General eligibility criteria

Who is eligible for financial aid?

To receive Federal, State, and/or institutional financial aid, applicants must: 

  1. Have a high school diploma or equivalent
  2. Be a United States citizen or eligible non-citizen 
  3. Be a regular 'degree seeking' student (Any classes taken outside of the student's current program of study will cause financial aid award adjustments.)
  4. Demonstrate financial need (exception - Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan) 
  5. Have a valid Social Security Number 
  6. Register with the Selective Service (if required)
  7. Not be in default or owe a refund of any Title IV aid 
  8. Make satisfactory academic progress
Admission to UWL expanding section

All applicants must be admitted to the university as a degree seeking student. See the FAFSA page for more information. All applicants must be enrolled at least half-time and maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).

FAFSA expanding section

All applicants for financial aid must submit a FAFSA to the federal student aid processor. UW-La Crosse has a priority date of February 1 each year. FAFSAs can be completed during the academic year, but aid will be delayed until all necessary paperwork is received. Students are encouraged to file the FAFSA electronically. A paper FAFSA can be mailed to the federal student aid processor; however, it will take longer to process. 

We strongly recommend that students use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) option to help complete the FAFSA. Within 1-2 weeks after filing your taxes electronically, you should be able to retrieve your federal data right into your FAFSA. In order to use this option, you must have a federal tax return filed with the IRS, have a valid Social Security Number, a US Dept of Education Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID, 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.

Student Responsibilities expanding section

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

How are award amounts determined? expanding section

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 expanding section

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 your university fees; as a result, no special provisions are made for Pell-eligible students to receive their rental books and supplies. Should you decide to opt out of text rental, please contact the Financial Aid Office.