Financial Aid

Financial Aid Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Top Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I apply for financial aid (grants, federal work-study and loans)?

2. I'm transferring to WSSU from another school; what do I need to do to receive financial aid?

3. What is WSSU's federal school code?

4. I am an independent student. Do I still need to report my parents' information on the FAFSA?

5. How do I find out about the status of my financial aid?

6. How can I access my financial aid information online?

7. I just received my Student Aid Report (SAR); what do I do with it?

8. What is an "Expected Family Contribution" (EFC)?

9. Why haven't I heard yet from WSSU about my financial aid?

10. I just received my award notification from WSSU; what do I do now?

11. What does "Cost of Attendance" (COA) mean?

12. My financial aid award does not cover my cost of attendance; what can I do?

13. I am providing additional documentation such as copies of federal tax transcripts and W2s. Does this mean my financial aid award could change?

14. My family's financial situation has drastically changed since I filed the FAFSA. Am I eligible for more financial aid?

15. I have been selected for verification. What do I do?

Top Frequently Asked Questions by Category

Loans Questions

Work-Study Questions

Scholarship Questions

Payment/Refunds Questions

Academic Performance/Dropping and Withdrawing Questions

Miscellaneous Questions

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1.       How do I apply for financial aid (such as grants, federal work-study and loans)?

For most types of aid offered at WSSU, students only need to file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Visit www.fafsa.ed.gov to file a FAFSA application online. Students may also submit a paper FAFSA.  A paper FAFSA can be picked up at financial aid offices, at most high school guidance offices and public library branches.

The WSSU priority filing deadline is March 1. This means that students who have filed a FAFSA by this date will be among the first considered to receive certain types of financial aid, which are limited. If you miss the priority deadline, you may still be eligible to receive other forms of financial aid.

2.       I'm transferring to WSSU from another school; what do I need to do to receive financial aid?

If you have not filed a FAFSA, you will need to do so and list WSSU in the school section (out federal school code is 002986). If you have already completed the FAFSA but did not list WSSU in the school section, contact the Federal Student Aid Information Center at (800) 433-3243 for instructions on how to have your information sent to WSSU. If you are hearing impaired, please contact the TTY line at (800) 730-8913. Once the Office of Financial Aid receives your information, you will be notified of your financial aid status and of any required paperwork.

3.      What is WSSU's federal school code?

Our federal school code is 002986. Enter this code in your FAFSA in order to have your information sent to WSSU.

4.      I am an independent student.  Do I still need to report my parents' information on the FAFSA?

To be considered independent for financial aid purposes, you must be able to validly answer "yes" to at least one of the seven questions in Step Three of the FAFSA.  If you can validly answer "yes" to one or more of the questions, you do not need to report your parents' information. Please note: Independence is subject to verification

5.       How do I find out about the status of my financial aid?

The Office of Financial Aid will notify you by email of your status. You may also check your student financial aid information by logging in to Banner RAMS Online.  Follow instructions on the Check and Accept Award page to check your financial aid status.

6.      How can I access my financial aid information online?

You can view your financial aid information on Banner RAMS Online.  You can check your application status, loan and award amounts, outstanding requirements for financial aid and student account charges. To log in to Banner RAMS Online, you will need to know your user ID and password.  Follow instructions on the Check and Accept Award page to check your financial aid status.

7.      I just received my Student Aid Report (SAR). What do I do with it?

Check your SAR for accuracy. If you have no corrections to make, keep it for your records. If you have corrections, submit them online at www.fafsa.gov. If you prefer to submit corrections by postal mail, please contact the Federal Student Aid Information Center at (800) 433-3243 for instructions and the mailing address. If you are hearing impaired, please contact the TTY line at (800) 730-8913.

8.     What is an "Expected Family Contribution" (EFC)?

Your Expected Family Contribution is an amount calculated from information that was provided on your FAFSA. Your EFC is an estimate of the maximum amount that your family should be able to afford to pay towards your education for the academic year. Your EFC is subtracted from your COA to determine the amount of your financial need.
                                  COA - EFC = Financial Need

9.     Why haven't I heard yet from WSSU about my financial aid?

Please note that it may take 7 to 10 business days for the financial aid office to receive a Student Aid Report (SAR). During peak processing times it may take longer. There are three primary reasons that you have not heard from us:

1)    We have not received your FAFSA information. Call the Federal Student Aid Center at (800) 433-3243 to have your information sent to WSSU (school code number is 002986). If you are hearing impaired, please contact the TTY line at (800) 730-8913.

2)    You have outstanding document requirements. Follow instructions on the My Financial Aid Award page to check your status.

3)    You made a mistake on your FAFSA which determined it to “be rejected”. You need to   make corrections to the FAFSA and resubmit it. (You are notified of the status via an email from the Central Processor.)

10.   I just received my award notification from WSSU; what do I do now?

Log into Banner RAMS Online (using your student ID and University PIN) to review your financial aid award.  Grants are automatically accepted for you.  You must choose to accept or decline awards such as Federal Work-Study and Federal Direct Stafford Loans. If students wish to only accept a partial award, (e.g. part of a Federal Direct Stafford loan award), that cannot be done online. A written request must be submitted directly to the Office of Financial Aid.  A Loan Change Request Form can be downloaded on the Forms and Documents page.

11.   What does "Cost of Attendance" (COA) mean?

Cost of Attendance is a budget used in calculating your eligibility for financial aid. It is based on totals of both WSSU costs billed directly to your student account (such as tuition and fees) and estimates of other expenses that you will incur during your attendance at WSSU (such as books, transportation, and miscellaneous needs such as personal items).

12.   My financial aid award does not cover my cost of attendance; what can I do?

In most cases a student's financial aid award will not cover their cost of attendance.  This is due to many factors including limited funds for grants, scholarships, and student employment. Another factor is that a student's SAR does not demonstrate the need to be eligible for some types of funds.  However, the typical reason for a financial aid award not covering the cost of attendance is due to the ever increasing cost of education.  If you need additional information concerning ways to pay for college, contact the Office of Student Accounts at (336) 750-2800 or billings@wssu.edu.

13.   I am providing additional documentation such as copies of federal tax transcripts and W2s.  Does this mean my financial aid award could change?

•   Because students sometimes make errors when completing the FAFSA, there is a process for verifying applications and making corrections.  The U.S. Department of Education Central Processing System (CPS) or WSSU select which applications are to be verified. 
•   Federal funds cannot be disbursed to a student until the verification process has been completed.  Also, WSSU will not release state or institutional funds until the verification process has been completed.
•   In order to provide the highest quality of service to our students, WSSU has contracted with CFI to help you complete the verification of your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for 2013-14. 
•   Please watch for e-mails from verification@cfiss.org.  It is important that you respond to the requests as quickly as possible.

14.   My family's financial situation has drastically changed since I filed the FAFSA. Am I eligible for more financial aid?

In some instances, the Office of Financial Aid can make adjustments to your financial aid eligibility based on special circumstances (such as divorce, loss of employment or change in household size) not reflected by the original information provided on the FAFSA. The Request for Reconsideration Form will be available on July 1, 2013. On or after July 1, contact the Office of Financial Aid to request a Form.

15. I have been selected for verification. What do I do?

•  If you are selected for verification, CFI will contact you by email through CFI School Services (CFISS).  Emails will be sent to the email address you provided on your FAFSA.
•  You will be able to track what is needed and can possibly complete most of the verification work on the CFISS website at School Servicing Center.  Watch for emails from CFISS and check your account often at School Servicing Center until you are notified that your verification has been finalized.  Your prompt response to all requests will accelerate the review of your request for financial aid for 2013-2014.
•  Winston-Salem State University may be requesting other documents from you. If this occurs, please promptly submit those documents directly to the Financial Aid Office.
•  Participation in the verification process is not optional. If you do not submit the requested documentation, you will not be eligible to receive federal financial aid as a WSSU student and you will not be able to receive a PLUS Loan. You will need to make payment arrangements for all enrollment charges.
•  All requested information should be submitted as quickly as possible. This is encouraged so you will have all funding available to you prior to the start of the semester.  Failure to complete the verification process will result in you having to make payment arrangements for enrollment charges.
 

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Loan Questions

1.       How do I get my Federal Direct Stafford Loan?

You must accept your Federal Direct Stafford Loan through your WSSU Banner RAMS Online account.  First-time borrowers must also complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Entrance Counseling.  You must attend school at least half-time. 

Typically Stafford Loans disburse at the beginning of each semester and are applied to your WSSU student account.  However there are noted exceptions: 

•  First time undergraduate borrower’s first disbursement of a Federal Direct Stafford Loan will not occur until thirty (30) days after the first day of classes.

•  Students who are enrolled for one semester e.g. spring only, will receive two disbursements (one half at the beginning of the semester and the second disbursement after the mid-point of the semester).

•  Loans for students enrolled in “block courses” will disburse at the beginning of each eight (8) week block.

If you have a credit balance after your charges are paid, you will receive a refund.

2.       How do my parents apply for the Federal PLUS Loan?

The Federal PLUS Loan allows parents of a dependent undergraduate student to borrow at a low fixed rate to help meet the student's cost of attendance not covered by other financial aid.  Interest rates and repayment provisions on PLUS loans are usually better than other alternative loans available for educational expenses.  Completion of the FAFSA is required.  To apply for the Federal PLUS Loan please visit https://studentloans.gov/myDirectLoan/index.action.

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 Work-Study Questions 

1.       What is Federal Work-Study?

Federal Work-Study is a financial aid program in which students work in on-campus departments or approved off-campus community service organizations and are paid in the form of monthly paychecks. Federal Work-study is awarded to students with financial need. Program funds are limited, so be sure to file a FAFSA by March 1 if you wish to be considered for Federal Work-Study.

2.       I have been offered Federal Work-Study. What do I do now?

You must accept your Federal Work-Study offer be the end of the drop/add period or it may be canceled. To accept it, log into Banner RAMS Online, go to the Financial Aid section, and follow the directions for accepting your work-study award. Next you will need to find a work-study job.

3.       How do I find a work-study job?

The Hire-a-Ram Student Employment Program maintains an online job database that let’s eligible FWS students search through available jobs. Visit Career Development Services for more information.

4.       I wasn't awarded Federal Work-Study.  Are there other on-campus employment options?

The Hire-a-Ram Student Employment Program provides support to the entire campus and community to assist with part-time employment opportunities both on and off campus.

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Scholarship Questions

1.       What types of WSSU scholarships are available?

   There are three type of scholarships available at WSSU. These scholarships are merit-based  and available to entering freshmen.  

  • The full scholarship covers all educational costs (i.e. tuition, fees, room and board and a book voucher each semester) not to exceed the estimated cost of attendance for these items. This academic scholarship may be renewed annually, provided the student earns at least 30 semester hours each academic year and maintains the required cumulative WSSU grade point average. 
  • The partial scholarship is used to cover $5,000 in annual educational costs (i.e. tuition, fees, room and board) not to exceed the estimated cost of attendance of these items. This academic scholarship may be renewed annually, provided the student earns at least 30 semester hours each academic year and maintains the required cumulative WSSU grade point average.
  • The recruitment scholarship is used to cover $3,000 in annual educational costs (i.e. tuition, fees, room and board) not to exceed the estimated cost of attendance of these items. This one-time scholarship award is not renewable. 

2.       What is an outside scholarship?

A scholarship from any organization or agency other than WSSU, such as a community or civic group, or a religious organization is considered an outside scholarship.

3.       I am getting an outside scholarship; will this affect my other financial aid?

In some cases, an outside scholarship can affect your other financial aid, generally by reducing the loan amount that you are eligible to receive. However, in some cases grants may be reduced as well. As soon as you become aware that you will receive an outside scholarship, please Provide the Office of Financial Aid with a copy of the scholarship award letter.  The Office of Financial Aid will notify you of any revisions to your award. Failure to notify us of outside scholarships, may result in adjustments to overall financial aid awards. Students will subsequently be notified of the adjustment by the Office of Financial Aid.

4.       How will I receive my outside scholarship funds?

Outside scholarship checks will be processed and applied to your account by the Office of Student Accounts. A refund for any remaining funds will be processed for you.

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Payment/Refund Questions

1.       How do I pay for my tuition and fees with my financial aid?

Financial aid is credited toward your student bill after you have completed and submitted all required paperwork and documents. If you have been offered a student loan, the amount that you accept will be credited to your account once your lender has received your MPN.

2.       My financial aid is greater than my semester bill. How do I receive the additional funds?

Your financial aid funds will initially be applied to charges on your student account. Any amount in excess of your student account balance will create a refund for you.  Contact the Office of Student Accounts (at (336) 750-2800 or billings@wssu.edu) about refund processing. 

3.       When will I receive my financial aid (refund)?

Most financial aid is electronically applied to WSSU student accounts at the beginning of the semester/term. The date is typically no earlier than the eleventh class day of the semester. Throughout the semester, if you are awarded financial aid, it will be applied accordingly. In both cases, financial aid refunds are processed by the Office of Student Accounts and are direct deposited or mailed. If you have direct deposit the funds are applied to the appropriate banking account.

4.       Where will my financial aid check be sent?

Any financial aid owed to you that exceeds your student account balance will be sent to the permanent address that you have on file with the University.

 

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Academic Performance/Dropping and Withdrawing Questions

1.       How does my academic performance affect my financial aid?

According to federal regulations, students must maintain "satisfactory academic progress" in order to continue receiving financial aid. Failure to earn certain minimum credit hours and/or grade point averages can cause a student to lose financial aid eligibility. For more information, please read the Satisfactory Progress Policy.

2.       I am considering dropping/withdrawing from a class; will this affect my aid?

It is possible. Federal regulations state that failure to earn certain minimum credit hours can cause a student to lose financial aid eligibility. The Office of Financial Aid compares hours earned with hours attempted to determine if a student is still eligible to receive financial aid. Therefore, it is crucial that you understand the Satisfactory Progress Policy when considering dropping/withdrawing form a class. Remember, dropping a class is allowed during the drop/add period at the beginning of the semester. Withdrawing from a class takes place thereafter and may have more severe consequences that dropping from a class.

3.       How can I tell if my financial aid will be reduced because of dropping/withdrawing from a class?

The Office of Financial Aid cannot compute a valid adjustment of your adjusted award immediately after you drop/withdraw form a class. Nor can the Office of Financial Aid provide you with scenarios that employ "what ifs". You will be notified via email if your financial aid has to be adjusted due to your dropping/withdrawing from a class.

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Miscellaneous Questions

1.       Will my immunization status affect my financial aid?

If you are awarded financial aid and your immunization record is determined to be incomplete then your financial aid will be canceled.  Your financial aid can be reinstated after you have resolved the issue with your immunization.  However, certain types of aid (some grants or Federal Work-Study) may not be reinstated.

2.       I am classified as an out-of-state resident for tuition purposes.  How do I change the classification to in-state resident?

If you have questions regarding your residency status, contact the Office of the Registrar located in room 202 of the Thompson Center.  You may contact the Office of the Registrar at (336) 750-3330.

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Winston-Salem State University

601 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive

Winston-Salem, NC 27110

Phone: (336) 750-2000



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