Tuition and Financial Aid FAQ

Tuition and Billing

How does billing work?
All billing questions can be answered by Student Financial Services.

How do I pay my bill?
You can pay your bill directly through WebSTAC.

Are there payment plans available?
Payment plans are not available for graduate students at Washington University in St. Louis.

My employer is supplementing my costs. How does it pay the school?
If your employer is handling any or all of your billing, please contact LeAndra Parker, student services and accounting coordinator, at (314) 935-6421 or via email.

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The FAFSA

What is the FAFSA?
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the Department of Education’s application for determining a student’s eligibility for federal student aid.

Where can I find the FAFSA?
You can complete the FAFSA online on their website. The FAFSA is a FREE application. If you are asked to pay a fee to complete the application, you are on the wrong website.

What is Washington University’s FAFSA code?
Washington University in St. Louis’ FAFSA code is 002520, which must be included in the college release section of the form.

Do I need my parents’ tax information to complete the FAFSA if I live on my own?
If you are applying to graduate school, you do not need your parents’ financial information to complete the FAFSA.

When is the earliest I can complete the FAFSA?
Each year the updated FAFSA is available Oct. 1. The FAFSA must be completed each academic year in order to remain eligible for federal student aid. Please reference the chart below to determine which FAFSA to complete based on your desired start date:

FAFSA Year Chart
START TERM FAFSA YEAR
July 2018 Summer 2018 - 2019
October 2018 Fall 2018 - 2019
January 2019 Winter 2018 - 2019
April 2019 Spring 2018 - 2019

What is the deadline for completing the FAFSA?
There is no deadline, and the FAFSA will be reviewed on a rolling basis as it is received. It is recommended that the FAFSA be completed by May 1 each academic year. FAFSAs should be submitted no later than 30 days prior to the end of the academic semester in which you are enrolled.

What constitutes an academic year for federal student aid?
The academic year is July 1-June 30.

Who is eligible to apply for federal student aid?
In order to apply for federal student aid, you must:

  • Be U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen
  • Have valid Social Security number
  • Be registered with Selective Service if you’re male (must register between the ages of 18-25)
  • Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a regular student in an eligible degree program
  • Be enrolled at least half-time in an eligible program
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress
  • Not currently be in default on previous student loans borrowed through federal student aid
  • Not have exceeded the maximum aggregate loan limit

Learn more about student eligibility criteria.

What types of federal student aid are available to graduate students?
Graduate students can apply for the Direct Unsubsidized Loan (sometimes referred to as a Stafford Loan) and the Direct PLUS Loan. Online students are not eligible for federal work study. Learn more about types of federal financial aid.

Will I need to fill out the FAFSA each year?
Yes, the FAFSA needs to be completed each academic year. Federal student aid eligibility does not carry over from one award year to the next.

Why am I not eligible for the Pell Grant or Direct Subsidized Loans?
The Department of Education only awards the Federal Pell Grant and Direct Subsidized Loan to students pursuing degrees at the undergraduate level.

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Direct Unsubsidized Loans

How do I get the Direct Unsubsidized Loan?
To apply for a Direct Unsubsidized Loan (also called a Stafford Loan), you must first complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Your school will use the information from your FAFSA to determine how much student aid you are eligible to receive.

What is the difference between an unsubsidized loan and a subsidized loan?
Direct Subsidized Loans are only available to undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need. The federal government pays the interest on the loan while the student is enrolled at least half-time and during the six-month grace period. Direct Unsubsidized Loans are available to undergraduate and graduate students; there is no requirement to demonstrate financial need. Learn more about the difference between unsubsidized and subsidized loans.

What is the aggregate loan limit?
Your aggregate loan amount is the total you can borrow across the course of your education. The aggregate amount for graduate and professional students is $138,500, which includes all federal loans received for undergraduate study. Learn more about aggregate loan amounts.

How do I find out if I am near my aggregate loan limit?
You can go to nslds.ed.gov to view your federal student loan borrowing history.

What is the current interest rate?
The current interest rate for Direct Unsubsidized Loans can be found on the Federal Student Aid website.

Do I have to pay my loans while I’m in school?
You are not required to pay on your student loans while you are in school. Your unsubsidized loan will go into repayment six months after you graduate, take a leave of absence or fall below half-time status.

What criteria are used to determine eligibility?
In order to apply for federal student aid, you must:

  • Be U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen
  • Have valid Social Security number
  • Be registered with Selective Service if you’re male (must register between the ages of 18-25)
  • Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a regular student in an eligible degree program
  • Be enrolled at least half-time in an eligible program
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress
  • Not currently be in default on previous student loans borrowed through federal student aid
  • Not have exceeded the maximum aggregate loan limit

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans are not income dependent and are not dependent on credit scores.

Learn more about student eligibility criteria.

Can I consolidate my graduate loans and my undergraduate loans?
A Direct Consolidation Loan allows you to consolidate (combine) multiple federal education loans into one loan including both graduate and undergraduate loans. The result is a single monthly payment instead of multiple payments. Learn more about loan consolidation here.

Are there any additional loan fees?
Yes, there is a current loan origination fee that is 1.068 percent of the total loan amount. The loan origination fee is deducted proportionately from each loan disbursement you receive.

What if I am currently in default or have defaulted on a prior federal student loan?
Review your loan history at nslds.ed.gov and contact your lender for details on how to clear the default.

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Direct PLUS Loans

What is a Direct PLUS Loan?
Direct PLUS Loans are federal loans that graduate or professional degree students can use to help pay for education expenses. Direct PLUS Loans are dependent on credit scores. Learn about Direct PLUS Loans.

How do I apply for a Direct PLUS Loan?
In order to apply for a Direct PLUS Loan, you must first complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Once you have completed the FAFSA, you can apply for the Direct PLUS Loan by completing the credit application online.

What is the current interest rate?
The current interest rate for Direct PLUS Loans can be found on the Federal Student Aid website.

What are the credit criteria for the Direct PLUS Loan?
To receive a Direct PLUS Loan, you cannot have an adverse credit history. A credit check is performed to determine whether you meet this requirement. Learn more about what constitutes adverse credit history.

What are my options if I'm denied a Direct PLUS Loan?
You may reapply with an endorser or appeal the denial. See the Department of Education's instructions on appealing a denial.

Do Direct PLUS Loans affect my aggregate loan limit?
No, only Direct Subsidized and Direct Unsubsidized Loans are used to calculate your aggregate loan limit.

When do I have to repay my Direct PLUS Loan?
Your Direct PLUS Loan will go into repayment six months after you graduate, take a leave of absence or fall below half-time status. You are not required to pay your student loans while you are in school.

How much can I borrow with the Direct PLUS Loan?
If approved for a Direct PLUS Loan, you can borrow up to the full program budget as determined by Washington University in St. Louis.

Are there additional loan fees?
Yes, there is a loan origination fee that is 4.272 percent of the total loan amount. The loan origination fee is deducted proportionately from each loan disbursement you receive.

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Military Education Benefits

How do I apply for military education benefits?
To begin the process of applying for eligible military education benefits, visit the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website.

What documents are required to process military education benefits?
Visit Vets.gov to complete the Education Benefits Application, which generates a request for the Certificate of Eligibility (COE). Once approved for benefits, the VA will mail the COE to you within 6-8 weeks from submitting the application. You will need to provide WashU with your updated COE.

What is the difference between active and nonactive duty?
Active Duty is in the military full time and is not currently eligible for the Yellow Ribbon Program (YRP). Non-Active Duty is someone who is not currently serving or no longer serving in any capacity of military service of the United states and is eligible for YRP if at 100% per the COE.

What are the eligibility factors for the Post-9/11 GI bill?
You are potentially eligible if you have at least 90 days of aggregate active duty service after Sept.10, 2001, and are still on active duty, or if you are an honorably discharged Veteran or were discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 days, you may be eligible for this VA-administered program. Learn more about the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

What is the current tuition and fee payment rate, and Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA)?
The tuition and fee payment rate, and MHA are determined at the beginning of each military academic year on August 1st. The current rate table is located on the Education and Training page of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs site.

What is the Yellow Ribbon Program (YRP)?
The Yellow Ribbon program allows degree-granting private colleges and universities in the United States to voluntarily enter into an agreement with the VA to fund tuition expenses that exceed the annual maximum cap for the resident tuition and fees at public institutions. Veterans who are utilizing Post-9/11 GI Benefits and who are entitled to 100% of their benefit may be eligible. To participate in the Yellow Ribbon program, you must be using Post-9/11 GI benefits at 100% eligibility, not on active duty, and not a military spouse. There are a limited number of Yellow Ribbon awards available. Learn more about the Yellow Ribbon Program.

Who can I contact at Wash U for questions about using Military Education Benefits?
For more information about Military Education Benefits, you may contact Eileen Radomski at 314-935-5933 or via email.

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Loan Repayment

When do I have to pay back my loan?
After you graduate, leave school or drop below half-time enrollment, you will have a six-month grace period before you are required to begin repayment. During this period, you'll receive repayment information from your loan servicer, and you will be notified of your first payment due date. Payments are usually due monthly. Learn more about repayment timelines.

Can I consolidate my graduate loans and my undergraduate loans?
A Direct Consolidation Loan allows you to consolidate (combine) multiple federal education loans into one loan including both graduate and undergraduate loans. The result is a single monthly payment instead of multiple payments. Learn more about loan consolidation.

What are the repayment plan options, and how do I select one?
Lenders offer a range of repayment options, including income-based repayment. Your lender will contact you during your six-month grace period to select a repayment option. You should select your repayment option before your first payment is due.

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Washington University Financial Aid

When will I receive my financial aid award package?
New and returning students will receive their financial aid award packages each term. Award letters are sent via email generally three weeks prior to the term start date provided all financial aid documents are completed.

Do I have to pay my tuition deposit before I can receive my award package?
Yes, your student record is not created until the enrollment deposit is paid. Once the deposit is paid and your record is created, you will have the ability to register for classes, which must occur before any financial aid package is disbursed.

Can I use financial aid to pay my deposit?
No, financial aid cannot be used to pay your deposit.

Can I use loans to cover expenses beyond tuition (housing, books, living expenses, immersions, etc.)?
Students can typically be awarded additional funds for book and tech expenses, but Washington University does not award additional funds for living expenses. You can also generally use loans to cover the cost for the immersion credit and any associated fees.

How do I accept my student loans?
In order for your loan to be officially disbursed, you must sign your award letter and the Master Promissory Note (MPN), and Entrance Counseling must be completed online after accepting the loan. You will need to use your federal student aid ID and password to access the site and complete the required paperwork. Award letters will not go out to students unless the MPN and Entrance Counseling are completed.

Will I receive a loan disbursement each term?
Yes, loan disbursements are made each term and are based upon the number of credits for which a student is registered.

Does my Direct Unsubsidized Loan eligibility cover the entire cost of the program?
Not necessarily. WashULaw students are eligible to receive up to $20,500 per academic year in Direct Unsubsidized Loans. The WashULaw program can be completed over four terms in as little as one academic year. While you can choose to begin the program in any one of our four program start dates, the financial aid year runs from July 1 to June 30 of any given year. In almost all cases, students must supplement their Direct Unsubsidized Loan with Direct PLUS Loans, scholarships, private loans or other sources of private funding. It is imperative that you plan accordingly to ensure continuous access to funding so that you are not forced to take a leave of absence for any particular term (or terms). Your WashULaw financial services representative can help in this planning.

Can I use my financial aid to cover the cost of immersions?
Required immersions carrying academic credits are added to tuition at the normal cost per credit hour and are covered by financial aid. Other immersion costs are considered education-related expenses and may be covered using federal student aid if you are eligible for additional resources.

What can affect my eligibility for student loans?
Federal regulations require that students receiving federal Title IV financial aid maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP). On the Danforth Campus at Washington University in St. Louis, SAP is evaluated at the end of the spring term. If you are not maintaining progress, you will be notified by your school’s dean’s office. The minimum semester and cumulative grade-point averages needed to meet the SAP requirement are set by your school and are dictated by your program of study. You should consult your school’s bulletin to determine your minimum GPA requirements. If you are not achieving the minimum GPA requirements when the SAP review is performed, you are not considered to be maintaining SAP. Please carefully read our complete SAP policy in the WashULaw Handbook for additional information.

How many credits must I register for to be eligible to receive federal student aid?
WashULaw students must complete a minimum of 2 credit hours of course work during each term, maintaining a B (3.0) minimum GPA.

Are there any scholarships available for this program?
Students may qualify for select competitive awards offered by the Washington University School of Law or can identify private independent scholarships for which they can apply separately of the law school application or the federal aid process.

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