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Navigating the financial aid process can be daunting, especially if you are the parent of a first-time college attendee. Below we have listed some tips and information to assist you with helping your student utilize his or her financial aid at Winston-Salem State University.


The Office of Financial Aid will not disclose financial information or award amounts in emails to anyone, including the student. Students may access their specific financial aid information by logging in to Banner RAMS Online.

Applying for Financial Aid

Apply for financial aid early each year. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) can be completed as early as October 1, prior to the start of the academic year. When completing the FAFSA, it is important that all questions have been answered as completely as possible, and supporting documentation is available, just in case the file is selected for verification.

The Winston-Salem State University 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 the priority deadline is missed, students may still be eligible to receive other forms of financial aid. Use the following school code when completing the FAFSA: 002986.

The FAFSA application can be completed at Federal Student Aid.

We also encourage you to read the latest edition of Funding Education Beyond High School: The Guide to Federal Student Aid published by the US Department of Education.

The Cost of Attendance (COA) - Student Budget

Make sure that you understand the cost of attendance (COA). The COA is the estimated amount students may expect to pay for costs for the academic year. In addition to the direct costs of tuition and fees, books and supplies, and room and board, estimates are considered for the indirect costs of transportation and miscellaneous expenses (toiletries, clothing, and other essentials).

For instance, the COA for a North Carolina resident living on campus or away from home may be $20,526. The COA typically increases by approximately 6% per year.

Beware that the amount of awarded financial aid cannot exceed the COA. If the student is over-awarded financial aid, then aid must be adjusted to the COA. This may mean that the student will have to repay funds. For example, if an outside (non-institutional) award results in aid exceeding the COA, the student's award may be adjusted. Outside or non-institutional funds include scholarships, stipend, etc.

The COA listing for undergraduate, NC Resident, Non NC Resident, NC Resident - Health Sciences Graduate/ Doctoral program or NC Non Resident - Health Sciences Graduate/ Doctoral program is on the Cost of Attendance page. 

Books, supplies and transportation costs such as parking permits, are indirect costs of education. This means that although they are part of the cost of attendance they cannot be charged directly against financial aid awards. Therefore, it is advisable to be prepared to pay for books, supplies and parking permits, etc. out-of-pocket.

Cost Cutting Suggestions

There are ways to save monies while attending college. Consider the following:

  • Housing and Meal Plan Options: Explore the different housing options that the university offers.
  • Federal Work-Study: Students may apply for Federal Work-Study to off-set the cost of your education.
  • Other Outside Employment Opportunities: Students can apply for other employment opportunities available, such as Resident Hall Assistant (RA), etc. Go to Career Life Job Location and Development to search for other opportunities.

Information on Parent PLUS Loans

Federal PLUS loans allow parents of dependent undergraduate students to borrow up to the annual cost of education minus any financial aid. In addition, this program also allows graduate students to borrow up to the annual cost of education minus any financial aid. PLUS loans are not based on financial need, but do require a good credit history. There is a 10-year repayment schedule and deferment options do exist. For graduate students, payments are automatically deferred while in school. To learn more learn more about Parent Plus Loans go to Federal Student Aid.