Frequently Asked Questions


General Questions for Prospective Undergraduates

How can I afford W&L?  Will W&L meet my full demonstrated need?
W&L is committed to meeting 100% 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's 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. 

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.

How do I know if my financial aid application is complete?
You may view the status of your financial aid application online on the Admissions Applicant Portal.  As an undergraduate applicant, you will see an Admissions and a Financial Aid tab after logging into the Applicant Portal. On the Financial Aid tab, you will see a list of documents we are awaiting and those received.  Returning students will click on the Check My Status box on the Financial Aid main page and login using their W&L credentials to check their application status.

Is there a simple way in which I can forward my tax documents and other required forms?
Yes!  You can use the Financial Aid Online Portal to electronically upload 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 by fax.


The W&L Promise

What constitutes "family income?"
Family income is a combination of all 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.  When family assets exceed levels typical for their income then portions of the assets may be considered in the evaluation as part of the total income.

How do I apply and qualify for the W&L Promise?
Applicants must submit a complete university need-based grant application including the CSS Profile, parent and student federal tax returns, and non-custodial information if applicable. The evaluation of the application will determine if 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 offers consisting of grant and Work-Study, 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 university need-based grant application each year.

What does "Full Demonstrated Need" mean?
Upon receipt of a complete university need-based grant application from your family, the Office of Financial Aid 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 the W&L cost of attendance and your institutional EFC.

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. However, entering international undergraduate students are eligible to receive the W&L Promise. International students may also be eligible for generous need-based and/or merit awards. See details of the international student grant policy here.  

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 university need-based package, they may be offered to families as an option for meeting the estimated family contribution.

Are transfer students eligible to receive the W&L Promise?
Transfer students are eligible to receive the W&L Promise. Applicants must submit the complete need-based application and have total family income less than $125,000.  Please review the complete W&L Promise requirements. Transfer students with income greater than $125,000 may still be eligible for university need-based aid.  Please submit the complete need-based application by the February 15th deadline to be considered for any university need-based assistance.

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 family's federal 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.

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.

Applying for Aid

What forms do I need, where do I get them, and when are they due?
Please visit How To Apply 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 chances of being selected for verification.  When the Office of Financial Aid 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 Offers

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

What types of aid are available?
W&L awards institutional, federal and state grants based on student eligibility.  Work-Study is also offered to meet a student's institutionally determined need.  Student and parent loans are included in the financial aid offer as a potential resource for meeting the family's contribution.

How is my financial aid divided among scholarships, loans, and work?
All financial aid offer 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, student and/or parent 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 will be adjusted to accommodate additional funds such as those from scholarships. Need-based grants are reduced by 50% of any outside award or benefit. Merit awards may be reduced if the total amount of grant award exceeds the cost of attendance. Please review the requirements for your specific award.

Work Study

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 work study offered 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 University.  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 only qualifying for 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 an additional Unsubsidized Stafford Loan ($4,000 for first and second year students and $5,000 for third and fourth year students.)

Veteran's Benefits

What office should be contacted for questions related to the VA Program?
W&L's Office of Financial Aid processes VA Benefits including Yellow Ribbon to qualified recipients.  Please notify the Office of Financial Aid for additional information on how to apply for benefits at W&L.


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?

In general, students who receive financial aid can apply their funding towards a study abroad program during fall term, winter term, or the full academic year.   For more details visit Study Abroad.  W&L Spring Term abroad programs have additional costs associated with them, but need-based aid is available.  For details, visit Spring Term Abroad.