans. 

All offers are based on full-time student status. Students carrying less than a full-time credit load will have their aid reduced accordingly. Funding is subject to change at any time per federal or state budgetary mandate. 

Student Financial Aid programs are funded by the U.S. Department of EducationState of Wisconsin, and UW-La Crosse.

Disbursement of funds

Disbursement of funds to student accounts begins approximately four days prior to each term and typically occurs daily thereafter. Most textbooks are through the text rental program and are already included in students' university fees; as a result, no special provisions are made for Pell-eligible students to receive their rental books and supplies. Should the student decide to opt out of text rental, please contact the Financial Aid Office.