How to Apply for Financial Aid

In order to receive student financial grants or loans, you’ll need to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid known as your FAFSA. Before you get started, review the important steps below:

1. Be sure you meet the Eligibility Requirements

In order to receive and remain eligible to receive federally funded financial aid, you must:

  • Be a U. S. citizen or eligible non-citizen.
  • Register with Selective Service, if required.
  • Have a valid Social Security number.
  • Have financial need (except for certain types of loans).
  • Be accepted into a degree-seeking or teacher certification program.
  • Be enrolled in school at least half-time (six credit hours per semester for undergraduate students and five credit hours per semester for graduate students).
  • Be making satisfactory academic progress (SAP).
  • Have never been convicted for the possession or sale of illegal drugs, or meet the requirements for those who have had a past drug conviction.
  • Not be in default on a federally funded student loan.
  • Not owe a refund on previously paid federal financial aid.
  • Not have met your aggregate limits for aid programs.

2. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

If you meet the eligibility requirements, your next step is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Be sure to list WCU’s school code (002981). The WCU financial aid FAFSA priority filing date is March 1st for fall semester. For spring and summer semesters, we need to receive your FAFSA information at least 8 weeks prior to the start of classes in order to allow adequate time for the awarding process.

Once the FAFSA is reviewed by the federal processor, a Student Aid Report (SAR) will be sent to you. The Financial Aid Office will receive the same information electronically.

All communication from the WCU Financial Aid Office is sent directly to the student by email. You can also view your financial aid requirements and award information in myWCU at any time.

3. Complete the Verification Process (if selected)


When your financial aid file is complete, a financial aid award will be made and you will be notified by email with instructions on how to accept your award offer.

The Department of Education flags at least one out of three students at every financial aid granting institution to go through a process called verification.  If you have been chosen for verification, you must complete the verification process in order for the WCU Financial Aid Office to determine your eligibility for federal student aid. The purpose of this process is to verify the accuracy of your FAFSA data. WCU works with the School Servicing Center (SSC) to help you complete this verification process.

Beginning early November 2016

  • Watch for emails from or The School Servicing Center (SSC) will send an email to the email address you listed on your FAFSA. The email will contain information that will be needed complete the verification process.
  • You will complete most or all of your verification using the online verification interview on the "Student" tab at You may also upload any required documents online. Many of your questions can be answered using the FAQ and Tips links under the "Student" tab.
  • If you did not use the data retrieval tool (DRT) to transfer your tax information from the IRS to your FAFSA, then you should request a Tax Return Transcript. This can be done at Be sure to us the "Get Transcript Online" option and request "Tax Return" transcript for the fastest processing of your tax information request.
  • Send an email to SSC at if you have questions.
  • You can track your verification status at SSC will notify you when the process is complete. Once SSC has completed your verification, you should expect to receive an email from the WCU financial aid office with your award information within 2 weeks. If you do not receive this award information, contact the WCU financial aid office.
  • Finally, DON'T DELAY! The faster you respond to requests from SSC, the faster you complete verification and the faster you financial aid can be awarded. 

Check your WCU myWCU frequently to see if any additional information is needed to complete your awarding process.

4. Accept your chosen award offers

When your financial aid file is complete, a financial aid award will be made and you will be notified by email with instructions on how to accept your award offer. Be sure to check your email and take action to accept your award.

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