Completing your applications accurately and submitting them early will ensure full consideration for all aid programs available. If you apply early and have problems, contact a counselor right away. If you apply late and have problems, there may not be enough time to address the problems before school starts.
File Tax Returns Early
File your federal tax returns with the IRS as early as possible so that you can successfully use the IRS Data Retrieval when completing your FAFSA. If you estimate your tax information on the FAFSA, your application will likely be delayed until actual tax information can be provided.
Do Not Leave Blanks
Never leave questions blank on any form you submit if you are required to complete it. Blank questions will only delay your application's processing.
Retain photocopies of all forms and correspondence you submit with the dates they were submitted. Refer to them when inquiring about your application.
Use Your Full Given Name
Complete all forms using your full given name. Do not use nicknames. Notify the Office of Student Financial Aid of any name changes.
Use Your Correct Social Security Number
When you file your FAFSA, check and double check to make sure that you've entered the correct Social Security Number for yourself and for parents, if applicable. A FAFSA that is filed with an incorrect student SSN will have to be completely redone, SSN cannot be corrected on the original FAFSA. Also, please make sure that you enter the correct date of birth.
Read And Respond
Carefully read and follow all instructions provided. Respond quickly to all requests from our office. Even if your federal application is received by the priority date, you will not receive an award if your file is incomplete when award offers are made.
You are applying for financial aid to help you attend UW-Stout. Although you may need your parents' help in completing your forms, the application forms are yours and you need to know what forms and information have been provided to whom and when.
Call, email, or visit our office if you have questions. We are available each weekday from 8:00-4:30.
Who should I contact if:
- I need help completing the FAFSA or need to check the status of my federal application?
Contact the Department of Education at 1-800-4-FED-AID, or visit their web site at https://studentaid.gov/h/apply-for-aid/fafsa
- My funds did not apply to my account.
Contact the us, Financial Aid Office 715-232-1363
- I didn't receive my financial aid refund.
Contact the UW-Stout Student Business Services 715-232-1656.
Where can I get the forms I need for financial aid?
Visit our Forms and Applications web page for current forms and more information. There are paper copies of these forms available in our office in Room 210, Bowman Hall.
How do I know if I am considered a dependent or an independent student for financial aid purposes?
There are thirteen questions on the FAFSA which you must answer to determine your dependency status for financial aid purposes. Keep in mind that your dependency status for financial aid purposes is not based upon the IRS tax filing criteria but is based solely on your responses to the dependency status questions outlined on the FAFSA.
What is verification? Does it mean I did something wrong on the FAFSA?
Verification is the process whereby we review the information you reported on your FAFSA and compare the figures to your and/or your parents' tax returns. The Federal Processor selects about 30% of our financial aid applicants to be verified. It does not mean that you made a mistake or that you are suspected of mis-reporting. It simply means that you were picked as part of a sample to be reviewed. If your file is chosen to be verified, it is important for you to submit any requested documents as quickly as possible. Financial aid cannot be offered to you until verification has been completed.
If I was selected to be verified last year, does that mean I will also be selected this year?
Not necessarily. You will know when you receive your Student Aid Report each year if you have been selected to be verified.
I applied for and received financial aid last year. I haven't received any this year. Why?
You must reapply for financial aid each year.
I plan to attend during the summer term, but when I got my award letter, it only shows an award for fall and spring semesters. Why?
Financial aid for summer is awarded separately. Generally, we offer your maximum eligibility for fall/spring. If you plan to attend summer term and accept all the aid offered to you for fall/spring, you may have no remaining eligibility left for summer. You must submit a Summer or Winterm Financial Aid application to be reviewed for aid eligibility for those terms.
I received an email that says I haven't made Satisfactory Academic Progress. What should I do?
If you have been notified by our office that you are not making Satisfactory Academic Progress and you feel that there are extenuating circumstances that you wish us to consider, you must send an appeal letter in writing to our office.
What are the minimum required credit hours to receive aid?
For most grants and scholarships, full time enrollment (12 semester hours) is required. For most loans, half-time enrollment (6 hours for undergraduates, 5 hours for graduates) is required.
I want to drop a class. How will it affect my financial aid?
If you resign or drop below full-time status, you may have to repay all or part of your loans and/or grants. Contact your Academic Advisor or the Financial Aid Office before you decide to drop a class or resign completely.
I'm a graduate student at the Research/Dissertation level. Can I receive financial aid?
Graduate students working on thesis/dissertation must register for the half-time academic credit load to be eligible for Federal Loans.
When can I expect to receive a bill from UW-Stout for tuition/housing?
Billing statements are typically sent via email one to two weeks prior to the start of the term. Continue to check your Bill in Access Stout as it may change if you add or drop classes, incur fees, or aid is applied to your account. If your financial aid as shown on your bill is not enough to cover the amount due, you must pay the difference through alternative means.
What address are my bills mailed to? My financial aid documents? My refund checks?
Paper bills are NOT mailed, emails are sent with billing notices. The majority of financial aid correspondence is sent via email. Refund checks can be direct deposited, please provide your bank account information for Direct Deposit on the Student Services Center page of Access Stout. If no E-Refund is set up, a mailed check will process.
Can I pick up my refund check instead of having it mailed?
No, you cannot pick up a check in person. Direct Deposit of refunds is available.
My award letter says I'm entitled to $3000 in Federal Work Study, but it does not show up on my bill. Why?
Some types of financial aid reflected on your award letter are not disbursed to your student account. Federal Work Study aid is an example. These funds must be earned through on-campus employment in the form of a bi-weekly paycheck. If you do not see Work Study on your award, inquire with Financial Aid to see if you may be eligible.
When will my financial aid apply to my bill?
During the second week of school, The Financial Aid Office will push accepted and received aid to the student's account. This process is completed daily until the term has ended.
What is a Subsidized vs Unsubsidized Stafford Loan?
Subsidized Stafford Loans are need-based and interest-free while you are in school. Unsubsidized Stafford Loans are non-need based and interest-bearing loans, therefore interest will accrue while you are in school and will be added to the principal when repayment begins (unless you choose to may interest payments while in school).
Am I required to do an Entrance Counseling? How and where?
Yes, the Entrance Counseling for new borrowers is a requirement for student loans. You may complete the process on the Direct Loan site.
Am I required to ESign a Master Promissory Note (MPN)?
Yes, by completing and ESigning your MPN, you are promising to repay all student loans made under this note. You may have to sign only one MPN for the life of your student loan. An MPN expires ten years after the note is signed. An MPN is revoked if the first disbursement is not made within one year.
Can I get an outside loan to pay my remaining bill?
Yes, you can apply for an alternative or private academic loan to cover the remaining bill, as long as received aid does not exceed the Cost of Attendance.
What are my Direct Loan repayment options?
There are several repayment plans available. Please visit StudentLoans.gov for information about repayment plans and a repayment calculator.
Can my parent receive a Direct Loan?
Parents of dependent students who wish to borrow a Parent PLUS Loan should refer to the Forms and Documents page for the Direct PLUS Loan Application. Instructions are included on the form.
How and when do I complete a Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN)?
You should complete a Direct Loan Master Promissory Note as soon as possible if you plan to borrow a Subsidized or Unsubsidized Loan.
Do I have to complete Direct Loan Entrance Counseling each year?
No, you will not be required to complete Entrance Counseling each year if you have already completed the requirement. New borrowers are required to complete Direct Loan Entrance Counseling.
Are there deferments Available?
If you meet certain requirements, you may receive a deferment that allows you to temporarily stop making payments on your loan. If you cannot make your scheduled loan payments, but do not qualify for a deferment, you may get a forbearance. A forbearance allows you to temporarily stop making payments on your loan, temporarily make smaller payments, or extend the time for making payments. Contact your Loan Servicer for eligibility.
Will I be able to consolidate all of my loans after graduation?
Yes, please contact the US Department of Education about your Loan Consolidation options.
Where can I go to consolidate my loans if I have more than one lender?
After graduation, you have a choice. You may either make individual payments to your previous lender(s) and to the Department of Education for your Direct Loans or you can consolidate your loans into one simple payment. You may explore your options, as discussed above with the Federal Direct Loan Consolidation Program.
Once a loan is consolidated, you cannot undo the consolidation.
How do I contact the Direct Loan Program?
https://studentloans.gov/: Federal Student Aid
FSA ID: A Federal Student Aid ID (FSAID) is required in order to login to federal sites.
Master Promissory Note: A Direct MPN is required of all Direct Loan borrowers.
Entrance Counseling: Federal Direct Entrance Counseling is required for new borrowers who have not already completed Entrance Counseling.
Account Information: Online billing information.
Loan Consolidation: Consolidate your FFELP loans with your Direct Loans when you graduate if desired.
What is my estimated cost of attendance?
The estimated cost of attendance (COA) is the estimate of what it will cost to attend UW-Stout and live in Menomonie for the academic year. This figure consists of estimated tuition, books, room/board, personal, and transportation costs. Items could be higher or lower than our estimates depending on personal spending habits.
What is "Expected Family Contribution" (EFC)?
Expected Family Contribution is the indicator of how much you and your family are expected to contribute to your education. The Federal Processor calculates your EFC based on the data that you provide on the federal aid application (FAFSA). We use the EFC, among other factors, to determine how much and what types of aid that you qualify for.
What are "outside resources"?
Outside resources include other aid sources that either you have reported to us or we have identified on your student billing statement. These resources include but are not limited to fee waivers, outside scholarships or loans, WI GI Bill, or other third party contracts..
What is "financial need"?
Financial need is the difference between your cost of attendance and the amount of money your family is expected to contribute (EFC). The formula is: COA minus EFC minus other aid = Financial Need. The need amount represents the limit of your eligibility to participate in need based programs which include grants, Subsidized Stafford Loans, Perkins Loans, and Federal Work Study. If your calculated need is 0, you may qualify for non-need based aid such as Unsubsidized Federal Loans and/or Federal Parent PLUS Loans.
What is "unmet need"?
Unmet need is the amount of need that we cannot meet from need based aid programs. Unmet need = Need minus need-based aid. You may have unmet need after being awarded the maximum limits you qualify for in need based programs.
How much will my family and I be expected to pay (excluding financial aid) for my education over the course of the school year?
The amount the student and/or family can expect to pay for tuition, books, room/board, personal, transportation = estimated cost of attendance minus total aid. In most cases, students do not receive enough aid to cover the full COA. Parent Loans and alternative loans are available to make up the difference.
If my parent is approved for a PLUS Loan (credit check is required) how much can they borrow?
A parent of a dependent undergraduate student can borrow the amount of estimated cost of attendance minus total aid that the student expects to receive.
My family has unusual circumstances. How do I report that?
There will be no place to report unusual circumstances on the FAFSA. Do not include any written narratives or other documentation with the FAFSA. The Financial Aid Office has the ability to take into consideration recent loss of income, death of a family member, divorce or economic disaster. If a family feels that they have unusual circumstances that may affect the student's financial aid eligibility, please contact our office directly to discuss appropriate action: e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 715-232-1363.
What if my Parents/ Guardians are separated or divorced?
If your parents/guardians are separated or divorced, the custodial parent/guardian should fill out the FAFSA. The custodial parent/guardian is the person with whom you have lived with the most in the past 12 months. If you did not live with one parent/guardian more than the other, then the person who provided you with the most financial support should fill out the FAFSA.
If your Parents/ Guardians are separated but not legally divorced, reach out to our office so we can assist you on ensuring the appropriate information is being reflected on the FAFSA.
Confirm your student loan servicer. https://studentaid.gov/
Explore Repayment Options: https://studentaid.gov/manage-loans/repayment/plans
As you prepare for student loan repayment, consider your repayment strategy and whether you are in the right repayment plan for you!
Budgeting: Be sure to review your personal budget to ensure that you will be able to make your necessary monthly student loan payments! https://studentaid.gov/resources/prepare-for-college/students/budgeting/creating-your-budget
Latest on Student Debt Relief: https://studentaid.gov/manage-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/debt-relief-info