Apply for Financial Aid | Online College Financial Aid Application | WGU (2024)


Steps to Apply for Financial Aid

Financial aid can make the already affordable tuition at WGU even easier on your pocketbook. In fact, if you use financial aid responsibly, you should be able to finish your degree without worrying about large education debts.

The financial aid application process is detailed in the steps below.

1. Complete the FAFSA online.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid(FAFSA)is used to determine your student aid eligibility based on your personal and family situation. If you are a first-time user, you will be required tocreate an FSA ID. It allows users to access personal information on federal student aid websites as well as to sign a FAFSA.Visit theStudentAid.govwebsite to complete the FAFSA form.

Once WGU receives the FAFSA application (3–5 business days), you can complete the following financial aid application steps through the WGU Student Portal in the Financial Services section.

Need More Help with FAFSA?

Learn more about the details of filling out your FAFSA form or set up an appointment today.

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2. Complete entrance counseling.

If you plan to use federal student loans, accessStudentAid.govto complete entrance counseling. This step is required to ensure you understand your borrower rights and responsibilities.

3. Complete the Master Promissory Note (MPN).

If you plan to use federal student loans, you will need to electronically complete and sign the MPN—a legal document that creates a contract between you and the lender to repay the loans. You will find the MPN

4. Complete any other financial aid documentation as required.

You may be required to complete or supply additional documentation before your financial aid can be awarded. Any required documents will be listed in the Financial Services section of yourWGU Student Portal.

5. Complete the financial aid process.

After completing the FAFSA, you will receive your personal My Financial Aid Plan on the Financial Aid page in your student portal. After reviewing your Financial Aid Plan, you will be prompted to accept a recommended loan amount or request a custom loan amount not to exceed the maximum loan eligibility. An offer letter displaying your requested, or otherwise eligible, loan and grant amounts will be sent to your WGU email address. At that time, the financial aid process is complete and no further action is necessary.

Discover How to Pay for School


Ready to start college but unsure how you'll pay for it? WGU offers a variety of ways to help make your tuition even more affordable.Grants, scholarships, and financial aid are based on a variety of factors. Answer a few quick questions and we can help you determine which options may be available to you.

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1-877-435-7948 x3104

Email Financial Services

Completed your FAFSA application and have questions?

The WGU Financial Aid Office can answer more specific questions about your personal situation once you have completed the WGU Financial Aid Application. The Financial Aid Office can be reached by email at or by calling 1-877-435-7948. Hours of operation are weekdays 7 am to 7 pm (MT).

Note: Full-time enrollment is required for all financial aid programs. Failure to progress at the full-time rate and in accordance with your Degree Plan may result in loss of eligibility for additional aid and for loan deferment.

Financial Aid Deadline

For new students, the deadline for completing the financial aid process is the 22nd of the month prior to your intended program start date. This deadline also includes submission and approval of any additional required documents by the Financial Aid Office. Failure to complete the process or submit the required documents will result in a delay of funding and may affect your start date.

Begin the WGU financial aid application now.

Common Questions about Financial Aid

As a WGU student, you can use financial aid to pay for tuition, fees, books, other school-related supplies, technology needed for online study, and personal living expenses. The "technology needed" can include a new computer, internet service fees, and software.

Most WGU students qualify for at least one type of federal aid. To be eligible for aid, you must be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen with a valid Social Security Number who possesses a high school diploma, GED, or its equivalent. You must be enrolled or enrolling in an eligible WGU degree program as a full-time student. In addition, you must not be in default on a previous student loan or owe an overpayment on a grant.

The amount of financial aid you are eligible to receive will be based on:

  • Your FAFSA results.
  • The amount of financial aid available.
  • Distribution formulas based on university, state, and federal guidelines.

The determination of your eligibility for federal student aid (FSA) is based on a number of factors including the federal direct annual and aggregate loan limits, enrollment status, cost of attendance (COA), expected family contribution (EFC), and other estimated financial assistance (EFA). You are only allowed to borrow the annual limit up to the Cost of Attendance (minus other estimated financial assistance) based on your current grade level and dependency status at WGU. There are aggregate and lifetime eligibility limits set by the Department of Education.

Need-based aid (e.g., Federal Pell, Direct Subsidized Loan) is awarded based on your income. Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is the number that is used to determine your eligibility for a need-based aid. This number results from the financial information you provide in yourFAFSA.

The following formula is used to calculate your financial need:

Financial Need = Cost of Attendance – Expected Family Contribution

Please seeMaximum Loan EligibilityandCost of Attendancefor more information.

Note: Beginning with the 2024-25 Aid year the following terms have been updated:

· Student Aid Index (SAI) replaces Expected Family Contribution (EFC)

· Other Financial Assistance (OFA) replaces Estimated Financial Assistance (EFA)

For the 2024-2025 award year, the U.S. Department of Education will replace the expected family contribution (EFC) with the student aid index (SAI) in determining eligibility for need-based financial aid.

WGU accommodates and makes professional judgment decisions for special or unusual circ*mstances that are not sufficiently addressed by the standard approach. Students may request an adjustment to the Cost of Attendance (COA) or data elements in the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) calculation as well as an adjustment to a student’s dependency status based on unusual circ*mstances. WGU analyzes these circ*mstances on a case-by-case basis substantiated with supporting documentation.

  • Special Circ*mstances refer to the financial situations (loss of a job, major disaster related circ*mstance, changes in family’s income and assets, etc.) to adjust the data elements in the COA or in the EFC calculation.
  • Unusual Circ*mstances refer to the conditions for an adjustment to a student’s dependency status based on a unique situation (e.g., human trafficking, refugee or asylee status, parental abandonment, incarceration), commonly referred to as a dependency override.

Note: Beginning with the 2024-25 Aid Year the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) will be known as the Student Aid Index (SAI)

More information about Professional Judgments in Financial Aid.

Speak to an Enrollment Counselorwho can answer most of your basic financial aid questions. The WGU Financial Aid Office can answer more specific questions about your personal situation once you have completed the WGU Financial Aid Application. The Financial Aid Office can be reached:


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Apply for Financial Aid | Online College Financial Aid Application | WGU (2024)


Should I say yes to need based financial aid on common app? ›

What if you are unsure if you are eligible for financial aid? Every college should have its own Net Price Calculator, found on its website (federal policy ensures they have one). Try inputting your family's financial numbers to see if you qualify for aid. If you do, confidently mark "Yes" on the Common App question.

What are three helpful hints for applying for the FAFSA three common mistakes? ›

You'll have a better chance at receiving money for college if you avoid several common mistakes when filling out your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form. Such mistakes include not completing the form on time, not filling it out correctly, or forgetting to sign and submit.

Is FAFSA application complicated? ›

The FAFSA form doesn't take too much time to complete, and it includes help text for each question. Be sure to sign and submit!

What are the chances of getting approved for financial aid? ›

When you file the FAFSA, you have an 85% chance of receiving some type of aid. Let's put it in perspective: Buy a lottery ticket – 0.0015% chance of winning. File the FAFSA – 85% chance of getting aid.

Is it better to apply through the Common App or directly? ›

However, the Common Application is generally the best choice, as this application is most widely used across the country. If you are applying to a college with multiple application choices, it is best to contact that school and find out if they have a preference.

What are FAFSA income limits? ›

What Are the FAFSA Income Limits for 2024? Both students and their parents often think their household income makes them ineligible for financial aid. However, there's no income limit for the FAFSA, and the U.S. Department of Education does not have an income cap for federal financial aid.

Does FAFSA know how much money I have in my bank account? ›

Students selected for verification of their FAFSA form may wonder, “Does FAFSA check your bank accounts?” FAFSA does not directly view the student's or parent's bank accounts.

How to fill out FAFSA to get the most money? ›

Also remember that FAFSA isn't the whole picture when it comes to financial aid.
  1. File Early. Perhaps the easiest move you can make is to fill out the FAFSA as early in the year as possible. ...
  2. Minimize Your Taxable Income. ...
  3. Clarify Who Owns Your Assets. ...
  4. Don't Assume You Won't Qualify. ...
  5. FAFSA Isn't the Whole Picture.

What is the hardest part of FAFSA? ›

For many, the most difficult part about filling out the FAFSA is entering in the financial information. But now, thanks to a partnership with the IRS, students and parents who are eligible can automatically transfer the necessary tax info into the FAFSA using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.

Does anyone get denied FAFSA? ›

According to the office of federal student aid, some applications can be denied because applicants did not meet the basic eligibility requirements. These include: Having demonstrated financial need for need-based federal student aid programs. Being a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen.

What is the downside of applying for FAFSA? ›

Applying for financial aid could negatively affect admissions chances. If a student is on the cusp of admissibility, not applying for financial aid will classify the student as “full pay,” which can advantage them over another who would be eligible for need-based aid.

Do I make too much money to apply for FAFSA? ›

There is no set income limit for eligibility to qualify for financial aid through. You'll need to fill out the FAFSA every year to see what you qualify for at your college.

What disqualifies you from FAFSA? ›

Not maintaining satisfactory progress at your college or degree program. Not filling out the FAFSA each year you are enrolled in school. Defaulting on a student loan.

How much money does the average person get from FAFSA? ›

The majority of students awarded financial aid received federal grants. The average federal grant award for undergraduate students has more than doubled to $8,890 in 2022 from $4,335 in 2001. Student aid estimates for 2022-2023 show that average federal grant aid has increased to $10,677.

How to see how much FAFSA will give you? ›

Once your FAFSA form or correction has been processed, you can get a copy of your SAR by logging in to using your FSA ID and selecting the “View SAR” option near the middle of the “My FAFSA” page.

Should I say yes to work-study on FAFSA? ›

Select “Yes” if you're interested in being considered for a work-study job. Selecting this response doesn't guarantee that you'll be offered a Federal Work-Study job. Select “No” if you aren't interested in being considered for a work-study job.

What does "do you intend to pursue need-based financial aid" mean? ›

The term “need-based” is a designation that is based on a student's financial need. For example, a need-based grant might be awarded based on a student's low income.

Do you intend to pursue merit-based scholarships Common App? ›

If you are only interested in merit-based scholarships, please answer "No " to this question. Answer "Yes " if you intend to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and/or CSS/Financial Aid Profile to apply for need-based grants and student loans.

Are you supposed to accept financial aid? ›

While students and their families are eligible to receive loans, students are not obligated to accept those awards. After careful review of the financial aid offer and determining the bottom line, you can determine whether to accept, reduce, or decline the loan awards.


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