After we receive your application for aid and you are admitted to the University of Washington, we send you an award letter if you are eligible, detailing the types and amount of aid for which you qualify. We start awarding in the spring before the next academic year begins. Please follow the checklist below to ensure that your aid will be ready for you when you start the school year.
You may receive a "Notice of Preliminary Award" which is an estimate of your eligibility for aid. If you accept this initial award, we will then complete the review of information you provided on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). If you receive a "Notice of Award," then your application has been reviewed and your eligibility confirmed. However, you must return the letter by the date indicated or accept your award online at MyUW, to reserve your aid. Please follow the instructions below to keep the process going:
Check for errors in address, Social Security number, or other information about you.
Read the assumptions in Section II (state residency,* enrollment status, number of quarters you plan to attend this year). Cross out incorrect information and write the correction next to it or, if online, indicate in the box provided. If you will attend only part of the year (e.g., Fall and Winter quarters only), indicate that.
* If you are not a Washington resident but pay resident tuition because of a departmental appointment or Armed Services status, note the tuition benefit in the other resources section of the award letter.
Accept or reject each form of aid listed.
You are under no obligation until aid is disbursed; you may accept an award now and change your mind later. But, if you reject an award, or if you don't return your acceptance letter, we will offer it to another student and may not be able to restore it later if you decide you need it after all. *You may accept or reject aid from any fund without losing the other aid offered in your award letter. If you would like us to replace one kind of aid (e.g., Work Study) with another (e.g. a federal loan), then let us know that when you accept your award.
* Federal Direct Stafford/Ford Loans, Federal Direct PLUS and GPLUS Loans and Federal Pell Grants can usually be reinstated.
Determine how much you want to borrow.
You may be offered a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford/Ford Loan, Federal Direct GPLUS or a Federal Direct PLUS Loan to help meet your financial need or if you are ineligible for need-based assistance. These loans do not include a federal subsidy, so interest begins to accrue after the loan proceeds have been disbursed to you, and repayment on the PLUS or GPLUS loan begins 60 days after the last disbursement. These loans should be used as a last resort in financing your education and require additional responsibilities from you, the borrower. You may want to review Requesting Changes to Your Award to determine if your eligibility for need-based assistance should be revised before you borrow from these loan programs.
If you have been offered loans and you do not wish to borrow the full amount offered, you may indicate the reduced level to us. If you want to borrow more than we have offered, to replace your family contribution, please indicate the increased amount keeping in mind the annual loan maximums listed in the Student Loan Program Chart. To view additional information, please see Completing Paperwork for Loans.
Make sure your award letter correctly reflects any benefits, scholarships, outside awards, and other resources you will receive or think you may receive, even if it comes from another UW office.
You must report now any information about your resources (and, if married, your spouse's) that you have not already formally reported to our office. It is imperative that our office has current and complete information on your resources throughout the year; otherwise, you risk being over-awarded and having to repay aid.
Understand your obligations as an aid recipient.
In particular, make sure you understand your obligations to:
Accept your award before the reply date.
Accept your award in MyUW (or mail your paper letter back to us if you have one) before the reply date. If you do not respond by this date, we will cancel your aid in order to offer it to another student. Once you respond, we will continue processing your application, and you may receive revised award notices reflecting changes in your contribution and your award. Review these revisions on MyUW and sign and accept or reject any new aid that has been offered to you.
Complete your file.
You must still respond to any requests we make for certification statements, tax returns, or any other documentation needed to finalize your award. Since we cannot disburse any funds until all required information is submitted and reviewed, please reply promptly to any correspondence from us.
Apply for Aid for Summer.
If you plan to attend Summer Quarter, you will need to complete your FAFSA and a Summer Aid Application. You'll need your UW NetID and password to apply online for Summer Quarter aid.
Remember, you'll need to re-apply next year for aid!