2018-2019 FAFSA Reminder


Don’t forget! The 2018-19 FAFSA opens this Sunday, October 1.

If you need assistance completing your FAFSA, the Financial Aid Office will be hosting two workshops. Join us to file your FAFSA and enter your name into a $500 scholarship drawing (two recipients will be selected). If you file your FAFSA prior to these events, just bring us proof of completion to have your name entered.

FAFSA Workshops

October 5 & 9 from 2:30-6:30pm in Mabee Library

$500 scholarship drawing and pizza available for those attending!

Should you have questions, contact the Financial Aid Office at (785) 670-1151 or financialaid@washburn.edu.

Financial Aid Office

Washburn University

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there computers available for student use in the Financial Aid Office?

Yes. There are computers available in Morgan Hall in first floor hallway between the Student One Stop and the Cashiers’ window.  Students may use the computers to complete any of the financial aid process, including:

  • filling out the FAFSA
  • completing the Master Promissory Note
  • completing entrance counseling and other processes


How do I know if the Financial Aid Office needs additional information from me?

There are three ways to know if the Financial Aid office needs information from you:

  • Letter in the mail requesting additional information
  • Email requesting additional information
  • MyWashburn under the Financial Services tab under “Financial Aid Requirements”


Who should I talk to about any problems or other questions I have regarding my financial aid?
Please contact the Financial Aid Office at 785.670.1151, financialaid@washburn.edu or come in to the Student One Stop in Morgan Hall.


How long does the financial aid process take?
Early Applicants (e.g. students who apply ON or BEFORE November 15th): Early applications are held in application date order until the eligibility and awarding process is implemented.

Late Applicants (e.g. Students who apply AFTER November 15th): If you apply after the November 15th priority deadline, it generally takes around 2-3 weeks from the time you submit a FAFSA until an award letter is ready.  

  • Because every student’s situation is different, processing time will vary. A few of the factors that can affect processing time are:
    • if a student is selected for verification
    • how quickly all requested documents are submitted to our office
    • when the FAFSA was originally submitted
    • if there is any mismatched information
    • wrong school code was entered

In order to ensure your aid is finalized and available to release by the first disbursement date check your MyWashurn account frequently.  Although the Financial Aid Office will try to keep in touch with you, it is your responsibility and very important that you make sure all documents are submitted in a timely manner and that your file is both accurate and complete.


How do I find out how much aid I am awarded?
  • Login to MyWashburn
  • Select the “Financial Services” tab
  • Select the “Financial Aid Awards” link in the far left column
  • Select the correct aid year and submit.
  • Select the “Terms and Conditions” tab – All students must read and accept the terms and conditions before accepting your financial aid.
  • Select the “Accept Award Offer” tab to accept/decline award.


Do I have to apply for financial aid and scholarships every year?

Yes, this process must be repeated annually.

You’ll want to be sure to apply complete the FAFSA starting October 1st as soon as possible.  www.fafsa.ed.gov

For continuing students who were awarded an academic or specialized scholarship, you will want to fill out the Scholarship Renewal Application as soon as possible.

The priority deadline for the FAFSA is November 15th.  The priority date for the Scholarship Renewal is December 1st.


How do I renew my Departmental Scholarship?

You will need to contact the Department regarding their renewal process.


Do I need to renew my Interstate Tuition Waiver?

No.  You will remain eligible for the Interstate Tuition Waiver as long as you continue to meet the required 3.0 cumulative GPA or higher.

Although, we encourage students to appeal for residency status.  For more information about Residency Status visit: Residency Information


Why you should fill out the FAFSA

You could be missing out on free money for college.

Even if you think your parents earn too much money for you to qualify for financial aid, you should still fill out the form.

By Alexandra Rice Jan. 5, 2015, at 9:00 a.m.
Taken from U.S. News & World Report Money

The average student loan debt hovers near $30,000, and graduating from college this deep in the red is a tough way to begin adult life. Filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, a government form that streamlines the college financial aid process, is a must if you want to qualify for assistance and reduce your student loan burden.

Unfortunately, the standard FAFSA has over 100 questions asking for everything from your net worth to your parents’ assets, causing many overwhelmed students to never complete it.

Don’t leave money on the table. Here’s why it’s worth the effort to fill out the FAFSA.

Who Qualifies for College Aid

The FAFSA helps determine whether students are eligible for federal loans, grants or work-study programs. Many colleges also require it to be on file for their own need-based or merit-based aid packages. According to the U.S. Department of Education, over $150 billion is given to college students annually via the FAFSA. To qualify for some of that money, you must meet basic eligibility requirements, such as being a U.S. citizen (though there are exceptions) and having a high school diploma or GED.

Figuring out how much financial aid you may be eligible for is simple, says Sean Moore, founder of SMART College Funding in Boca Raton, Florida. Take the cost of your school’s attendance and subtract your expected family contribution (EFC) as determined by the FAFSA. What you’re left with is the amount you’ll need and may receive in aid. Moore says there are many free calculators, such as one by The College Board, to help you with the math.

Be aware that the EFC calculated in your FAFSA probably isn’t the exact number you will have to pay for school. Each college has its own formula for determining aid, so you may be asked to pay less. Unfortunately, you aren’t guaranteed to receive the amount you need. If you don’t receive the full amount of aid you were hoping for from the government or your school, you may need to take out a private loan or take on a part-time job to fill in the gap.

Raul Alvarez of CollegeGreenlight.com, a website that offers free resources to first-generation and underrepresented college students, says there are a few other circumstances that may indicate you’ll qualify for need-based aid. If you have a single parent who is working and has multiple children, you are likely to qualify. You’re also likely eligible for aid if you qualify for a free or reduced-price lunch.

Why You Should Fill Out the FAFSA

Experts agree one of the most common reasons students don’t fill out the FAFSA is because they believe their parents make too much money, so they won’t qualify.

This is a costly misconception. “Everyone should fill out the FAFSA, because everyone is eligible for some form of financial aid, no matter their circumstances,” says Abigail Seldin, co-founder of College Abacus, a free college cost comparison tool.

She says most financial aid in the U.S. is awarded by universities rather than the government, and you usually can’t qualify for need-based or merit-based aid without a FAFSA on file. It’s important to be aware that many colleges offer merit-based aid that doesn’t even consider financial need; it’s based on achievements such as grades, SAT scores or athletics. In other words, the amount of money your parents make doesn’t matter for this type of aid, but you can’t get it if you don’t fill out the form.

When You Should Fill Out the FAFSA

Seldin recommends you fill out the FAFSA as soon as it’s available, which is typically in early January, to increase your chances of getting money. “The sooner you submit your FAFSA, the sooner your school can receive the results of your FAFSA,” she says. “So if your school is awarding financial aid or admission on a rolling basis, you are advantaged by having your information in early, because some schools will run out of money.”

Common FAFSA Mistakes

Moore of SMART College Funding says the latest statistics show that over 80 percent of submitted FAFSAs contain at least one error. He says a common point of confusion is which assets are countable. Pay close attention, as this can make a huge difference in how much aid you receive. For example, money in a retirement account won’t count against you, but money in a checking account will. Small family businesses also aren’t a counted asset, so don’t lose out on money by incorrectly including assets that should be uncounted, he advises.

Alvarez says some students also worry they can’t submit the FAFSA if their parents haven’t filed their taxes yet. Not a problem, he explains. “If your parents don’t have their W-2s yet, they can give you an estimate of their income, and you can easily file a correction of a FAFSA online. You don’t have to get it perfect the first time; it won’t count against you,” he says.

For more FAFSA mistakes to avoid, you can watch U.S. News Education’s video with financial aid experts discussing common FAFSA errors.

Filling out the FAFSA may be a headache, but the possibility of graduating with less student debt is worth the trouble. It costs nothing to sit down with your family and complete the form once a year, and your financial future may be brighter for it.

FastWeb: 31 Money Saving Tricks for Students

Original article: http://www.fastweb.com/financial-aid/articles/the-31-money-saving-tricks-for-students

Elizabeth Hoyt || July 31, 2015

Do you have fine wine tastes on a cheap beer budget? It’s ok – most college students are living on a budget. If not, they’re likely students getting themselves into a cycle of debt.

While neither is fun or easy, you can become smarter about the way you spend your money. Keep in mind that the key to financial success is being aware of how you’re spending your money.

Also, know that there’s a difference between being cheap and having spending savvy. There’s nothing wrong with living within your means, rather than beyond.

Stretch your dollar further with the following money-saving tips:

  1. Buy or rent used textbooks and sell last semester’s books back.
  2. Don’t make impulse purchases.
  3. Never go grocery shopping when you’re hungry.
  4. Limit the number of times you eat out monthly.
  5. Cut out vices – smoking and binge drinking are terrible for youand expensive.
  6. Always pay bills on time to avoid late fees.
  7. If you have a credit card, pay it off as quickly as possible. (It’s good to establish credit, but a bad credit score follows you everywhere.)
  8. Walk, use public transportation or ride a bike instead of having a car.
  9. Live with others so you can split rent and utilities.
  10. Cut out expensive cable packages you don’t need.
  11. Consider more basic phone packages and plans or plans that include unlimited texting with free incoming calls
  12. Don’t buy the most expensive college meal plans. Figure out what you actually consume and get the correlating package.
  13. Shop where they offer student discounts. There are so many places that offer discounts to students with a school ID.
  14. Look into a campus gym versus a gym in town. Many colleges offer memberships for free or at a reduced rate for students.
  15. When planning meals, make dinner with friends and split the cost of groceries. Often times, you’ll be cooking too much for one person anyway!
  16. Sell what you no longer use or need. There are plenty of stores and web sites, like Poshmark and Craigslist, where you can sell your used clothing, furniture or tech items.
  17. Don’t buy unnecessary school supplies. Why buy cumbersome notebooks when you can type on your laptop? It’s better for the earth anyway!
  18. Don’t buy books you will only need for a short period of time – check them out from the library instead.
  19. Take advantage of what your campus has to offer in terms of activities, rather than spending money on going out. Many campuses have an array of museums, offer movie nights and other social events for cheaper or, sometimes, for free.
  20. Skip expensive spring break and summer trips – look into alternatives, like volunteering, instead.
  21. Wait to get a pet until after college – a pet can become very expensive. Not only do you have another mouth to feed, but veterinary bills are costly. If you love animals, there are plenty of shelters that need volunteers.
  22. Go to class. You’re paying for it and skipping is like throwing money out the window!
  23. Drink water. It’s free and better for you, anyway.
  24. Make your own coffee. While coffee shops are convenient, they charge hefty prices that really add up over time.
  25. Open a savings account that earns interest. Credit unions have fewer fees and are great for students.
  26. Use a free tool, like FinAid’s Student Budget Calculator or the one offered by Mint.com, to keep track of your finances. It’s harder to be frivolous when you see where your money is going.
  27. Never take out a loan for anything that’s unrelated to your education.
  28. Don’t buy music. Use the free services like Spotify or Pandora offer.
  29. Look into class requirements and the options for testing out of classes. Why pay for a class you could easily test out of?
  30. Consider becoming a resident advisor. Many get free room and board.
  31. Avoid buying name brand items. Purchase generic items whenever possible. They are exactly the same item, at a highly reduced price. You can even check the ingredients to make sure!

Original article: http://www.fastweb.com/financial-aid/articles/the-31-money-saving-tricks-for-students

2014-2015 Federal Stafford Loan Interest Rate Change

Effective, July 1, 2014, the interest rates for the Federal Stafford Loans have changed. The table below provides interest rates for Direct Loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2013.

Perkins Loans (regardless of the first disbursement date) have a fixed interest rate of 5%.

Interest Rates for Direct Loans First Disbursed on or After July 1, 2013

Loan Type

Borrower Type

Loans first disbursed on or after 7/1/13 and before 7/1/14

Loans first disbursed on or after 7/1/14 and before 7/1/15

Direct Subsidized Loans




Direct Unsubsidized Loans




Direct Unsubsidized Loans

Graduate or Professional



Direct PLUS Loans

Parents and Graduate or Professional Students



All interest rates shown in the chart above are fixed rates for the life of the loan.

Note: The interest rates for federal student loans are determined by federal law. If there are future changes to federal law that affect federal student loan interest rates, we will update this page to reflect those changes.

Heads Up, Students: You Could Win $500

Sweepstakes Details

First things first: Have you set up your SALTTM account yet? Your school got you free access! Once you’re registered at saltmoney.org, all you have to do is complete a My Money 101TM module or SALT lesson. There are 13 different money lessons to choose from, so you can earn up to 13 chances to win.

Q: What’s SALT?

A: SALT is a free, nonprofit-backed educational resource that provides simple, personalized ways for college students and recent grads to take control of their student debt and manage their finances. SALT was created by American Student Assistance® (ASA), a nonprofit with 50+ years’ experience helping people make better decisions about financing their education and repaying student loans.

Q: How do I access the My Money 101 lessons?

A: First, register your account at saltmoney.org and make sure you select your school. Then choose “Lessons” under the Sort By tab and “Find even more money with My Money 101.”

Q: How do I enter to win the $500?

A: You’ll get one entry into the sweepstakes for each My Money 101 module or SALT lesson you complete. Just remember to complete the quiz at the end! One completed lesson equals one entry, so you can earn up to 13 total chances to win.

Q: When do I find out who won?

A: The sweepstakes winner will be announced and contacted on April 20, 2014.

SALT Ambassadors Wanted!

 Washburn University’s Financial Aid Office is looking for 6 – 7 excellent students to be members of our SALT Ambassador Program.

What’s SALT?

SALTTM is a program that helps give students money skills for life. SALT helps you track and manage student loans, get free financial advice, find scholarships, jobs, and internships, and plenty more. Washburn University has partnered with SALT to offers its services for free to all students.

Why we need you:

We need to spread the word about SALT—and we need some insanely awesome students to be SALT Ambassadors at Washburn University.

What you’d do:

  •    Promote student registration with SALT, and increase awareness by:
    •    Hanging posters and flyers around campus
    •    Visiting popular spots around campus to talk with students about SALT
    •    Promoting SALT on social media networks
    •    Handing out SALT swag to students
  •    This position will be 2 hours per week for a 6-week period during the spring semester.

Leadership positions are available:

  •  Head Ambassador                                                              
  •  Social Media Chair
  •  Events Chair
  •  Club and Organization Outreach Chair

Who we’re looking for:

  •  Outgoing, friendly students
  •  Students who are highly involved on campus
  •  Those who are interested in tackling student debt

What you’ll get:

  • $150 stipend, plus the chance for an additional $150 in bonuses!
  • Excellent experience for your resume
  • SALT swag (cups, bags, etc.)
  • The chance to get paid just to hang out with other students. (Do the math. That’s over $12 per hour, just to talk to people!)

How do I apply?

If you’re interested in this position, please send an email to Tom Stuart @ tom.stuart@washburn.edu with your resume and a paragraph about why you should be a SALT Ambassador. The deadline is February 8, 2014.

Decoding your Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Letter

Did you receive a Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) letter over the winter break? Did you understand it?  Here is a quick guide to decoding your Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) letter and what it means.

First and foremost, the Financial Aid Office send Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) notices only to students who are not meeting the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards (discussed below).  The Financial Aid Office sends a physical letter to your mailing address and an e-mail copy to your Washburn University e-mail address.  If you wish to view your Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) status, it is available by clicking ‘Progress’ located on the left-hand side of your Financial Services tab on your MyWashburn account.

What are the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards?

The Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards are applied to any student who received Federal Financial Aid such as the Federal Pell Grant or Federal Stafford Loans. There are three Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards which are measured: cumulative GPA, your pace to completion, and your maximum timeframe.

  • GPA: Cumulative grade point average of 2.00 for undergraduates, a cumulative GPA of 3.00 for graduate students, and a cumulative GPA of 2.00 for law students.  The cumulative GPA standards for Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) are the same standards for your academic standing at Washburn University.
  • Pace to Completion: Students must maintain pace to completion of greater than 67%. This means you must complete and successfully pass 67% of all courses.  This percentage is calculated using all courses attempted so if you have withdrawn, dropped, or failed to pass a course, this will drop your pace to completion rate.
  • Maximum Timeframe: This standard states the maximum number of hours attempted may not exceed 150% of the published length of your program.  The Financial Aid Office starts to notify you at 125% of the published length of your program so it is not a sudden surprise.

What if…this is your first bad semester? Do you lose your financial aid immediately?

No, the Financial Aid Office at Washburn University allows for a warning semester so you do not lose your financial aid immediately. You may only receive one warning semester so once you have received it, you do not get a second warning. The Financial Aid Office sends you a letter stating that you did not meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards (see above) and you do not need to submit a formal request for financial reinstatement.  As long as your next semester is good, you will come off the warning semester.

Washburn University has over 100 different Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) statuses so it is impossible to discuss all of them but here are some pointers on the most prevalent:

  • Max Hours:  On your Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Letter it would have stated that “…you have exceeded 125% of the hours required for your degree.  Your financial aid is on hold until:  1) you submit a degree completion plan prepared and signed by your academic advisor…”
    • What it means:  This type of status means that you are approaching your maximum timeframe for using Federal Financial aid and you and your academic advisor have to put together a degree plan which guides you to getting your degree in a timely manner. 
  • Pace: On your Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Letter it would have stated that”…your pace is less than 67%. Your financial aid is on hold until you submit:  an academic plan prepared and signed by your academic advisor…”
    • What it means: This type of status means that your overall pace to completion is less than 67% and you need to meet with your academic advisor to discuss how you can improve your academic performance and what courses you should be taking to be successful over the next 2 semesters. Receiving F’s, incompletes, withdrawing, and repeating classes can hinder your pace.
  • Denied:  On your Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Letter it would have stated “According to our Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy, you have not met our minimum standards of SAP.  Either your cumulative GPA is too low or you completed a total withdrawal of classes from a previous term…”
    • What it means:  This type of status means that you have not met the Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards (outlined above), you have used your warning semester and have been denied financial aid for the following semester. You can appeal this decision if there were any extenuating circumstances which hindered your academic performance during the semester.

After reading your Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Letter, you have determined that you want to appeal your denied status due to extenuating circumstance but what does it mean to appeal your financial aid decision?

When you appeal your Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) status you will need to discuss two items. 1) Explain what extenuating circumstance affected your ability to meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards. 2) Describe your action plan on how you plan to address the extenuating circumstances and how you plan to improve your academic performance.  Reinstatement Forms are available in our office and on our web page at www.washburn.edu/financial-aid under online forms.  If you need to provide any additional documentation, please state on your appeal that you are submitting supporting documentation and provide it to the Financial Aid Office. 

Please note, submitting a reinstatement request or academic plan does not guarantee that you will be reinstated. The committee that reviews the appeals and plans bases their decision on a variety of factors such as your current reinstatement requests, if you have appealed previously, and your Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) history (just to name a few). The Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy can be found at www.washburn.edu/financial-aid under Policies and Consumer Information.

Academic Scholarship Application Available for 2014-2015

The 2014-2015 scholarship application for Washburn University now is available online.

  • Login at this site using your MyWashburn username and password.
  • Select the “Academic Scholarship Application.”
  • Also select any other applicable scholarships previously received, located in the scholarship section on the application.

February 15, 2014 is the priority deadline for this application. Any application received after this date is considered late and only will be considered if funding is available.

This application must be completed and submitted by the priority deadline to be considered for renewal of the academic scholarship and/or any other specialized scholarships listed in the scholarship section of the application. Scholarship renewal requirements are based upon the original award criteria, as defined by the award notification letter sent by the Office of Admissions upon your entry to Washburn University.

If you have questions, please contact the Office of Financial Aid at 785.670.1151.

Everything you need to design your first budget

One of the most important steps in taking control of your finances is designing a personal budget. When you take a close look at your income and expenses, it’s easy to determine whether you’re living within your means. Once you’ve tailored a plan to your life, you’ll be able to both spend your money wisely and build up your savings.


Examine Your Spending

The first step in creating your budget is to take a look at your income and expenses. It helps to create a spreadsheet to track these figures and use for future reference.

First, record the monthly expenses that you always have to pay: your rent, your utility bills, your phone bills, and so on. These “fixed expenses” are generally regular costs that you want to cover before anything else.

Next, figure out how much you spend on “flexible expenses,” like groceries and transportation. Even though you can’t know for sure how much you’ll spend on these categories, you should be able to come up with a general figure by looking at your recent spending. Remember, it’s a good idea to round these figures up; that way, you’re less likely to come up short—even if you spend more than usual.

If you have credit card debt or student loans, you’ll then want to factor in the amount you’re paying off every month. This is a good chance to catch up if you’re behind, as you can align how much you’re able to pay with how much you want to pay.

Finally, remember that a responsible budget doesn’t mean you can’t spend money on yourself. Think about how much you normally spend on “discretionary expenses” like clothing, movie tickets, and eating out—and allocate some of your income to them. By working these costs into your spending plan, you won’t have to worry (or feel bad) about buying a new sweater or having a night out.

Factor In Your Income

Once you’ve come up with your total monthly expenses, you’ll need to determine your monthly income. If you receive a fixed paycheck, regular installments of financial aid, or regular contributions from family members, you’ll be able to simply use these figures.

However, some people will have to use an approximate figure, like those who work freelance or part-time jobs. Those working in the service industry, who probably rely on tips for a portion of their income, will have to do the same. In all of these situations, it’s better to round down—an inflated number that represents a “good” month won’t help you create a budget that works year-round. You might also want to reevaluate your budget as the amount changes.

Give Yourself A Goal

Subtract your total expenses from your monthly income. If you have money left over, you can put it toward one of your expense categories or put it in a savings account. If you have no money left over—or spend more than you earn—it’s time to reevaluate. You’ll need to either earn more money or cut some expenses.

If you have enough money to save, it’s a good idea to have a goal in mind—for instance, a big purchase like a new car. If not, a good general goal is to put 6 months’ worth of living expenses in the bank. That way, should you ever find yourself out of work, you’ll have enough money to maintain your lifestyle for half a year as you look for a new job.

And once you’ve reached your goal, the money you put into a savings account can go toward something a bit more indulgent. That’s when you can upgrade your laptop—or take that trip to Thailand you’ve always dreamed of.

Make It Work

Remember, because your budget was based on informed estimations of your expenses, there will be wrinkles you’ll have to work out when you put it into practice.

Part of developing a working budget means revising the system as you go along. So you’ll want to keep track of what you’re spending and make sure you’re not straying from the amounts you set out for yourself. If you are, you’ll have to either change the budget or change your habits.

Just having a budget may not help you control your financial life—you have to put in the effort to stick to it and make changes to your lifestyle that you feel are necessary. But as a systematic way of evaluating your income and spending, your budget can make it much easier to be aware of your money and figure out how to handle it responsibly.

Reposted with permission from ASA SALT.