How to receive your financial aid


Financial aid generally begins disbursing one week prior to the first day of the quarter. To have your aid disbursed, you must have been offered and have accepted your aid, not have any holds on your aid, if you are borrowing loans have completed required entrance counseling and signed promissory notes, and are registered for the minimum required credits.

If these conditions have been met, aid will disburse first to your University student account to pay your tuition, U-PASS, late change, and other university fees.  Financial aid funds will not pay the late tuition payment fee and this fee requires a separate payment. If the amount of your aid is greater than the charges on your student account, the difference will be sent to your bank account via direct deposit.

If you are not signed up for direct deposit, an aid check will be automatically mailed to your local address on file. Please check your address information on MyUW and update it if necessary. Aid checks may take up to 10 business days to reach you by mail; signing up for direct deposit will allow you to receive your funds quickly and safely.

Financial aid funds disbursed via direct deposit or paper check are available for you to use for your educational expenses—books, housing, food, transportation, or personal expenses.  Financial aid is disbursed to you directly at the start of the quarter so you can purchase books or other educational materials before classes begin for the quarter.

Signing up for direct deposit

The easiest and quickest way to sign up for direct deposit or to confirm your direct deposit status is through your Financial Aid Status under Student Finances in MyUW. If you are not able to access this site, contact Student Fiscal Services.

Clear all holds

If you have any holds on your aid, it will not disburse. If you have been asked to provide documents or information or have been told that the Financial Aid Office is reviewing your eligibility, follow up with them as soon as possible. You can tell what aid is available to you, what has been disbursed and whether or not there are any holds on your aid by using the Financial Aid Status Service in MyUW under Student Finances.

University housing charges

The University’s Housing and Food Service (HFS) accounts are billed on a separate system. Generally, if you live in UW Housing, there are some HFS charges added to your University student account at the start of each quarter. Your financial aid will pay these initial charges, but that may not be all that you owe to HFS. Before spending any aid sent to your bank account through direct deposit, check the HFS website to determine the balance you owe them. You can also view the amount of the aid that applied to your housing charges on MyUW.

Professional and Continuing Education (PCE) charges

If you are enrolled in Professional and Continuing Education (PCE) courses, you are generally billed through a separate system. However, some PCE charges may be added to your University Student Account at the start of each quarter. Your financial aid will pay any PCE charges before any remaining aid is sent direct deposit. You can review your University student account on MyUW to see if any PCE charges were paid.

Minimum credit load

You must be registered for a full-time credit load (12 credits for undergraduates and professional students; 10 credits for graduate students) in order for aid, except Stafford and PLUS Loans, to be disbursed. If you have been offered aid as a less than full-time student see the Financial Aid Office for minimum credit load information. After the start of classes, if you drop below full-time enrollment, aid already disbursed to pay charges on your account will not be canceled; however, no additional aid will be disbursed to you. If you drop below full-time before the start of classes and aid has been disbursed to you, you will owe a repayment of aid.

Federal Student Loans (Stafford, Unsubsidized Stafford, Graduate PLUS, Parent PLUS, Perkins, or Health Professions/Nursing Loan)

If you are a first time borrower at the UW with a Stafford, Unsubsidized or Graduate PLUS loan, you will be required to complete Entrance Counseling before your loan can be disbursed. This can be done online at

Generally, new Federal Direct Stafford Loan program borrowers need to sign a master promissory note over the web at You will need to login with your FSA Id to complete the note. Generally students who borrowed through the Federal Direct Stafford Loan Program last year and signed a promissory note will not be required to sign a new promissory note for a Federal Direct Stafford or Unsubsidized Stafford Loan this year. You are required to sign your promissory notes even if you expect your entire loan to be used to pay charges on your University account.

You can sign your master promissory note for the Perkins Loan and/or the Health Professions/Nursing Loan on the web in the Financial Aid Status section of MyUW.

Graduate PLUS (GPLUS)

Borrowers sign their promissory note online at If you borrowed a GPLUS in the previous year usually you do not have to sign a master promissory note again. Each year the government’s direct loan servicer performs a credit check. If your loan is approved, funds will disburse to your student account. If your credit is denied and you obtain an endorser for your loan, you will need to sign a master promissory note for each GPLUS loan that is endorsed.

If you want to make arrangements to receive a paper promissory note for your Federal Direct Stafford loan or Grad PLUS loan, please contact the Office of Student Financial Aid via email at If you wish to request a paper promissory note for a Perkins, or federal Health Professions / Nursing loan, contact Student Fiscal Services via email, or on the live chat button on the Student Fiscal Services website.

Parent Loans (PLUS)

If you have been offered a Parent Loan (PLUS), your parent borrower will need to complete a PLUS request and master promissory note at As part of the application process, a credit check will be completed. If your parent’s credit is approved, they will then complete a master promissory note on the same site. If their credit is denied, endorser options will be presented to them. For more information on the Parent Loan process please see our website at Parent Loans.

Parent Loans are disbursed to the student’s University student account to pay any charges. When completing the application, parent borrowers indicate whether any remaining loan proceeds should disburse directly to the student or to the parent. Loan proceeds disbursed to the parent borrower are sent automatically via paper check from Student Fiscal Services.

Non-Federal loans (Alaska or Private)

Your loan cannot be disbursed until the funds have been received from the lender. You can confirm that the aid has arrived by reviewing MyUW approximately a week before the beginning of the quarter. If your lender sends you notification that your loan has been approved and the disbursement is being processed, you should expect to wait about two weeks for it to be available to you.

If your lender disburses your loan by check, you may need to endorse the loan check in Student Fiscal Services. Check your aid account on MyUW; if it indicates a signature is required, you may handle this in Student Fiscal Services, 129 Schmitz Hall.

Pay your own tuition if your financial aid is late

Short term loans may be arranged through MyUW Personal Services. If your tuition is not paid by the end of the third week of the quarter, you will be charged a $120 late payment fee.  Financial aid funds cannot pay this late fee and a separate payment is required.

If you must withdraw from school

If you withdraw before the start of classes, you must repay any financial aid you have received. If you withdraw during the quarter, you may have to repay some of your aid. If you do not officially withdraw but fail to pass any classes, you will be considered to have unofficially withdrawn and may have to repay aid. A withdrawal may affect your future aid eligibility. Please see the Time Schedule or Withdrawal and Refund for information on refunds. Tuition refunds, in general, must be returned to the financial aid programs.

Work Study paychecks

These are available from your employer according to the payroll schedule. Contact your employer or the Work Study Office, 520 Schmitz Hall if you have any questions.

Prior quarter disbursements

Generally, aid should disburse within the current quarter. However, certain types of prior quarter aid may be available for a limited time. If you did not receive all of your aid for the prior quarter, you must contact our office; if eligible, we will notify Student Fiscal Services who will release this aid to you. This includes students who normally receive their aid through direct deposit.