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Washington and Lee University

Washington and Lee University
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General Questions for Prospective Undergrads

The W&L Promise

Will I Qualify for Aid?  How Much?

Applying for Aid

Financial Aid Awards



Veteran's Assistance



General Questions for Prospective Undergrads

How much does W&L cost?
The undergraduate cost of attendance for 2013-14 is $59,700.  Please see "Cost of Attendance" for a comprehensive breakdown of tuition and other financial costs for the 2013-2014 academic year.

How can I afford W&L?  Will W&L meet my full demonstrated need?
W&L is committed to meeting100% of a student's institutionally determined need.  When you apply for financial aid at W&L, a variety of factors are taken into account to determine the family expected contribution and need.  Once institutional need is determined, a combination of grant and work-study will be used to meet 100% of your demonstrated need. 

Are merit-based scholarships offered?
W&L's merit-based scholarships are offered through the Johnson Scholarship program which awards tuition, room and board. The Scholarship application deadline is December 1st, 2013.

Is financial aid assured in the future?
You must reapply for financial aid each year, but it is normally renewable for four years as long as the student maintains satisfactory progress towards a degree and the family's financial circumstances remain the same. The amount of financial aid the University will provide to a need-based grant recipient may vary from year to year depending on a family's financial strength.

As an early decision applicant, when will I receive my financial aid package? Regular decision?
Your financial assistance letter and information will be included in the W&L admittance package if you submit a complete financial aid application by the relevant ED1, ED2 or Regular decision financial aid deadline.

How do I know if my financial aid application is complete?
You may view the status of your financial aid application online on the financial aid website.  As an undergraduate applicant, you will access our site by clicking on the Financial Aid link on your GHQ page and then clicking on Items Requiring My Attention.  There, you will see a list of documents received and not received, and an overall application status.  Returning students will click on the Check My Status box on the Financial Aid main page and login using their W&L credentials.

Is there a simple way in which I can forward my tax documents and other required forms?
Yes!  The Financial Aid Office has initiated an upload website that allows you to electronically upload your documents.  The documents must be in PDF format to be accepted.  Please see our Upload Instructions Page for more details.  Our concern for your privacy prohibits us from accepting documents as email attachments or documents by fax.

Will I receive more financial aid if I apply for admission in the early decision cycles or in the regular decision cycle?
If you apply on-time, your need-based grant will be the same for either the early or regular decision cycle.  It is important to make sure your application for financial aid is completed and received by our office before the appropriate deadline. 


The W&L Promise

What constitutes "family income?"
Family income is a combination of all available income sources as determined by the financial aid evaluation. Family income may include the adjusted gross income (AGI), untaxed income, income imputed from assets, living allowances and relevant employer benefits, and income from a non-custodial parent, if applicable.

How do I apply and qualify for the W&L Promise?
Applicants must submit a complete financial aid application including the CSS Profile, Parent and Student Federal tax returns, and non-custodial information if applicable. If the evaluation of the application indicates that the family income is less than $75,000, then the student will qualify for the W&L Promise.

What will I receive if I qualify for the W&L Promise?
Students who qualify for the W&L Promise will receive, at minimum, a grant equal to the full cost of tuition at W&L. In addition, families who qualify for the W&L Promise will also receive total financial aid packages consisting of grant and work-study awards, which, in combination, with the W&L Promise, will meet their full demonstrated need.

Do I need to reapply each year to qualify for the W&L Promise?
Yes, you will need to submit the complete financial aid application each year.

To whom is the W&L Promise available?
Beginning in the Fall of 2014, the W&L Promise will be available to all undergraduate students, including members of the Class of 2018.

What does "Full Demonstrated Need" mean?
Upon receipt of a complete financial aid application from your family, the financial aid office will review your family's finances and through institutional evaluation determine your estimated family contribution (EFC.) Your family's "Full Demonstrated Need" is the difference between your institutional EFC and the W&L cost of attendance.

Are international students eligible to receive the W&L Promise?
International currencies and exchange rates can vary greatly from week to week making a family income evaluation inconsistent. Thus, international students are not eligible to receive the W&L Promise. International students may be eligible for generous need-based and/or merit awards. The CSS Profile is the only document required for the international need-based application.

What does it mean to be offered a need-based aid package with "No Loans" or "Without Loans?"
Although loans are not included as part of the institutional need-based package, they may be offered to families as an option for meeting the estimated family contribution.


Will I Qualify For Aid?  How Much?

How are my full demonstrated need and my family contribution determined?
W&L uses its own formula to determine an individual's eligibility for aid using a combination of information we receive from the CSS Profile and your individual tax returns.  We do take into account family size, income, taxes, living costs, number of siblings currently enrolled in college, assets, and other personal or financial circumstances that may be pertinent.  The evaluation of these factors results in a family contribution, and need is determined by subtracting the family contribution from the cost of attendance for the specific academic year.

Can I estimate my family contribution?
W&L's formula may differ from other estimates, but we encourage you to use our Net Price Calculator to estimate the type of aid you may receive.  The NPC is an estimation and does not replace the full financial aid application, however, the results can be educational and help you feel comfortable in your admission application decision.  The NPC can be found on the financial aid website at

Is financial aid available for non-United States citizens?
W&L provides both need and merit-based assistance to approximately 20 international students in each entering class.  Awards range from several thousand dollars to the full annual cost of education.  It should be understood, however, that admission to W&L does not guarantee financial assistance.

What is the income cutoff for financial aid eligibility?
There is no specific income cutoff for financial aid eligibility. Any student interested in applying for financial aid should do so as we examine all aspects of a family's ability to contribute to the cost of attendance in a given year.


Financial Aid Awards

What is a financial aid package?
A financial aid package is the combination of any grant or scholarship money given by the University, outside scholarships received, and any parent or student loans.

Applying for Aid

What forms do I need, where do I get them, and when are they due?
Please visit Applying for Need-based Aid for details on the application process.

When should I apply for financial aid consideration?
Because there is no guarantee we will be able to offer aid after the deadline has passed, it is important to apply for financial aid at the same time you apply for admission to the University.

I'm having trouble getting my forms in on time for the deadline. May I still apply for financial aid?
W&L welcomes financial aid materials at any time, although the availability of money we have set aside for a given year decreases the longer you wait to submit materials after the deadline has passed. We encourage you strongly to submit financial aid information by the deadline to ensure you will receive the maximum amount of available aid.

What are W&L's financial aid application codes?
CSS Profile code: 5887
FAFSA code: 003768

What is verification?
Verification is used to confirm the information you provided on the FAFSA.  Your FAFSA may be selected for verification randomly by the Department of Education.  Additionally, inconsistent or incomplete data as well as estimated figures may increase the changes of being selected for verification.  When the Financial Aid Office verifies your FAFSA, we will ask you for additional documentation such as a verification worksheet and tax transcripts.  Those who are eligible may prefer to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to transfer their tax data to the FAFSA in lieu of requesting tax transcripts from the IRS.


Financial Aid Awards

What is a financial aid package?
A financial aid package is the combination of any grant or scholarship money given by the University, outside scholarships received, and any parent or student loans.

What types of aid are available?
Grant money is provided for some financial aid applicants. Students are expected to contribute to their financial aid package in the form of a work study position or Stafford Loans. The parental contribution can be met through the Parent PLUS loan.

How is my financial aid package divided among scholarships, loans, and work?
All financial aid awards made by W&L will be a combination of grants, student employment, and any merit scholarship money offered from the college. If a student's family is unable to pay the estimated family contribution out of pocket, loans may be used.

Do I qualify for federal grants?
Federal grants are awarded to students who have federal financial need and who meet eligibility requirements such as eligible citizen, enrollment requirements, satisfactory academic progress, etc.  To be evaluated for federal grants, a student must submit a FAFSA each academic year.

How are outside scholarships handled?
W&L meets your full demonstrated need, so your aid package will be adjusted to accommodate additional funds such as those from scholarships.



How does campus employment work at W&L?
Students may be offered work study positions within specific departments at the University.  Placement is determined after a student accepts her or his offer of admission.  Students may also do community service.

How many hours a week are expected for a campus job?
Students are allowed to work up to 20 hours per week.  The full amount of the award can be earned by a student working six to eight hours a week throughout the academic year.

Can I have a campus job if I'm not receiving financial aid?
Campus jobs not affiliated with the Work Study program are available through the College.  They are considered separate means of employment and will not contribute to the cost of your attendance.



How do I apply for my Stafford Loan?
Please visit  Accepting Your Loans for step-by-step instructions

Why wasn't I offered a Subsidized Stafford Loan?
Subsidized Stafford Loans are need-based federal loans.  Depending on a family's expected contribution on the FAFSA and other awarded financial aid, a student may not have any remaining federal need which would result in a student being awarded Unsubsidized Stafford Loan and not Subsidized Stafford Loan.

What if my parents do not qualify for a PLUS loan?
The Parent PLUS loan is a credit based federal loan.  If a parent borrower is credit denied for the PLUS loan, the student is eligible for additional Unsubsidized Stafford Loan ($4,000 for freshmen and sophomores and $5,000 for juniors and seniors.).


Veteran's Benefits

What office should be contacted for questions related to the VA Program?
W&L Financial Aid processes VA Benefits including Yellow Ribbon to qualified recipients.  The Financial Aid Office will request documentation to support your benefits.


Is there assistance for parents?
Parents may apply for the credit-based Parent PLUS loan to meet the family contribution portion of a student's aid package. For more information, please visit Loan Information

Study Abroad

May I study abroad with financial aid?
Financial Aid is available for all study abroad programs, but special consideration is taken into account for programs not offered through the College. All Spring Term abroad programs require a separate application for financial aid.