Navigating the Financial Aid Process
At WSSU, approximately 85% of our students receive some type of financial aid. And we understand that the Financial Aid Process can seem overwhelming - even to those of us who work with the process year-to-year. The more you know about the process, the more successful you will be in completing the process. You should know and understand the:
Types of Financial Aid
Federal financial aid is primarily need-based and is awarded according to standards and guidelines set by the federal government as well as the availability of funds. Federal financial aid can be classified by three types of aid – grants, loans and work-study.
Student Grants are a type of aid that does not require any repayment. Grant programs include:
Federal Pell Grant
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)
Student Loans are a type of aid that require repayment and are either subsidized or unsubsidized loans.
Subsidized Student Loans are awarded to students with a demonstrated financial need. No interest is charged while a student is in school at least half-time, during a grace period and during deferment periods.
Unsubsidized Student Loans are not based on financial need and interest is charged during all periods, even when a student is in school and during grace and deferment periods.
Parent PLUS Loans may be available to the parent(s) of dependent students. PLUS loans help pay for education expenses up to the cost of attendance minus all other financial assistance. Interest is charged during all periods. Parent(s) will need to complete a PLUS Loan Application and do not need to demonstrate financial need; however, a good credit history is needed.
Federal Work-Study (FWS) provides part-time jobs for undergraduate students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay education expenses. The program encourages community service work and work related to the recipient's course of study.
Financial Aid Application Process
The application process begins by submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). All new freshmen are required to submit the 2013-2014 FAFSA to WSSU. The priority date to submit your FAFSA is March 1, 2013. Please review the Steps to Complete the FAFSA for additional information.
FAFSA Verification Process
The U.S. Department of Education requires WSSU to verify, or confirm, the data reported by students and/or their parent(s) on the FAFSA. The Department of Education randomly selects a percentage of WSSU financial aid applicants for the Verification Process. Additionally, the Office of Financial Aid reserves the right to select students for verification as well. Additional information on the Verification Process is available in our Verification Frequently Asked Questions.
Financial Aid Award Notice (FAAN)
If you are eligible for financial aid and complete all of the requirements, you will receive an official Financial Aid Award Notice (FAAN) from the WSSU Office of Financial Aid. You will also receive the Terms and Conditions for the award. Learn more about the FAAN.