General eligibility criteria
Who is eligible for financial aid?
To receive Federal, State, and/or institutional financial aid, applicants must:
- Have a high school diploma or equivalent
- Be a United States citizen or eligible non-citizen
- Be a regular 'degree seeking' student (Any classes taken outside of the student's current program of study will cause adjustments to his/her financial aid award.)
- Demonstrate financial need (exception - Unsubsidized Stafford Loan)
- Have a valid Social Security Number
- If required, register with the Selective Service
- Not be in default or owe a refund of any Title IV aid
- Make satisfactory academic progress
Admission to UWL
All applicants must be admitted to the university as a degree seeking student. See the FAFSA page for more information. All applicants must be enrolled at least half-time and maintain satisfactory academic progress.
All applicants for financial aid must submit a FAFSA to the federal student aid processor. UW-La Crosse has a priority date of March 15 each year. FAFSAs can be completed during the academic year but aid will be delayed until all necessary paperwork is received. Students are encouraged to file the FAFSA electronically. A paper FAFSA can be mailed to the federal student aid processor, however, it will take longer to process.
We strongly recommend that you use the IRS Data Retrieval option to help complete the FAFSA. Within 1-2 weeks after filing your taxes electronically, you should be able to retrieve your federal data right into your FAFSA. In order to use this option, you must have a federal tax return filed with the IRS, have a valid Social Security Number, a US Dept of Education Personal Identification Number (PIN), and have an unchanged marital status since the end of the previous year. When completing the tax information on the FAFSA, indicate "Already Filed" and select the IRS Data Retrieval option.
Students are responsible for paying their bill regardless of when their financial aid comes in. This checklist constitutes sufficient notification of the necessary procedures. It is the student’s responsibility to complete all steps of the application process.
How are award amounts determined?
An expected family contribution (EFC) is calculated by the federal processor using the information reported on the FAFSA. Family income, assets, household size, number in college, and parent age are considered in the federal methodology. Need is determined by taking the cost to attend UW-La Crosse and subtracting the EFC. Once need is established, the Student Financial Aid Office considers you for all grants first, then loans and/or work study second.
All awards are based on full time student status. Students carrying less than a full-time credit load will have their aid reduced accordingly. Funding is subject to change at any time per federal or state budgetary mandate.
Student Financial Aid programs are funded by the U.S. Department of Education, State of Wisconsin, and UW-La Crosse.
Disbursement of funds
Disbursement of funds to student accounts begins approximately 4 days prior to each term and typically occurs daily thereafter. Books are text rental and included in your university fees, therefore no special provisions are made for Pell-eligible students to receive their rental books and supplies. Should you decide to opt out of text rental, please contact the Financial Aid Office.