Washington State University

Student Financial Services


Completing the WASFA Application Process and The Real Hope Act

1) What are the requirements to be considered an HB 1079 student at WSU and in the state of Washington?

  •  To qualify as HB 1079, undocumented students must have:
  •  Earned a high school diploma or GED from a Washington State high school or institution
  • Lived in Washington for at least three years prior to receiving a diploma or GED
  • Been accepted into a Washington State college or university
  • Signed the Non-US Citizen affidavit of Residency stating he or she will apply for U.S. residency when eligible to apply

2) Where can I get, complete, and sign the Non-US Citizens Affidavit of Residency in order to be considered for in-state tuition (HB 1079 status) and be eligible to receive the Washington State Need Grant?

Once an HB 1079 student has applied for admission or is enrolled in one of the colleges or universities in state of Washington that institution must provide the student the Non-US Citizens Affidavit of Residency in order to be considered for in-state tuition. This form can also be found at http://coalition.wsu.edu/hb-1079-affidavit/.

3) As an HB 1079 student, do I qualify to receive the Washington State Need Grant (SNG) this up-coming school year 2014-2015?

Yes. The “Real Hope Act” gives HB 1079 students, who qualify for in-state tuition, the opportunity to be eligible for the SNG. But, there is no guarantee you will receive it. After applying, every student has criteria to meet in order to receive the SNG.

4) When is the deadline to fill out the Washington Application for State Financial Aid (WASFA) for HB 1079 students who are unable to complete the FAFSA due to immigration status?

Washington State University’s deadline for this academic year is May 1. For future years, the deadline to complete this application will be February 15th.

5) What determines how much money, if any, I will receive?

  • Award amounts could vary depending on:


          Family income and size

          Enrollment status

  • Awards are based on tuition and some fees at public institutions:

          Tuition and fees are not fully covered by the Washington State Need Grant award

          The WA State Need Grant is awarded depending on available funds

6) I am a HB 1079 student but I did not complete my degree. Can I go back to school and now be eligible for the Washington State Need Grant?

As long as you have not completed your first degree and meet all the qualifications for being a HB 1079 student, you are eligible to apply to receive the grant. If you have already completed your degree, you are not eligible to be considered for this grant. However, you are still eligible for in-state tuition.

7) Once I am eligible to receive the WA State Need Grant, do I automatically receive it every year while I am in school?

No, this is a yearly process to reapply. The student has to complete and submit the Washington Application for State Financial Aid (WASFA) every year to be eligible for grant consideration. 

8) How do I know if my WASFA application has been submitted and received by the institution I applied to?

Once you complete the state application via readysetgrad.org, you will receive an email confirmation from the Washington Student Achievement Council (WASC). After your information has being processed, it will be passed along to the educational institution you chose to apply.  The financial aid office of that institution determines if you qualify for the State Need Grant. Remember, this application must be submitted every year. This application will be available January 1st to February 15th every year.

9) I am a HB 1079 student but I am planning to attend a university out of the state of Washington.  Am I still eligible to receive the Washington State Need Grant?

No, HB 1079 students can qualify to for the Washington State Need Grant if they attend an eligible college or university in the state of Washington.

10) If I am an HB 1079 student, can I submit my FAFSA in order to be considered to receive the Washington State Need Grant?

No, only students who are U.S. citizens or eligible noncitizens can submit the FAFSA for federal aid consideration. To be eligible for the Washington State Need Grant, you need to complete the Washington Application for State Financial Aid (WASFA) application. Go to readysetgrad.org to do complete.


Education Abroad

I plan to study abroad. What steps do I need to take to receive financial aid?

Here are the steps a student must complete in order to be eligible to receive Financial Aid:

  1. Complete a Study Abroad Application with the WSU Global Learning Office (also known as the Education Abroad Office). This office will have an advisor sit down with the student to discuss study abroad program options and assist the student in determining their program selection.
  2. Submit Program Expense Form. If the student indicates on this application that he/she will be using financial aid, the Education Abroad Office determines the total cost of the program and forwards this information to the Student Financial Services office on a form called, The Program Expense Form (PEF).
  3. Student’s Financial Aid Budget and Package is Adjusted. Based on the Program Expense Form, Student Financial Services revises the student's cost of attendance to reflect the (increased or decreased) education abroad costs and budget and then adjusts the student’s financial aid award accordingly. To receive financial aid, undergraduate students must be enrolled full-time (12 credits) during the academic year (fall and spring terms) and at least half-time (6 credits) during the summer term abroad. Graduate students must be enrolled in 10 credits during the academic year and at least 3 credits during the summer term.
  4. Complete the NS Form. The “NS-Education Abroad Checklist” is requested from the student on ZZUSIS. Student financial Services sets this checklist on the student’s ZZUSIS account. Students must complete and return this form to SFS before financial aid will deliver to their WSU Student Account. If the form is never returned by the student, financial aid will never deliver! The student does NOT receive reminders or additional notifications from our office to complete this form. The NS “To Do” checklist item on ZZUSIS simply remains on the student’s account indefinitely unless completed.
  5. Financial Aid Delivers to WSU Student Account. According to federal regulations, financial aid is released to the student on the first day of the regular WSU term (fall/spring/summer) or ten (10) days prior to the student's program start date (shown on the Program Expense Form) whichever is LATER. There are no exceptions to this rule! Once financial aid disburses to the student’s account, it pays charges posted and if there’s money left over, then the student will receive a paper check or a direct deposit if the student completed the necessary steps on ZZUSIS.

What financial aid can be used while studying abroad?
Students can utilize most types of financial aid and scholarships to pay for their education abroad. There are a few exceptions: Cougar Commitment, Cougar Academic Award, Work Study, and some waivers cannot be used while studying abroad. The University Achievement Award, Regents Scholarship, Glenn Terrell Scholarship and most Pullman Campus specific university scholarships can be used while studying abroad during any academic term. If you are not clear if your scholarship can be used abroad, you may contact the Student Financial Services office at 509-335-9711 or at scholarships@wsu.edu. Students can learn more about additional study abroad scholarship opportunities by contacting the WSU Global Learning office at http://ip.wsu.edu/global-learning/education-abroad/home.html.

What do I do if my financial aid doesn’t cover my costs of studying abroad?
If a student’s institutional, state, and federal financial aid does not cover their costs abroad, the student might consider researching and exploring the option of using a private education loan to pay for these expenses. To find out more about how the private education loan process works, go to the Student Financial Services office website at http://financialaid.wsu.edu/your-award/loans/.

Does WSU pay my program directly?
Students are required and responsible for paying their education abroad programs directly. WSU does not pay the program on the student’s behalf. If the student has financial aid for their term abroad, those monies will deliver to the student’s WSU Student Account just as if the student was attending classes at WSU.

What should I do before leaving the country to ensure my aid delivers to my WSU student account? Students should complete these important steps BEFORE leaving the U.S. and their home:

  1. Set up Direct Deposit through ZZUSIS so that a WSU Student Account refund can immediately be credited to your personal bank account. Then your money can be accessed from anywhere in the world.
  2. Complete the Third Party Access process. This process grants someone access to your WSU accounts and records. Students should designate a third party access, preferably someone from their family or a close friend, in case he/she needs assistance while they are out of the country.
  3. Update your mailing address on ZZUSIS for the term you are abroad, probably to the address of your parents, a family member or a close friend.

Who do I contact if I change my mind and decide not to study abroad?
If a student decides not to study abroad after submitting a Program Expense Form and having their financial aid package and budget adjusted, they must first notify the WSU Global Learning office and then WSU's Student Finanical Services. Student Financial Services requires cancellations to be in writing. The student can send an email to finaid@wsu.edu or drop off a handwritten note to the Student Financial Services office.

FinAid Scheduler FAQ

What is the FinAid Scheduler?
The FinAid Scheduler is a convenient, online appointment system WSU students can use to schedule a time to meet/talk with a financial aid counselor at the Pullman campus Student Financial Services office (formerly named the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office). Financial and Scholarship-related issues can be discussed during an appointment. Appointments can be made from any computer or smart phone from the Student Financial Services website at www.finaid.wsu.edu.

Why do I have to use the FinAid Scheduler to see a counselor?
To better serve our Pullman campus students and avoid long lines and unknown wait times, Student Financial Services created this online appointment system for WSU students to use. This will allow you the chance to better manage your class schedule and your personal business during the day.

How do I use the FinAid Scheduler?
Go to www.finaid.wsu.edu. Click on the Grey Cougar PAW button under “Quick Links”. You will sign in using your WSU network ID and Password to make an appointment; select your appointment day and time, and also provide the “reason” for your counselor meeting.

What hours and days of the week are appointments available?
Appointments are generally available from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday during peak times of the semester and the summer. You can make an appointment eight days in advance. The office is closed on weekends and holidays. During non-peak times of the semester, the service hours often are shortened.

What types of appointments are available? Can I make more than one appointment?
Appointment times are available in ten minute increments. You may NOT make more than one appointment at a time. While you have an ACTIVE appointment in the system, you will not be able to make a second appointment until your first appointment has been concluded.

What do I need to bring to my appointment?
You will be required to have your WSU Cougar Card or a photo ID to meet with a financial aid counselor at the time of your appointment.

When should I arrive for my scheduled appointment?
As with any appointment, please arrive a few minutes prior to your appointment time at the WSU Pullman Student Financial Services office (formerly name Student Financial Services) located in the Lighty Building, 3rd floor, room 380. Please check in with our staff when you arrive.

How far in advance can I schedule an appointment?
You may schedule an appointment eight days in advance.

Can I make an appointment the same day I want to see a counselor?
Yes, you can make an appointment if there is an appointment time available that day.

What happens if I arrive late?
Once your appointment time has passed and you have not shown up, we cannot guarantee your appointment time will be honored. Our office will still try to schedule another appointment time for you that day based on availability, but you may be required to wait or schedule another appointment on another day.

Who can use FinAid Appointment Scheduler?
The FinAid Scheduler can be used by any current or prospective WSU student or parent who would like to speak to a financial aid counselor at our WSU Pullman Student Financial Services office.

Can I use the FinAid Appointment Scheduler for appointments at other WSU financial aid campus offices (Spokane, Tri-Cities, or Vancouver)?
No, the FinAid Appointment Scheduler is only for making an appointment at the WSU Pullman office.

What if I know my appointment will take longer than 10 minutes?
Go ahead and schedule an appointment. If during your appointment it is determined you need more time to discuss your situation, the counselor will decide how best to service you further and what next steps to take.

I am having trouble finding a convenient appointment date. What do I do?
The FinAid Appointment Scheduler is based on your availability. You will need to make time over the next eight business days and schedule an appointment during that time if you want a personal appointment. You may also call or email our office if you need immediate assistance at 509-335-9711 or finaid@wsu.edu.

I am not sure that my appointment was confirmed. Is there a way to check?
Yes, you can log back into the Scheduler to see your appointment. Also, you will receive an email confirmation after scheduling your appointment.

Can I view an existing appointment or cancel an appointment?
Yes, you can log into the Scheduler at www.finaid.wsu.edu to see, cancel, or change an existing appointment.


Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Appeals

How do I maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)?
The key points of the SAP regulations are: 

  • Maintain a 2.0 cumulative GPA.
  • Complete and pass at least 67% of your credits cumulatively and 67% of your credits each term.
  • Graduate with your degree within the maximum time frame requirements for your career.

The best way to maintain a good SAP status and thus receive financial aid for your education is to follow these Federal regulations for SAP eligibility. Read the SAP Handbook on the Student Financial Services website to learn the specifics of the Federal regulations for eligibility. At finaid.wsu.edu, click on “Maintaining Eligibility” then on the “Satisfactory Academic Progress” link to find the handbook near the bottom of the page for review.

How do I know if I’m in Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) trouble?
You will receive an email from Student Financial Services detailing your deficiency. The email you receive may either be a Warning status email or a Denial email.

Warning: advises you that you are on “notice” that you didn’t meet the SAP regulations in one or more of the key categories in the most recent academic term BUT you are still eligible to receive financial aid.
If you do not meet SAP criteria two terms (fall, spring, or summer) in a row, then you will not be eligible to receive financial aid for the next term and you will need to submit a SAP Appeal to be considered for financial aid.
Denial: advises you that you are not eligible for financial aid for the next term unless you submit a SAP Appeal, successfully have your appeal approved, and are placed on an academic plan for the term you need aid. If you are in a SAP Denial status the FA1_RB checklist item (the SAP APPEAL form) will be initiated on your ZZUSIS “To Do” list. This checklist item indicates that you will need to submit a SAP Appeal in order to be considered for financial aid.

How do I submit a SAP Appeal?
You can file an appeal through the Student Financial Services website at submitssfsdocs.wsu.edu. Please be sure to complete all areas of the form. You must file and submit the SAP Appeal online. If you need to submit additional documentation, you can email that information to sapappeal@wsu.edu or you can fax it to the Pullman Campus Office at (509-335-1385). Make sure to include your name and WSU ID number on all documentation.

What are the deadlines for filing a SAP Appeal?
The appeal must be submitted no later than the 30th day of the term for which you are enrolled or it will not be reviewed and will be automatically denied.

How will I know if my SAP Appeal has been received?
If our office received your appeal, the status of your appeal will read “Received” on ZZUSIS under your Financial Aid “To Do” list. If you submitted your appeal and the status area reads “Initiated,” it means we haven’t recorded it into our system. It can take up to two business days before we track an appeal into our system, then it’ll show “Received”. When your status shows “Complete” it means your appeal has been reviewed and a decision has been made.

If I submit a SAP Appeal, do I automatically get approved for financial aid?
No. The approval of your appeal depends on the circumstance(s) that made you SAP deficient and what steps you are taking in order to correct your deficiency. The submission of your SAP Appeal does not guarantee that you will receive financial aid for the next term. The Committee will review your SAP Appeal based on established guidelines and will determine if you are eligible for approval.

How long does it take for an appeal to be reviewed?
Depending upon the time of year, the review process can range from a few days during the non-peak time of a term to six weeks during the peak time. Please file a SAP Appeal as soon as you receive your denial email and/or see the notification on your ZZUSIS account. Waiting to file an appeal until the beginning of the term will cause a delay in the review of your appeal. Appeals are reviewed in date order received. If additional documentation or information is requested, it can take longer for the review to be completed, as no decision can be made until all information or documentation is received by Student Financial Services.

How will I be notified of the outcome or decision regarding my SAP Appeal?
When a decision has been made on your SAP appeal, you will receive a letter in the email.

If your appeal is Denied, you will be emailed a denial letter and your financial aid for that term will be cancelled. You will have to find an alternative source for funding for that term. If your appeal is Approved, a SAP Academic Plan will be emailed to you. The academic plan will also show on your Financial Aid “To Do” list in ZZUSIS.

You will need to sign and return a copy of this academic plan document within two weeks of the date of the letter to release your financial aid for that term. Branch campus students can contact their local financial aid office to have the academic plan printed out for signing.

If my appeal is denied, what steps should I take to be eligible for future financial aid?
You will need to make academic progress on your own. You will need to do well in your classes and make progress toward your degree in your next term of enrollment. At that time, you would be eligible to file a new appeal. You may also show progress towards your degree by attending another institution and taking classes that will transfer back to WSU and apply towards your degree.

How many courses do I need to take to make academic progress and regain eligibility?
It depends upon your SAP deficiency. In general, you can take one (3 credit) class and it can help to improve your SAP status. Repeating previously failed courses and passing them can also improve both your cumulative GPA and your pace to degree requirements.

What happens if I failed my academic plan? Can I file a new appeal?
Yes--if you didn’t meet the terms of your academic plan for the term, you can submit a SAP Appeal. However, please realize it must be reviewed by the SAP Committee in order for a decision to be made. This it is not a guarantee your appeal will be approved. The SAP Committee will follow the proper evaluation guidelines, but be sure to detail your circumstances explicitly so a proper review of your situation can be made by the Committee.

If I complete the University requirements to get back in academic standing (R39) am I eligible for financial aid?
Being reinstated to the university does not mean that you are reinstated for financial aid purposes. You also must file a Satisfactory Academic Appeal with Student Financial Services. If it is Approved, you will then be eligible for financial aid after signing and returning your academic plan. If your appeal is not approved, then you will not be eligible for financial aid for that specific term.

If I drop a class, what will happen to my financial aid?
a) If you are currently making satisfactory academic progress (SAP) this could place you in Warning status for the next academic term.
b) If you drop classes and this results in a second warning in a row for the term, it will place you in a SAP Denial status and you will have to file a SAP Appeal for future financial aid consideration.
c) If you are currently on a SAP Academic Plan for the term and want to drop a class, you will need to send an email to sapappeal@wsu.edu and request that the “Service Indicator Hold” be removed in order for you to drop the class. The hold is only removed for 48-72 hours and then is placed back on your account. If you drop a class while you are on a SAP Academic Plan, you will fail your academic plan and you will have to file a new SAP Appeal for the next term. Filing a new appeal is not a guarantee of approval.

My ZZUSIS account has a SAP contract hold (FFH-service indicator) and I need to register for classes. What do I do?
The service indicator hold does not prevent you from registering for future terms of enrollment. It only prevents you from dropping classes during the term you are on a SAP academic plan. Please check to see if you have any other service indicator holds that may be preventing you from enrolling and contact the appropriate department to inquire about them.

Where can I find more information about SAP requirements?
Go to the Student Financial Services website at finaid.wsu.edu for more details and explanations. Click on “Maintaining Eligibility” and then “Satisfactory Academic Progress” for more information. If you have additional questions after reviewing this information and the SAP Handbook, you can send an email to sapappeal@wsu.edu or call Student Financial Services at 509-335-9711.

Special Circumstance Appeals

The FAFSA does not accurately reflect my income and financial situation. Can an adjustment be made?
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a tool used by the federal government to estimate a family's ability to pay for a student's education costs. We realize that sometimes situations change and last year's tax information may not always portray an accurate picture of a family's financial situation. We also know that our student population is diverse and they have many different needs. The Student Financial Services office has a review process in place for these situations where a parent and/or a student could provide additional information about certain financial circumstances. It is called a Special Circumstances Appeal. In these five circumstances, a student’s financial aid eligibility can be more closely reviewed if a Special Circumstances Appeal is submitted to Student Financial Services. They are: 1) Change in income 2) Medical and Dental Expenses 3) Parent in College 4) Private School Tuition and 5) Student Loan in Repayment.

How do I submit a Special Circumstance Appeal?
To submit an appeal, go to the Student Financial Services website at finaid.wsu.edu and click “Forms” and then, click the “Fall 2014-Spring 2015” tab on top. The appeal form will be titled “Special Circumstance Appeal”. The form is an online “smart” form and can only be found on the Student Financial Services website. The form will not allow you to submit the appeal until all questions have been answered and all requested documentation has been uploaded. Click here to be taken to the appeal form.

Is there a limit to how many Special Circumstance Appeals I can submit?
Yes, this can be true. It depends on the type of appeal submitted. For the “Change of Income” appeal situation, you are limited to two appeals during your WSU academic career. For any of the others, you are not limited. However, the situations cannot overlap. In other words, the same appeal situation cannot be submitted twice.

How will I know what information to submit for my Special Circumstance Appeal?
Depending on what your personal circumstance is, the form will guide you and provide you with instructions on what will be needed in the way of documentation and information. Please note that all appeals require a completed worksheet which is available in the online Special Circumstance form or on our website. Click here to view the worksheets. Please submit exactly what is asked for in terms of information and documentation. Incomplete submissions will delay the review process.

Is there a deadline for submitting a Special Circumstances Appeal? 
No. You may submit a Special Circumstances Appeal any time during the year (fall, spring and summer terms) but to submit and have reviewed a Special Circumstance for the 2014-15 academic year, you will need to have completed and submitted a 2014-2015 FAFSA. Appeals can only be submitted for the current academic year (2014-2015) that a student is enrolled. We cannot process appeals for previous academic years such as the 2013-2014 or 2012-2013 school years.

How long does it take to process a Special Circumstances Appeal?
This depends. Please be aware if you have been selected by the WSU Student Financial Services office for “Verification” and are requested to submit verification documents (such as the 2013 Tax Return Transcript and/or other forms), the Student Financial Services office will not process your appeal until your Verification review has been completed and you receive a 2014-2015 Actual Financial Aid Award. If you are not selected for verification and your FAFSA tax data shows a “Will File” status, we will not be able to process your appeal until you have updated your FAFSA to reflect your actual tax data. Special Circumstances Appeal processing can vary depending on when your appeal is submitted (peak or non-peak times of the academic year). For the fall 2014 semester, we estimate it will take up to eight weeks to process your appeal. Please know our office is doing our very best to process your appeal as quickly as possible.

How will I know if my Special Circumstances Appeal is approved or denied?
The WSU student will be notified by email when the review has been completed, and the email will indicate whether the appeal was approved or not approved. In addition, an explanation will be provided as to why this decision was made by Student Financial Services.

If I submit a Special Circumstances Appeal and it is approved, what change could I possibly see with my FAFSA and financial aid award?
It’s possible your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) could be lowered if your Special Circumstances Appeal is approved. Depending on the change(s), you could see change in the types of aid now made available to you. For example, you could become eligible for the federal PELLL Grant and SEOG grants and/or a subsidized direct loan. Any changes to your original financial aid award for dependent students may also mean a reduction in a Parent PLUS loan originally offered. Please be aware that the financial aid offered you may not exceed your total WSU cost of attendance. 

I filed an appeal and received an approval but I did not receive additional financial aid. Why did this happen?
Although we reviewed your Special Circumstance Appeal and it was approved, sometimes the changes made may not be significant enough to result in the awarding of additional financial aid. For further explanation and assistance about your specific appeal, please contact Student Financial Services at specialcircumstances@wsu.edu or by calling 509-335-9711.

I submitted all the required documents for my Special Circumstances Appeal. Why I am being asked to submit additional information?
There are situations, when after an initial review of your appeal has been done, the reviewer determines additional documentation is needed to properly complete the review of your situation. Please forward this documentation right away so we can continue the appeal review process. If we have asked for additional documentation, the review will not be completed until this information is received.

If I have to submit additional documentation for my appeal review will this keep me from receiving the financial aid funding I’d be eligible for if approved?
No. If your appeal is approved and you are eligible to receive more financial aid because of the recalculation of your EFC, then you will be awarded what you were entitled to despite the delay.

My parent lost his/her job since filing the 2014-2015 FAFSA. Is there anything that can be done to reflect this change in income on the FAFSA and on our student’s financial aid award?
A “Change in Family Income” is one allowable reason for a Special Circumstances review. Special Circumstances requests must be submitted using the Special Circumstances Form  along with loss of income documentation and a letter of explanation. Special Circumstance Forms are available under "Forms" or “Your Award” under the Special Circumstances Considerations link.

Our family incurred unusual, excessive medical expenses in 2013, but there was not any place on the FAFSA to capture this financial hardship. What can we do?
Incurring excessive, out of the ordinary medical expenses is a situation where a Special Circumstance Appeal can be submitted to our office for review. An appeal must be submitted by selecting the Parent Medical/Dental Expenses area outlined on the online form. Other documentation needed in addition to the form and worksheets requested will include: the 2013 Tax Return Transcript Schedule A, specified medical expense documentation, and a letter of explanation. For more information about submitting this type of Special Circumstances Appeal, please go to Financial Aid website at www.finaid.wsu.edu and click on “Your Award” then the Special Circumstances Consideration link.

Can my family’s debt or credit card payments be considered in a Special Circumstances Appeal?
We are sorry but our office cannot adjust student's aid awards for mortgages, car expenses, bankruptcy, credit card debt, leisure activities or other types of family debt.

I previously submitted a Special Circumstances Appeal but now have a new circumstance. Can my first appeal be re-evaluated or do I need to submit a new appeal form and documentation? 
You will need to submit a new appeal in this situation based on your new circumstances. We would not re-evaluate your original Special Circumstances Appeal. Please submit a new Special Circumstances Appeal form and supporting documentation along with a letter of explanation so that the Student Financial Services office can evaluate your new circumstance.

If I have questions about my appeal and/or about the Special Circumstance Appeal Process, who should I contact?
If you have a specific question about your appeal, please email specialcircumstances@wsu.edu for guidance. For general inquiries, you can contact our helpful staff at 509-335-9711. You may also visit your local Student Financial Services office (Pullman, Vancouver, Tri-Cities and Spokane) in person if you need assistance.

My family cannot afford the remaining financial aid costs to attend WSU, and we did not qualify to submit a Special Circumstances Appeal. What options do I or my family have?
Student Financial Services has a range of other financial aid options we can discuss with you. Our office is always available to provide any guidance you would need and/or to discuss possible next steps to pursue in this situation. Since every student's circumstance is unique and very personal, we recommend you meet with your a local representative or adviser on your campus for this conversation. Please contact your local WSU Student Financial Services office for further guidance if you find yourself in this situation.

Where do I find more information about the Special Circumstance Appeal Process?
On the Student Financial Services website at finaid.wsu.edu under the left navigation title of “Your Award”>Special Circumstances, there is more information for your review. Click here to read more details about the Special Circumstance process.

Summer Financial Aid

What steps do I need to take to be eligible for summer financial aid?

  1. You need to file a 2013-2014 FAFSA if you haven’t already done so. The 2013-2014 FAFSA covers fall 2013, spring 2014, and summer 2014. Once this is done, your 2013-2014 financial aid file can be reviewed.
  2. You need to register for classes! Our office will then review your account to determine your eligibility to receive aid for the summer term. Please be aware that submitting a FAFSA and registering for classes doesn’t automatically mean you will be awarded summer aid. 

What’s the minimum # of credits I need to be considered for summer financial aid?
Undergraduate students must be enrolled in a minimum of six total credit hours during Summer Session to receive Summer Financial Aid. Graduate/Professional level students must be enrolled in a minimum of three total credit hours.

What type(s) of financial aid will be available?
Generally, the types of financial aid that are available to students in the summer include: Federal Pell Grant, Institutional Grant, Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans, Perkins loan, Parent and Graduate PLUS loans, and sometimes federal work study if funds are available. Please be aware that aid eligibility for these programs during the summer depends on several factors such as whether the grants and loans were “used” in the 13-14 academic year by you and if the university has available monies to offer students (institutional grant, Perkins loan and work study). You may also want to explore the option of funding your summer classes with a private loan or by getting a job

Will I receive need-based financial aid (grants/loans) as part of my summer financial aid award?
It depends. If you did not use your entire Federal Pell Grant and Stafford Subsidized Direct loan eligibility during the fall and spring terms in 2013-2014, then it’s possible you could receive these need-based forms of financial aid. You may also qualify for other WSU need-based aid (Institutional Grant or Perkins Loan) depending on your expected family contribution (EFC) which is calculated from the FAFSA. These funds are awarded based on your EFC and whether WSU has monies to award. The lower your EFC is the better chance you’ll be eligible for these types of financial aid.

What do I need to do to be eligible for a summer Perkins Loan?
To be awarded in a timely manner and be considered for the Perkins Loan, you will need to register in the minimum required credits (6 credits for Undergraduates; 3 credits for Graduates) by Thursday, May 1. Eligibility is also based on your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and your need. If the Perkins Loan is offered to you and not accepted by May 15 or two weeks after it’s been offered, then it may be cancelled. If for some reason you could not register for classes by May 1, then you can submit an On-time Appeal Form for review and consideration. Click here to complete this online form. 

Do I need to be enrolled in 6 credits to receive a Pell Grant for the summer term?
No, if you are Pell Grant eligible based on your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and you did not use all your annual Pell Grant monies during the 2013-2014 academic year (fall 2013 and spring 2014), then you would be eligible to receive a summer Pell Grant even if you are enrolled in less than 6 credits. However, Pell Grant awarding is pro-rated based on the total # of credits you are enrolled in for the term.

Where do I find more information about the Parent PLUS loan and a private loan?
Click here for more information about these loans. 

Will I be sent a notification if I receive a summer financial aid award?
Yes, summer students receive an email sent to their WSU email letting them know they have an award and to check their Student Center on ZZUSIS. Our office also sends students who didn’t qualify for a summer financial aid award an email as well.
To view your award on ZZUSIS, go to:
Student Center>Finances Section/Heading>View Financial Aid Award>Click on 2014 link

When will summer financial aid deliver to my WSU Student Account?
Your financial aid will deliver on the first day of your first summer session class. All summer charges will post to your WSU Student Account on that first day of your first class as well. If your summer aid does not deliver on your first day of class, you’ll need to contact Student Financial Services immediately for assistance by going to your local campus, by calling 509-335-9711 or emailing finaid@wsu.edu.

What if my summer financial aid never delivers to my WSU Student Account? What should I do?
You should call or stop by your local campus WSU financial aid office immediately to have a counselor review your financial aid award and help you determine why your aid has not delivered. There are several different reasons that could explain why this might happen. For example, you may be borrowing Stafford Direct Loans for the first time and need to complete the Stafford Entrance Loan Counseling and the Master Promissory Note found on www.studentloans.gov. Another reason may be your total number of summer credits fell below the required minimum to receive financial aid, so your aid never disbursed electronically to your WSU Student Account.

Can I still apply for summer financial aid?
You can be considered for summer aid anytime in the summer as long as you’ve registered for the minimum credit hours for summer and have filed a 2013-2014 FAFSA. However, there is a cut-off date to be aware of. The Student Financial Services office has to receive your 2013-2014 FAFSA as well as review and process your financial aid award all before July 23. Note: the last day students can accept loans for guaranteed delivery of funds for the summer term is Friday, July 25.

What is the last day I can qualify for summer financial aid?
The deadline is July 23. The last day students can accept loans for the summer term is Friday, July 25.

Is it possible for me to receive a Scholarship for the summer session?
In general, university scholarships are not awarded during the summer, but some WSU departments/colleges do award scholarships during this term. This varies depending on the academic department, so it’s best to contact the specific academic department for more information.

What if I drop summer classes and fall below the minimum credit requirements for financial aid?
Your aid could be cancelled. This could create an “Account Balance Owed” on your WSU Student Account or a bill you must pay the university. You would see this on ZZUSIS. In order for you to keep the financial aid you received, you must add additional classes to meet the minimum credit hour requirement to receive summer aid. Our office will send you an email if at any time during the summer session you fall below the minimum credit requirement for aid. If you have any questions, contact the Student Financial Services at 509-335-9711 or finaid@wsu.edu.

I received an email stating I’m currently in Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) denial for spring 2014 grades. How does this affect my eligibility for summer financial aid?
You must file an online Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Appeal immediately to be considered for financial aid for the summer term. Click here to submit a SAP Appeal. If your appeal is approved, you would be placed on an academic plan for summer. The academic plan must be signed and returned as soon as possible to the Student Financial Services office for your summer financial aid to deliver to your WSU Student Account. If you do not appeal and you are in a SAP denial status, then any summer financial aid already disbursed will be cancelled and you will owe the university money.

What is the last day to submit a SAP Appeal for the summer term?
The last day is the second week of the first session you are enrolled. If you need any assistance or clarification, contact sapappeal@wsu.edu or contact the Student Financial Services office to help direct you. To submit a SAP Appeal, click here

If I drop a summer class or cancel my enrollment completely what will happen if I’ve already received aid for the summer? What about in the future?
Dropping a class could affect your current financial aid. You must maintain enrollment in at least six credits as an undergrad and three credits as a grad to maintain your eligibility. Withdrawing from all of your classes in the summer could cause a portion of your summer financial aid to be cancelled and returned based on when you withdrew from your classes. This is a federal requirement under Return of Title IV (RT24) funds. More information about this requirement can be found on our financial aid website, click here.

For future terms and financial aid eligibility, if you drop a class it could place you in a warning or denial Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) status. If you are currently in a SAP Warning status with our office, you will be placed into a Denial status for completing less than 67% of your attempted credits. In order to be eligible for future financial aid, you would have to file a SAP appeal and if it is approved, you would be placed on an academic plan for the next term and receive aid. Withdrawing from all classes automatically places you into a Denial SAP status and you would have to submit a SAP Appeal the next term for aid consideration. If your appeal is approved, you would be placed on an academic plan for the next term.


 What is verification?
Verification, often referred to as “File Review,” is the process used by schools to verify certain information reported on the student’s FAFSA to ensure its accuracy. Federal regulations require all universities to survey a certain percentage of their students for this process. Participation in the verification process is not optional and if the requested documentation is not submitted, a student will not be awarded federal, state, or institution financial aid. During the verification process, the student and sometimes the parent or spouse is required to submit documentation for the amounts reported or not reported on the FAFSA. Verification is done every year usually around late spring and through the summer months.

Who is selected for verification?
Federal regulations require all institutions to perform verification on applicants who file for financial aid and meet certain criteria. Some students receive a notice from FAFSA (U.S. Department of Education) that they will be selected for verification by the school. This process often requires our office to obtain 2013 Federal income tax information among other necessary forms or documents to complete the review process. Please do not send verification documents to WSU unless the WSU Office of Student Financial Services request them of you. Also, continuing students who were selected for verification in the past will not necessarily be asked to participate in verification in subsequent years.

How will I know if I’m selected for verification?
You will receive an email sent to your WSU Email address letting you know that you’ve been selected for this process and to check ZZUSIS for the items being requested. The required verification forms are listed on your ZZUSIS “To Do” list. Your “To Do” list can be found by: Clicking on Student Center>Under the Financial Aid 2014-2015 tab> Click details>then the “To Do” list will be seen and the forms being requested. If you are being asked to submit forms or documents, it will list them on this page. All Financial Aid forms are available on the WSU Financial Aid website at www.finaid.wsu.edu.

What type of information will I need to provide for verification?
You and/or your parents will be asked to submit tax return documentation and/or WSU financial aid forms for one or more of the following data elements on your FAFSA: Adjusted Gross Income, Taxes Paid, Income Earned from Work (for non-tax filers), certain untaxed, income items, number of family members in the household, number of family members enrolled in college (excluding parents for a dependent student), receipt of Food Stamps/SNAP Benefit, child support paid, citizenship status, compliance with Selective Service registration requirement, and any other inconsistent or conflicting information (including name, date of birth, social security number, etc.) The requested documents and forms will vary based on each student.

Where do I find the forms I need to complete verification?
All of the forms that might be needed can be found on the Student Financial Services website at www.finaid.wsu.edu by clicking on “Forms” located on the left side of the home page. Then select the “Fall 2014-Spring 2015” tab and the “Forms” drop down menu. All financial aid forms are listed there. A student will know what form(s) need to be submitted by checking their “To Do” list shown on ZZUSIS. Most forms are in a PDF format and can be returned to the Student Financial Services Office by fax or dropping it off in person, though the office suggests using the SubmitSFSDocs.wsu.edu webpage to submit documents.

If I’m asked to provide my 2013 taxes, what should I provide?
Federal regulations will no longer allow the Financial Aid Office to accept paper 1040 tax returns for verification purposes. This year, parents and students will need to submit an IRS Tax Return Transcript when 2013 Tax Returns are requested by our office. It takes approximately two weeks to receive a free transcript from the IRS and it should be mailed to your home, not WSU.

Tax filers can request a transcript three different ways: 1) online 2) telephone by calling 1-800-908-9946 and 3) by mail. Please request only the IRS Tax Return Transcript and NOT the IRS Tax Account Transcript. Once you receive the IRS Tax Return Transcript, send a copy to the Financial Aid Office after writing the student’s name and WSU ID number on all document pages.

Where should I send the items requested? What’s the best way to return them to the Financial Aid Office?
This depends on what’s most convenient for you! The most important point to remember is to not delay in returning these forms to the Financial Aid Office, because the processing of your financial aid award will be on hold until verification documents are received and processed. In an effort to protect your confidential and personally identifiable information (i.e. social security number, tax information, etc.), the Student Financial Services office accepts documents four ways: submitted through the Document Uploader, fax, postal mail, or in-person. When submitting documents forms, please be sure to write your WSU ID number and your name (student’s) on all document pages returned.

How will I know if the Financial Aid Office received my documentation?
It can take up to 48 hours for the Financial Aid Office to check, enter, and post your documents into our system. The best way to confirm our office has received your documents is through ZZUSIS. Please do not call our office immediately after sending the forms to confirm we have them. Check ZZUSIS!

To see if your document(s) has been received, go to your ZZUSIS “To Do” list and view the status area. If it says “initiated,” it means either the document has not been received by our office or it has not yet been checked in by our office staff. If it says “received,” then we have the document. If it says “completed,” then the document has been reviewed and processed and likely your financial aid award will be viewable in ZZUSIS soon.

How long does it take the Financial Aid Office to complete the review of my documents and file?
Once Student Financial Services receives all requested verification documents, your file will then be reviewed. It takes approximately three days to complete the review process. Please note that your file will not be reviewed until the Financial Aid Office has received ALL documents requested.

What happens after the verification process is completed?
Once the Financial Aid Office receives all verification documents requested, then your file can be reviewed along with your FAFSA. This review typically takes approximately three days to complete. Please note that your file and documents will not be reviewed until we have received all requested verification documents. If there is a discrepancy between the FAFSA and the forms/documentation submitted, SFS will make the corrections and send them to the Department of Education (DOE) for reprocessing. Student Financial Services will then receive an updated Institutional Student Information Report (ISIR) from DOE. The ISIR summarizes the FAFSA information and provides an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) for the student. A Financial Aid Award notification can then be created and posted to your ZZUSIS once the award notification process starts, which will be toward the end of June. You can then accept, decline, or reduce loans offered.

Work Study

Will Work Study be available for this academic year (2014-2015)?
Yes, but to receive work study you have to meet the program's eligibility requirements. Plus, you need to have an Actual Financial Aid Award before you will receive the work study eligibility portal notice and email and can continue with the process.

What if I’m a regional campus student (Tri-Cities, Spokane, and Vancouver)—what office should I contact if I have questions about Work Study?
Please contact your local financial aid campus for assistance. Click here for contact information. 

How do I know if I'm eligible for Work Study?
To be eligible for this program, you must have completed and submitted your FAFSA by the WSU priority deadline of February 15, checked on the FAFSA that you were interested in work study, have at least $1,000 of unmet need based eligibility, and are in good academic standing with the university and Student Financial Services.

Will Work Study be listed on my Financial Aid Award if I’m eligible?
It depends. Initially, work study is not listed on your financial aid package. If you receive work study, then it will be listed on your award in ZZUSIS. Please be aware that you need to receive a financial aid award for the academic year in order to be eligible and considered for a work study award.

What if I’m academically deficient and don’t meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements for the term, can I receive Work Study?
You may still submit a Work Study Authorization Form (WSAF) but until you meet SAP requirements your WSAF will not processed. If you submit a SAP Appeal for the term and you were not offered an Academic Plan, then you are no longer eligible for work study funds. If you submit a SAP Appeal for the term and are approved for financial aid funding, you can then be considered for work study.

I am eligible for Work Study based on the criteria. What is the process?
If you are eligible for work study, after you receive your 2014-2015 Financial Aid Award (mid July), you will be sent a ZZUSIS Work Study Portal Notice and an email. Once these notices have been sent to you, you will see on your ZZUSIS To Do List that you have a work study additional information item being requested titled “Work Study Eligible”. You will need to click the hyperlink provided in the email/ZZUSIS notice and download the WSAF, complete it, and then return the WSAF to your local financial aid office.

What is the WSAF and how do I receive one?
WSAF stands for "Work Study Authorization Form. WSAFs are sent to students who are eligible for work study. If you are eligible for work study, you will be sent a ZZUSIS Portal Notice and email informing you of this and you will be directed to the PDF WSAF to complete. After finding a job, both you and your employer will need to complete the respective sections of the WSAF. You will then need to return the completed form to Student Financial Services for processing. The WSAF is only for on-campus positions. If you have an off-campus job, please contact WSU's Student Financial Services office for more information and direction on how to process your work study.

What do I do if I don’t have a WSAF and I think I should?
Please contact your local campus Student Financial Services office for assistance.

Do all students receive a Work Study Award if they return a completed WSAF?
No, please be aware that returning a completed WSAF does not guarantee you will receive a work study award for the academic year. The amount of work study funds our office receives from the federal government to give students is limited. Students will be awarded based on when they return their completed WSAFs to our office and this is done on a first-come, first-served basis. We award work study until all funds are exhausted. We encourage students to return the completed WSAF as soon as possible because of this! The sooner you return the WSAF, the better your chance will be to receive work study for the year. You will be notified by email if you receive an award or if we were unable to provide you one.

How much money can I receive for Work Study?
Work study award amounts vary and are tailored to each student's employment situation. If a student is approved for a work study award, the award amount will depend both on the position and the number of hours (within work study rules) that were noted by the employer on the Work Study Authorization Form (WSAF). Work study awards usually range from $1,000-$4,000 for an academic year based on hourly wage and the number of hours worked per week. The maximum "standard" award is $4,000 for the academic year (2014 fall-2015 spring semesters).

What happens if my financial aid award changes after I've been awarded Work Study?         The work study award originally awarded may have to be changed depending on how much "need" you still have available in your financial aid award. If your need drops down to "0", and there is no non-need based aid to reduce, a work study award may have to be cancelled, because the federal government does not allow you to have financial aid totalling more than your cost of attendance. If you choose to have a disbursed loan reduced and/or cancelled to make room for a work study award, a bill may be created as a result on your WSU Student Account. This sometimes occurs because the loan funds will no longer be available to pay semester costs but instead are returned to the lender. This often creates an outstanding balance (bill) on your account.

Will I receive a notice if all Work Study funds have been exhausted and I don't receive an award?
Yes. The student receives an email notification and the on-campus employer receives an email as well when work study funds have been exhausted and no further awarding will take place for the year.

Is there a Work Study Award “waiting list?” Could I still receive an award later in the academic year?
You can stop by, call or email Student Financial Services and our staff will try to assist you in clarifying where you stand in terms of receiving a work study award for the academic year. On rare occasions, sometimes more funding becomes available for our office to award students. If this happens, our office will continue to award students based on when their completed WSAF was submitted to our office.

What are the next steps after I receive the ZZUSIS Work Study Portal Notice? How can I take advantage of my Work Study eligibility?
If you receive a ZZUSIS Work Study Portal Notice and you receive the work study email, then this means you are eligible to receive work study. The next step is to find a job! Once you have a job, you and your employer will need to fill out the Work Study Authorization Form (WSAF). It is your responsibility to return the completed WSAF to Student Financial Services for review and processing. Please note that submitting a completed WSAF is not an automatic guarantee you’ll receive a work study award. Work study is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis and awards are limited based on the amount of work study funding WSU receives from the federal government. Additionally, the WSAF is only for on-campus employment. If you are seeking an off-campus position, you should not submit the WSAF. There is a different process to follow for off campus work study. Please contact Student Financial Services for further instructions.

What if my employment is with an off campus employer? Can I still receive Work Study?
Yes. Students may be eligible for off-campus work study of they are employed by an off-campus business. Students should not automatically assume they can use their work study with any off campus employer. The off campus employer must be eligible to participate in the Off Campus Work Study Program. The purpose of the Off Campus Work Study Program is to provide work experience directly related to student's academic or vocational pursuits (RCW 28B312.010). Positions where the duties are not directly related to the student's academic or vocational pursuits are not eligible for participation in the Off Campus Work Study Program. Non-profit, non-sectarian community service employers are always eligible. For more information and guidance as to what forms need to be completed for off campus work study employment, please contact Student Financial Services.

How do I request another Work Study Authorization Form (WSAF) if I deleted my original Work Study ZZUSIS Portal Notification?
You can download your WSAF either through the ZZUSIS Portal Notice or from the email sent to you. Either way, you should be able to access the WSAF and complete it. If you accidentally delete the portal notice that shouldn't be a problem because you can still access the form through your email notification sent to you. If you have questions or need help, please feel free to contact Student Financial Services.








Financial Aid Census Date

What is the Financial Aid Census Date?

The Census Date is the day that Student Financial Services takes a “snapshot” of your total enrollment in order to determine your grant and loan eligibility for the term. This could impact the overall aid you receive for the term.

When is the Census Date?

The Census Date for the fall semester is September 5, 2014 at midnight and for the spring semester it is January 23, 2015 at midnight.

What does the Census Date mean to me and why should I care?

You need to enroll and finalize your class schedule by the Census Date, so you receive the most aid possible based on your enrollment for the term. Students enrolled full-time on September 5th by midnight will see no impact or change to their financial aid award—all loans and grants should deliver to your WSU Student Account. Students in part-time credits, will have their grant aid awards (Pell, Washington State Need Grant and College Bound) adjusted to match their part-time enrollment. To receive Cougar Commitment, you need to be enrolled in a minimum of 12 credits. To receive loans, you need to be enrolled half-time (6 credits for undergrads and 5 credits for grads).

How does the Census Date affect my financial aid? Here are some common scenarios:

Click here for a summary chart that will help you understand the impact.

Part-time Enrollment—if your planned enrollment is below full-time for fall 2014 (¾ or ½ credit enrollment) and you have been awarded a Pell Grant, Washington State Need Grant, and/or College Bound, your award(s) will be prorated to match your credit total and will automatically deliver electronically to your WSU Student Account starting September 8th.

Dropping Classes/Credits—if you drop below full-time enrollment before the Financial Aid Census Date but after you already received aid, you will be considered to have been overpaid and likely will need to return funds to WSU. Your grants and/or loan funds will be reduced and recalculated to match your enrollment level. For most students, this creates a bill on their WSU Student Accounts.

If you drop classes after the Financial Aid Census Date (as long as you don’t drop more than 50% of your classes) – you generally will not owe money back to WSU. Please realize every student’s financial situation is unique and exceptions can exist. In addition, dropping classes in general could impact your Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) status in the future– by lowering your overall credit “completion rate.” For more information about dropping classes and SAP, please click here.

Adding Classes/Credits—if you add classes after the Financial Aid Census Date, they will not be included in your overall total enrollment. This will impact the amount of aid you receive (loans and/or grants) depending on your credits enrolled. You have the option of submitting a Census Petition Form for review and consideration. Please be aware that the submission of this form doesn’t guarantee you will be awarded additional grant and/or loan funds. If your Petition was approved, then your Financial Aid Award could be adjusted to account for those additional credits.

What if my aid was already disbursed but I’m not a full-time student now. What happens?

If you were enrolled as a full-time student before Census and when your financial aid disbursed but then you then dropped classes before the Census date, this likely will create a bill on your WSU Student Account which you can view on ZZUSIS. Grant funds are reduced and prorated based on part-time enrollment. These grant funds will start delivering to students on September 8th.

Student Financial Services office will automatically start reducing grants and making award adjustments for students in less than full-time credits based on the number of credits students are enrolled in at Census Date. To be eligible to receive federal loans, students need to be enrolled at least half-time (Undergrad-6 credits; Grad-5 credits). If the student is enrolled in less than full-time credits, our office will automatically adjust your grants based on your Census Date credit level and will deliver these funds starting September 8th.

In what situations can I submit a Census Petition Form?

If you added classes after the Census Date and you would like Student Financial Services to consider these classes as part of your total term enrollment for aid awarding purposes, then you will want to submit a Census Petition Form to our office. The petition form is intended for extenuating circumstances such as being wait-listed for a class, getting dropped unexpectedly from a class, and/or for other possible special circumstances you feel were outside of your control that you’d like considered. If your Petition is approved, then your 2014-15 Financial Aid Award will be adjusted accordingly. The Census Petition submission deadline is September 19, 2014 at midnight for the fall term.

Click here to submit a Census Petition Form.

Click here for more details about filing the Census Petition Form.

When will I find out if my Petition has been approved or denied?

Student Financial Services’ staff will process student petitions as quickly as possible. We thank you for your patience. Please allow a minimum of seven business days for your Petition to be reviewed and processed. You will receive an email once it’s reviewed and a decision has been made. If your Petition is approved, then your 2014-15 Financial Aid Award will be adjusted and you will see the change on your ZZUSIS account.

Who can I contact if I have any other questions?

If you have any further questions, please contact Student Financial Services by phone at (509) 335-9711, email at finaid@wsu.edu or drop by your local campus in person for more information.



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.