We all know the financial aid process can be a little overwhelming for many; thankfully our Student Financial Services (SFS) office is here to help. There are some very important steps that students need to take to ensure their financial aid award is ready for them to use by the first day of classes.
Student Financial Services recommends students continue to check their zzusis account for any to-do list items that SFS may place in their Student Center under the Financial Aid tab on the right hand side. These to-do list items may range from document submissions to completion of Entrance Counseling.
If any documents are requested from the student, they can be easily submitted by scanning and uploading the document through the SubmitSFSDocs.wsu.edu website. If SFS has only requested that a student submit a form, a student can easily do so by logging in to SubmitSDSDocs.wsu.edu using their zzusis Network ID and password. As soon as a student logs in, the requested form should display for them to complete. Once their account has been reviewed and no other documents are needed from the student, a Financial Aid award will be created and posted in their student account on zzusis.
What does a student need to do once they have received their award?
The process can be different for each student depending on what type of financial aid award they have received. Any grants or waivers that a student may be awarded will be automatically accepted, since these two types of awards do not have to be paid back.
If a student has been awarded a Direct Loan, Perkins loan, or Parent Plus loan, the student and parent have a few steps they need to complete to make sure the loan money arrives in a timely fashion to their student account. There is a difference between these loans, so it is very important for the student and the parent to understand each type of loan and make sure they are borrowing the one that best fits their need.
Types of Loans
Loans are the only type of award the student and/or parent (if accepting the Parent Plus Loan) is required to pay back. Before accepting a loan, it is very important that parents and students learn and understand the loans that are awarded. Each loan has its own interest rate, a set amount per academic year, and repayment plan.
- If a student is awarded a Federal Direct Loan, it will be presented to them as a Subsidized or Unsubsidized loan. The amount a student is awarded per academic year will depend on their dependency status, grade level, financial need, and total amount borrowed to date. The benefit of the Subsidized Direct Loan is that it will not collect any interest while the student is enrolled at least half-time or during the six month grace period. An Unsubsidized Direct Loan however, will collect interest throughout the student’s education and during their six month grace period. Students will be required to begin replaying both types of loans six months after they graduate or if they fall below half-time enrollment.
- The Perkins Loan is an institutional, need-based loan where the amount awarded to a student varies per year. The Perkins loan will not accrue interest while the student is enrolled at least half time or during their nine month payment grace period.
- Parent Plus Loan (PPL) is very different to any other loan awarded to a student primarily because, if accepted, it will fall under the parent’s name instead of the student’s. Meaning, parents will be responsible for the loan payments. Unlike other loans, there is no grace period for the PPL. To fill out the Parent Plus loan application, the parent and student will need to follow the steps outlined on page 2 of this handout.
Each loan listed above has its own acceptance process and each is awarded based on the student’s financial need calculated using their FAFSA application. For more information on the types of loans that may be offered to a student click here. For an overview of each loan acceptance process, click here.
After following these processes the student should be ready to receive their full award by our financial aid disbursement date which takes place the week prior to classes starting in the fall.
Important Dates & Information
It is important for a student to continue to check their zzusis account for anything SFS might need from them. Besides the instructions provided above, please to keep in mind the following dates to help continue to guide students through SFS processes:
- Charges will begin to be applied to students’ during the month of August. These will include tuition, mandatory fees, dining and housing (only for those living on-campus.)
- August 19th: Financial aid disburses to students’ accounts if all above listed steps have been completed.
- August 21st: Financial aid direct deposits are sent.
- August 24th (First day of classes): Fall semester tuition due. Financial aid refund checks mailed to students.
- September 8th: First late fee for an unpaid balance on tuition and fees will be charged at 3%.
Student Financial Services is happy to help families through any of the steps explained above. If you have any questions, please contact them Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. by calling 509-335-9711 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also schedule an in-person appointment to meet with an SFS advisor Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. by visiting finaid.wsu.edu.