Washington State University

Student Financial Services

Current Students

Important Authorizations

There are three different WSU authorizations that you as the student should be aware of that are important to processing and receiving your financial aid.  None of these authorizations are required but if you choose, may make certain steps to receiving your financial aid monies easier. All three authorizations have different purposes and can be setup on ZZUSIS. See below for further explanations and how to complete each one should you choose to do so.  

Granting Third Party Access
Third Party Access allows you as the WSU student to authorize a parent, spouse, or other third party to access your official WSU records, including financial account balances, financial aid, class schedules, grades and much more. This established access is extremely important if you want a parent, spouse, or third party to call or email Student Financial Services on your behalf anytime during the academic year. Third Party Access must be set-up and the person contacting our office must have the Authorization Code or Password (when calling) for our office to release confidential financial aid information.

You decide and designate online through ZZUSIS which information you want to share with others Those who have Third Party Access have “read-only” access to your WSU records. Granting Third Party Access is done through ZZUSIS. For more details on how to grant Third Party Access, visit http://sis.wsu.edu/tpa-authorization.html.

Setting up Direct Deposit
Student Financial Services highly recommends that all students enroll in Direct Deposit. Direct Deposit is setup online through ZZUSIS. This authorization allows the WSU Student Accounts Office to directly credit (deposit) into your personal bank/credit union account any “extra” monies you are entitled to receive after all university charges have been paid. Please keep in mind that financial aid funds (monies) are disbursed to the student’s account NOT by Student Financial Services but by Student Accounts. Contact WSU Student Accounts directly for any questions regarding your university charges, direct deposit and/or account balances that show on your ZZUSIS.

Authorization to Apply Financial Aid to all Charges
This is authorization can be completed on ZZUSIS by you the student. (The navigation is shown below).
Main Menu>Self Service>Campus Finances>View Student Permissions>Grant Permissions.
When you “sign” this authorization or complete it, then you giving the WSU Student Accounts/University Receivables Office the okay to pay any and all charges (beyond tuition, fees, room and board) in the current academic year with financial aid funds. This authorization only needs to be completed once to be in effect for your entire student career at WSU.

Grant Perm

Awarding Process

What financial aid you qualify for and ultimately receive for the academic year is determined by two main factors: Cost of Attendance (COA) and Expected Family Contribution (EFC). (Read below for more details about these factors). To determine a student’s Financial Aid Award, WSU subtracts the student’s EFC from the university’s COA estimate. This calculation provides WSU with the student’s NEED eligibility, according to the federal government’s calculation. WSU tries to meet students’ need with need-based financial aid, sometimes referred to as awards (work study, subsidized Stafford loans, Perkins loans, grants, work-study, etc.).

What is COA and what is its role in determining your financial aid package?
The COA stands for the “Cost of Attendance”. It is the school’s monetary estimate as to how much it will cost you to attend WSU for one academic year, which spans the fall and spring semesters. Summer is a separate term with its own COA different from the fall-spring COA.

COA includes living expenses as well tuition and fees, books, and other miscellaneous expenses the “average” college student will likely spend to attend the university. It is not a bill; however, it does include fixed costs such as tuition and fees which are costs the student has no control over because the university determines these. It also includes variable costs which can vary from student to student depending on a student’s choice, behavior, etc. As a student, your actual college costs may be more or less than the Cost of Attendance established by the university depending on how many credits you take, your housing expenses, and several other factors.

The COA serves two purposes: first, it gives families a starting place to assess the student’s overall budget and second, the Student Financial Services uses it to create a financial aid “package” or award for the academic year. Our office tries to offer students financial aid up to their COA but federal regulations do not allow a student to receive financial aid in excess of their Cost of Attendance.

What is the Expected Family Contribution (EFC)? How is it determined and where do I find it on my financial aid award?
The EFC stands for Expected Family Contribution. This is an index number that is calculated by the federal government when you complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The EFC is calculated from the information provided on the FAFSA and the government uses a formula established by law to do this. Your family’s taxed and untaxed income, assets, and benefits are all considered in the formula. Also evaluated are your total family size and the number of family members who will attend college during the year. It is important to understand that the EFC number is not a bill. Our office uses the EFC number to determine a student’s financial aid eligibility: how much and what kind of financial aid to award. It is not tied to a bill or financial obligation. 

To view your financial aid award Expected Family Contribution (EFC) on ZZUSIS
Student Center>Finances Heading>View Financial Aid>Click on Aid Year>Financial Aid Summary

To learn more about the types of financial aid listed on your financial aid award, good links to review on WSU’s Student Financial Services website are: “Getting Started” to find out about the process and financial aid specifically, “Types of Aid”, and “Loans”. If you have questions about your financial aid award, please contact your local financial aid office by phone, in person, or online.

Financial Aid Award

Only students who have a complete financial aid file will receive a Financial Aid Award notification. Students may receive a a combination of grants, loans, work-study, and/or scholarships depending on their eligibility. See Awarding Process above. 

To view your financial aid award for the 2014-2015 school year, go to ZZUSIS. 
Student Center>Finances Section/Heading>View Financial Aid Award>Click on 2015 link

The Financial Aid Award lists
a. Total Estimated Cost of Attendance
b. The EFC (Expected Family Contribution) determined from the FAFSA
c. Total need-based eligibility (COA-EFC=Need)
d. Total Annual Awards (both Fall & Spring terms/semesters)

WSU attempts to provide grant funding for financial aid applicants who have submitted a FAFSA by February 15, 2014 and have need-based eligibility. Students who submitted a FAFSA after February 15, 2014, are packaged on a “funds available” basis (this includes students attending spring semester only). The FAFSA priority deadline for the 2015-2016 year is February 15, 2015.

Grant and scholarship funding is automatically accepted for the student. These are “free” monies for college. All STUDENTS borrowing Stafford Direct Loans for the first time must complete the electronic Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Entrance Loan Counseling to receive loan monies. Both the MPN and Entrance Loan Counseling must be completed online at www.studentsloans.gov. It takes about 10 minutes to do both and you will need your 4-Digit PIN code from the FAFSA to start the process. For step-by-step instructions click here.

Students eligible for work-study will receive a separate notice sent to their ZZUSIS account about a week after receiving their financial aid award with further instructions. The student will then need to find a job and complete and return the Work Study Authorization Form (WSAF) to the nearest financial aid office to be eligible for a work-study award. Please be aware work-study awarding is done on a first-come, first-served bases until all work-study funds have been exhausted. For more information visit Work-Study or Work-Study FAQ

Steps for Loan Borrowers

Below are step-by-step instructions on how to process loans shown on your financial aid award. Please follow these steps so your financial aid monies can be delivered to your WSU Student Account at the start of the semester.  The instructions are specific to the different types of loans offered by the federal government. For any questions about your financial aid, please contact our office. It takes at least 48 hours to receive your loan monies after completing the required entrance loan counseling and/or master promissory note. For questions about your WSU charges, account balances, refunds, or late fees, please contact University Receivables (or also known as Student Accounts). 

Steps to Receive Direct Stafford Loans Steps to Receive Perkins/Nursing Loan Steps to Process Graduate PLUS Loan
Stafford Perkins Graduate PLUS

Subsidized/Unsubsidized Direct Loans and Perkins/Professions/Grad PLUS Loans

There are three ways to accept, decline, and/or reduce your loans offered on your Financial Aid Award. You can call Student Financial Services at (509) 335-9711, stop by your local WSU Student Financial Services for assistance, or the easiest way is through ZZUSIS. See below for step by step instructions.

  1. Click on Student Center 
  2. Under the Finances Heading, click on Accept/Decline Awards link 
  3. Click Aid Year Link (2015 for the coming school year)
  4. Award will then display. Keep in mind that the amounts displayed and accepted are for two semesters (fall and spring) which equal one full academic year. Aid will be delivered a semester at a time.
    • To Accept Entire Loan Amount: Click box under the “Accept” column and then click black “Submit” button at the bottom of the page. You may accept all or a portion of the amount shown in the “Offered” column.
    • To Accept Less of the Loan than offered: Click “Accept” box and then enter the amount of loan you wish to accept for the year. Click black “Submit” button at the bottom of the page.
    • To Decline Entire Loan: Click the box under the “Decline” column and click the black “Submit” at the bottom of the page.

Be aware that whatever loan amount you accept for the academic year will be divided in two halves. One half of the money will be delivered to your student account at the start of each term (fall and/or spring). Please note that summer financial aid delivery is different—all aid listed will be delivered in one disbursement amount to your WSU Student Account.

Finaid Package


Parent PLUS Loans

For instructions on completing the:

  • 2013-2014 Parent PLUS Loan Application for summer please click here.
  • 2014-2015 Parent PLUS Loan Application for the academic year please click here.
  • Cancelling the Parent Plus Loan click here.

Please note:
Parent PLUS loans are subject to a credit check by the federal government and are not guaranteed funds. This credit check is done once a parent has completed and submitted the Parent PLUS loan application to Student Financial Services. The parent will be notified directly by the government if the loan is approved or denied.

If a PLUS loan is denied, the parent can choose to:

  1. dispute the denial by contacting the federal government or
  2. reprocess the loan with a co-signer or endorser or 
  3. the student may be offered an additional unsubsidized direct loan after the denied Parent PLUS loan is cancelled ($4,000 for the academic year-freshmen/sophomore and $5,000 for the academic year-junior/senior). Contact our office for further assistance in these situations.
Loans and Types of Aid on Your Award

It is important for a student understand as much information as possible about the loans being offered to fund their education so they can make informed decisions about borrowing this debt. Click here for more details about loans.   

To learn more about the Types of Financial Aid you see on your financial aid award (often called package), click here.   

Financial Aid Delivery

Financial Aid is delivered or disbursed to a student’s WSU Student Account about five days before a term begins (fall/spring/summer). For this aid to deliver, a student must have accepted his/her loan(s), completed entrance loan counseling and the master promissory note if applicable (student is a first time borrower), and have no holds on their WSU Student Account.  Financial aid money pays student charges and if it doesn’t cover all charges posted, money will be owed to the University and an account balance will show on ZZUSIS. If the financial aid pays all charges owed, then a student will receive a refund. Refunds are sent to students via paper check or as a credit to their lending institution if they’ve set up a Direct Deposit Authorization

It takes about 2-3 days for refunds to reach a student by mail or through direct deposit. For more information about the financial aid delivery process works, click here.  

Summer/Part-Time/Athletic Aid

Often students have special circumstances or situations that require unique handling of their financial aid process and award. See below for more information about these.
Part-Time Aid 
Summer Aid 
Athletic Aid 


All scholarships, whether they’re institutional (admissions-awarded at time of application, general university, and departmental) or outside scholarships, are processed through Student Financial Services in Pullman. (For Vancouver, Tri-Cities, and Spokane university scholarships, please contact your specific financial aid office representative if you need help or more information).
Scholarships listed on your financial aid award/package are automatically accepted for you. No action is required by you to accept a scholarship. The funds are delivered to your WSU Student Account. In general, a scholarship/award is for a full academic year and will be divided in to two semesters and disbursed at the beginning of each semester (fall and spring). Summer is its own term.

Please be aware most scholarships and awards require a student to be enrolled in a minimum of 12 credits to receive the scholarship. If for some reason during a term (fall, spring, or summer) the number of credits you are enrolled in drops or is reduced, this could impact whether you continue to receive your scholarship. Please contact WSU Scholarship Services if you have questions about your scholarship eligibility at scholarships@wsu.edu or 509-335-9711.

To be considered for most WSU scholarships, a student must complete a WSU Scholarship Application every year. The application is available online from September to January 31 for the upcoming academic year. For more information about applying for scholarships at WSU, go to http://finaid.wsu.edu/scholarships.

Institutional Scholarships

Scholarship awards are given by many different university departments and colleges, donors, and other entities. All institutional scholarships and other relevant student resources in the form of authorizations will be submitted to Scholarship Services to be posted on a student’s account. The diagram below gives an overview of how this process works.

A continuing student is not eligible for new student recruitment scholarships if he/she wasn’t awarded one initially as a new student. University scholarships students receive through the admission process are renewable based on scholarship-specific GPA and credit requirements. For renewal consideration, students do not have to fill out a WSU Scholarship Application but do need to meet the GPA and credit requirements outlined per the scholarship. Students will receive email notification of the status of their renewable scholarship annually after spring grades post.

There are several other resources intended to help cover a student’s educational costs and are included in a student’s financial aid package.  Some of these common resources are: Graduate Operating Fee Waivers, Departmental and outside Third Party Guarantees. These resources are processed by the WSU University Receivables/Student Accounts Office and are accounted for by Student Financial Services as a “placeholder” on the student’s Financial Aid package. This is done to ensure these funds are being included as a financial aid resource toward the student’s total Cost of Attendance for the year. Placeholders do not deliver or disburse money in any way. 

Institutional/Departmental Scholarships/Resources/Scholarship Flow Chart

Scholarships Institutional

Outside Scholarships

Outside Scholarships do not automatically appear on your financial aid package or award. All outside scholarships are tracked in first by WSU’s University Receivables/Student Accounts Office and then forwarded to Scholarship Services to review and post on a student’s financial aid package. (See below diagram).

How quickly this process takes place depends on many factors and the time of year when the donor check is received. The start of fall and spring semesters is the busiest times of the year. Generally, once WSU receives the donor’s money/check, it will take approximately two weeks to see the funds credited to your WSU Student Account. To help speed up the processing of your outside scholarship, please submit the donor check with the Scholarship Designation Form.

Outside Scholarship Flow Chart

 Scholarships Outside



Office Hours:
8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Student Financial Services, Lighty Building Room 380, Washington State University, PO Box 641068, Pullman WA 99164-1068, 509-335-9711.