Financial Aid FAQ


Do I have to apply for financial aid every year?

If you wish to be considered for need-based assistance and loans, you must complete the FAFSA each year.

What happens to my financial aid in future years?

We are committed to awarding aid at approximately the same level unless there has been a significant change to the family's financial situation as reflected on the FAFSA. Merit awards are renewed (up to eight semesters) as long as students maintain their GPA requirement.

What should I do if my parent loses his/her job and can't afford to help me pay for college?

Please contact a member of the financial aid office to discuss the level of lost income. If significant, a Special Circumstances Form will be sent to the famiy in order to re-evaluate the financial aid package.

What is the College's policy regarding the receipt of outside scholarships?

Students should notify the Office of Financial Aid regarding any outside aid awarded. Typically, there is no change to the aid awarded by the College. If a change is required by law, we will reduce self-help aid (loans and/or work study) first.

What does it mean if I am selected for verification?

The federal govenment requires that we verify a number of students' FAFSA's by comparing the results with the data reported on their family's income tax returns. If selected, you will be asked to provide our office with your Federal Tax Return Transcripts, W-2's, and a completed Financial Aid Supplement Form (Dependent or Independent). Discrepancies in the data reported could result in a change to the financial aid package.

What happens if I decide to change my housing status?

The W&J housing policy requires the primary residence of commuters to be located within fifteen miles of campus, and students must apply for permission to change housing status through the Office of Residence Life. A change from on campus to off campus will not result in a change to financial aid. A change from resident to commuter (living at home with parents or guardians) may result in a change to the student's financial aid.

What options are available for paying the balance remaining after financial aid is deducted?

The remaining balance can be paid with a personal payment by check or credit card, payments can be arranged through the College's tuition payment plan, or loans with the student and or parent as the borrower. A combination of the above listed methods may also be used if that's more convenient.

What are my options if my financial aid is in excess of what I owe the college?

If a student's account develops a credit balance, that amount may be refunded to the student directly or may be credited to costs incurred during the subsequent semester. All credit balances are refunded to students at the end of each spring term.

Loan Options

Can my parents get a loan for my college costs and how much can they borrow?

Parents can borrow a federal PLUS loan (Parent Loan for Undergraduate Student), up to the cost of attendance minus the total of the student's other financial aid.

When do we have to pay back federal and private loans?

Student loans go into repayment six months after graduation (nine months for Perkins) or the last date of attendance. Parent PLUS loans begin repayment sixty days after the final disbursement for the year. Parents can now choose to defer payments on a PLUS loan disbursed on or after July 1, 2008. Payments can be deferred until six months after the date the student ceases to be enrolled at least part time. Accruing interest can be paid monthly or quarterly or be capitalized quarterly. The grace period for private lenders varies by lender.

What action is required to secure a Perkins Loan?

The College awards Perkins Loans based on the amount of Perkins funds available. Students awarded a Perkins Loan will be contacted over the summer by ECSI, our servicer, with instructions on completing a Master Promissory Note and entrance counseling session.

What action is required to secure a Stafford Loan?

The student must complete and sign a Master Promissory Note, which will be used for all of the student's Stafford Loans while enrolled at Washington & Jefferson College. An online entrance counseling session must be completed as well before money can be disbursed from the lender.

How do I apply for a private educational loan?

Families should first compare borrowing a PLUS loan to borrowing a private loan if additional funding is needed after federal loans are maximized. We encourage families to shop around for the loan product which best meets their needs. Private loans are credit based, so students will need a cosigner. Once a loan product is chosen, students need to submit an application and if credit is approved, W&J will be contacted for certification. The easiest way to apply for the loan is from the lender's website.

Work Study

Can I get a job on campus?

Students who demonstrate need may be eligible for a federal work study job. Students who don't demonstrate need may still be able to work on campus in a College work study job. Check with the Office of Financial Aid.

How do I find a job on campus?

The Office of Financial Aid coordinates a job fair at the start of each academic year to assist students with job placement. Offices may also post student employment opportunities on the College Central Network.

How do students receive their work study wages?

Student workers are paid semi-monthly in a paycheck from the College based on the number of hours worked.