Financial Aid

What You Need to Know About Financial Aid

Completing the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) or WASFA (Washington Application for State Financial Aid) is the single most important step in getting financial aid to help pay for your WSU degree. Best of all, they’re both free.

Applications are available now. For new students planning to enroll in Fall 2024, Summer 2024 or Spring 2025, the priority financial aid application submission date is May 1, 2024. With the new simplified application, WSU Financial Aid Services is hosting events online to help future and current Cougs. Register here.


Apply for FAFSA

The FAFSA determines most of the aid you’re eligible to receive as a student. Based on information in your FAFSA form, the federal government decides who gets what portion of the nearly $170 billion in student aid they disperse each year.

The FAFSA is used by Washington state to determine statewide financial aid eligibility. This application is used to determine the amount of federal, state and institutional financial aid prospective students are eligible to receive.

Your level of FAFSA eligibility might surprise you, so be sure to file.


Apply for WASFA

If you are an undocumented student who qualifies as a Washington resident, filling out the Washington Application for State Financial Aid (WASFA) is one of the most important steps to complete every year.

Completing this application allows you to be considered for the Washington College Grant, as well as other state and institutional sources. Funding sources for undocumented students are limited, so pay close attention to the dates and deadlines related to the WASFA to ensure you receive your maximum financial aid package.


Types of Aid the FAFSA Can Get You

Grants: Aid that doesn’t need to be paid back; this includes Pell grants.

Loans: Money that will have to be paid back with interest. Interest rates for FAFSA loans will often be lower than for other types of debt. Because many students end up paying double what they borrowed by the time they pay off the loan, be careful how much of this aid you accept.

Work Study: The federal work-study program encourages you to find a job either on campus or in a field related to your studies to earn part of your aid package. It’s not free money like grants since you work for it, but you won’t have to pay any of it back.

Learn more about the FAFSA application and process from the U.S. Department of Education


Financial Aid in Washington

The Washington College Grant is one of the most generous financial aid programs in the country. Recent high school graduates and working-age adults from many low- and middle-income families can qualify to receive money for college or career training. 

Eligible Washington residents qualify for the grant, including undocumented students who meet program requirements and attend an approved college or program. Amounts vary based on income, family size, and school or program cost. An eligible student from a family of four with an income of $64,500 or less per year would get a full award. Even someone from a family of four making up to $107,000 per year may be eligible to get some money.

To be considered for the Washington College Grant, students should complete the FAFSA or WASFA.

Watch these Washington Student Achievement videos for more information about Washington financial aid:

What financial aid is available for Washington students?

 ¿Qué ayuda financiera está disponible para los estudiantes de Washington?


After You Apply

Once you’ve completed and submitted your financial aid application and applied for admission to WSU Pullman, our Financial Aid office will contact you with a financial aid offer, usually in March or April. This will detail how much financial aid you’re eligible to receive.

Additional information might be requested to verify your eligibility. Make sure to return all requested documents to the Student Financial Services office on our campus before the priority date.


Estimate Your Financial Aid

The WSU Financial Aid Estimator may be useful in helping prospective and current students estimate the amount of aid they’re eligible to receive to pay for college.

This tool provides approximate amounts and types of financial aid (including loans and grants) that you may be qualified to receive at WSU Pullman.