With only three months left until the start of the fall semester, WSU’s Student Financial Services (SFS) wants to ease your student’s transition to college and ensure a financially stable year ahead. These tips can help you and your student save time, reduce worry, avoid potential late fees, and facilitate communication about financial aid.

Q: How do I apply for Parent PLUS Loans?
A:
Student loans are limited each year so WSU fills the gap in financial need with Parent PLUS Loan offers. WSU offers the Parent PLUS Loan to parents on behalf of the Department of Education. This is a credit-based loan, so it does require completing an application through myWSU. Instructions for WSU’s application process can be found on the SFS website.

The Third Party Access your student has set up for you provides the needed access to complete the application. Since parents are responsible for repayment of the Parent PLUS Loan, the student is not able to accept the loan or complete the application through their myWSU account.

Q: How much do I borrow?  Do I have other options?
A:
WSU offers aid up to the estimated cost of attendance for students to attend WSU for the fall and spring terms. This means the Parent PLUS Loan can be a fairly substantial loan amount.  Remember, though, that the cost of attendance includes such things as books, transportation, and miscellaneous expenses which you or your student may be able to cover out-of-pocket. Before taking the full loan amount, you’ll want to analyze the true needs of your student to determine what amount is right for you.

If you want to explore options other than the Parent PLUS Loan, you are welcome to comparison shop with private education lenders either through your bank or through the private lender search. Be sure to review origination fees (the administrative cost of creating the loan) and interest rates, along with repayment requirements, to make the best decision for your family.

Q: How will I be notified about my Parent PLUS Loan application?
A:
If you filled out the Parent PLUS Loan application, both the parent and the student should receive a confirmation email with further instructions. The loan application is then forwarded to the Department of Education for a credit decision, starting in late May 2018. You will be notified by email of approval, generally, within a week by the Department of Education. WSU Student Financial Services will also notify parents and students of credit decisions regarding the Parent PLUS application via email.

If you are denied the Parent PLUS Loan, you will be provided additional information regarding options and next steps in the notification email you receive from WSU.

Q: Is there anything else I need to do?
A:
Your student should log in to his or her myWSU account to see if any “To-Do” items need to be completed, such as the Master Promissory Note (MPN) and entrance counseling at studentloans.gov. Students are responsible for completing a MPN and entrance counseling for their Direct Loans. Parents are also required to complete a MPN for the Parent PLUS Loans. During the first month of classes, if your student finds that their loans are not disbursing and there is still a balance due on their account, it often means that these items haven’t been completed. Loan funds will not disburse until these steps are completed and WSU is notified.

Q: When do I start paying on my Parent PLUS Loan?
A:
Unlike federal Direct Student Loans, Parent PLUS loans do not provide automatic deferment while the student is enrolled. Parents begin repayment 60-90 days after the final loan disbursement. Your lender will be in contact with you regarding this process and can discuss options for deferment, extended repayment, income-driven repayment plans, and more.

Q: Is it too late to apply for scholarships?
A:
Apply, Apply, Apply! The summer leading up to the fall semester is a great time for students to work on scholarship applications. The more time spent on applying for scholarships, the better chances of receiving one! There are still tons of scholarship opportunities for students to take advantage of for the upcoming school year. We encourage students to visit our free scholarship search engine to view hundreds of scholarship opportunities.

Q: Who can I contact for help?
A:
Preparing to send your student to college can be a daunting task, and our articles may not provide all the information you seek. Don’t worry! SFS is here to support your family through this unfamiliar process.

For assistance with your question or concern, you can contact SFS Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST by calling 509-335-9711 or emailing financialaid@wsu.edu. If you or your student are visiting the Pullman campus this summer, you can also schedule an appointment to meet with a financial aid advisor weekdays from 9 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.