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How to Apply for Financial Aid

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

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

  • Be a U. S. citizen or eligible non-citizen.
  • 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.

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 FAFSA priority filing date is January 1st for the following 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 via Catamount email. You can also view your financial aid requirements and award information in myWCU at any time.

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.

  • You can view all of your outstanding financial aid requirements in myWCU.
  • If you did not use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) to transfer your tax information from the IRS to your FAFSA, then you should request a Tax Return Transcript at
  • Once your verification is complete, you should expect to receive an email from the Financial Aid Office with your financial aid offer within 2 weeks. If you do not receive this award information, contact the Financial Aid Office.
  • Finally, DON'T DELAY! The faster you respond to requests for additional information, the faster you complete verification and the faster your financial aid can be awarded. 

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

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

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