All students may complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at www.fafsa.ed.gov. You will need an FSA ID (your official federal signature) - apply for one at www.fsaid.ed.gov if you do not already have one. The FSA ID replaces the previous PIN number that some students are familiar with having used in the past.
In-depth answers to all of your FAFSA questions.
UIW is a summer header school, which means our financial aid year begins in the summer. If you will be taking summer courses, you need the FAFSA with ENDS with the following calendar year.
Summer 2017 would be on the 2017-2018 FAFSA, which covers Summer - Fall 2017, and Spring 2018.
Summer 2018 will be on the 2018-2019 FAFSA which covers Summer - Fall 2018, and Spring 2019.
The FAFSA opens on October 1 of each year for the following aid year cycle:
October 1, 2016: FAFSA opens for 2017-2018 cycle, and will use 2015 tax information.
October 1, 2017: FAFSA opens for 2018-2019 cycle, and will use 2016 tax information.
The FAFSA must be completed before your enrollment has ended for that cycle.
For example, if your courses end on April 27, 2018, you must complete the 2017-2018 FAFSA before that date in order to be eligible for aid during that cycle. If your classes end sooner, you must complete the FAFSA sooner!
Definitions of terms commonly used when discussing financial aid.
SPS/SAS students typically attend courses year-round. Your aid will be divided evenly between Summer, Fall, and Spring, and then readjusted based on your actual enrollment (if necessary).
For example, if you are a Junior/Senior student, your maximum loan eligibility will be up to $12500.00 for the academic year. This amount will then be divided evenly into Summer, Fall, and Spring ($4167 each).
Each semester is then divided into two disbursements - one for each of the 8-week mini-terms.
Yes! You can still complete a FAFSA to apply for additional aid.
Employer reimbursement and/or tuition assistance funds must be accounted for as part of your financial aid package, and any remaining eligibility can be filled in with grants and/or loans (depending on what you are eligible for).
If your employer requires an unpaid invoice in order to submit your funds, you may contact the Office of Financial Assistance (OFA) to have the funds removed. If you need them reinstated later, you will need to contact us.
The FAFSA will indicate to us any amounts of loans and/or Pell grants that you have used. There are annual as well as lifetime (aggregate) maximums for each of these funds. Once you have reached the lifetime maximum, you will no longer be eligible for that fund.
Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loans: maximum of $57500.00 total at the undergraduate leve, maximum of $138500.00 total at the graduate level (including amounts taken out previously at undergraduate or graduate level).
Parent or Graduate PLUS Loans: no aggregate maximum, but requires credit approval
Pell grant: lifetime maximum of 600% (the equivalent of 12 semesters of full-time enrollment)
You should consider using student loans sparingly, and minimize any refunds you are using for living expenses, especially if you are getting close to your maximum.
As long as you are enrolled at least half-time (6+ hours per semester at the undergraduate level, or 3+ hours per semester at the graduate level), your enrollment will be reported monthly to the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC). Most loan servicers subscribe to these NSC reports in order to update student loan statuses.
If you need your deferment updated sooner or your servicer does not subscribe to NSC, you will need to obtain an in-school deferment form from your loan servicer and submit it to the OFA to be completed.
Your FAFSA will ask you how many people are in your household, and how many of those in the household will be enrolled at least half-time during the same financial aid year.
Your FAFSA will take into account that total number in determining your aid eligibility for the year. Having other family members concurrently in college does NOT cause you to lose any aid eligibility, unless you have inaccurately reported that information.
If you have children in your household who are in college, you DO list them in the number in college. If your parent is in college, you do NOT list them in the number in college.
All aid requires you to be making Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).
As an undergraduate student, you must maintain 75% course completion, and a 2.0 cumulative GPA or higher.
As a graduate student, you must maintain 75% course completion and a 3.0 cumulative GPA or higher.
This includes ALL previous attempted coursework, whether you were receiving at aid the time or not. You must also (at either level) not attempt more than 125% of the number of hours required for your degree program.
If you do not meet these minimums or exceed the 125% timeframe, we require you to go through an appeal process in order to possibly regain aid eligibility. If your appeal is denied, you will need to pay out of pocket or pursue private funding.
The Dept. of Education also monitors students who have attended and received aid at more than 2 schools in the past 4 years. If that is the case, your FAFSA will be flagged for further review. If you have not been receiving credit for the semesters in which you have received aid, you may be denied future aid depending upon your specific circumstances for not earning credit.