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 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. Register with the Selective Service (if required)
  5. Not be in default on a federal loan or owe money on a federal student grant
  6. Maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP)

All applicants for financial aid must submit a FAFSA. 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 paperwork is received. Students are encouraged to file the FAFSA electronically. A paper FAFSA can be mailed; however, it will take longer to process. 

We strongly recommend that students (and parents, if applicable) use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) option to complete the FAFSA. One to two weeks after filing taxes electronically, tax filers should be able to retrieve their federal income data. In order to use this option, tax filers must have a federal tax return filed with the IRS, have a valid social security number, a Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID username and password, and have an unchanged marital status since the end of the previous year. When completing the tax information on the FAFSA, indicate Already Filed and select the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) option.

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

An expected family contribution (EFC) is calculated by the federal processor using the information reported on the FAFSA. Family income, assets, household size, number in college, and parent age are considered in the federal methodology. Need is determined by taking the cost to attend UW-La Crosse and subtracting the EFC. 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 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.