First-Year Student Quick Facts on Financial Aid


What do I have to pay?
The Billed or Direct cost for W&L includes Tuition, Fees, Housing and Foodd.  You are not billed for Indirect costs such as Books, Miscellaneous/Personal expenses, or Transportation.  The undergraduate Direct cost for 2023-24 is $82,210.  Please see "Tuition and Fees" for a comprehensive breakdown of tuition and other financial costs for the 2023-24 academic year.

Why is my financial aid budget greater than the Direct costs? 
As mentioned in the answer above, it is expected that you will have additional costs that are not billed directly.  These include books, personal expenses and travel expenses.  The financial aid offer covers both Direct (billed) and Indirect costs.  The total Cost of Attendance at W&L is a combination of Direct and Indirect costs. Please see "Tuition and Fees" for a comprehensive breakdown of tuition and other financial costs for the 2023-24 academic year.

Are loans mandatory?
Loans are only offered to meet the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). W&L meets financial need with a combination of grants and work-study.  You are not required to take any loans that have been offered and can use other funding to pay Direct (billed) costs, or Indirect costs.  Loans can be borrowed at an amount less than the amount listed in the financial aid notification.  Contact the Office of Financial Aid for more details.

Am I required to report any Outside Scholarships I receive?
Yes, all awards need to be reported to the Office of Financial Aid. There is a link on the FA Portal that allows you to enter details for each award you receive.

How do I buy my books or pay for things before receiving my funds?
Some students with large credits on their account will receive some of that credit before arriving at school, and you can use those funds for some of your expenses.  If you do not receive an early fund release you can still buy books from the University store and charge them to your account.  If you have a credit on your account the charge will reduce the credit. If you do not have a credit, or your credit is not sufficient to cover the full cost, then the charge will create an amount owed or increase the amount you owe.  Other expenses will need to be purchased with your own funds, and can be reimbursed with your credit balance (see next question.) 

When will I receive my credit balance (if I have one)?
As mentioned in the answer above some students will receive a early credit balance due to their grants generating a credit.  Other students may eventually have a credit balance when loans or federal aid has disbursed.  If you do have a credit balance you can submit a request to the Business Office for a refund, and that refund will be provided in the later part of September. 

What about travel expense?
The financial aid offer for every student includes an amount for travel, based on the location of your home and costs related to that location. W&L does not pay for your travel expenses but you can use any credit generated by grants or loans to reimburse yourself for travel costs.  The amount provided for travel is not based on your actual costs and is fixed for each student.

I need university health insurance, does my aid cover those costs?
If you are required to purchase W&L health insurance you can get funding to cover the additional cost.  Students with high need are eligible for grant increases and other students can receive additional loan.  Although the payment may show on your bill in August, the change in your grant or loan will not take place until early September.  Please contact the Office of Financial Aid for your specific details.

What about membership in a Fraternity or Sorority?
Financial aid does not increase to cover any of the additional costs related to Fraternities or Sororities. However, you are provided a budget for room and board and can use those funds to help pay your room and board expenses at the Greek organization.

What if I have funds remaining in my account at the end of the term?
Funds remaining in your account as of the November 15th billing for winter term will be credited to the second semester bill. You will not lose those funds.

Does Work-Study pay for my tuition?
Work-Study must be earned and is paid directly to the student. The amount listed is not guaranteed but is the maximum you can earn in the program, and you can earn less.  Students are paid each month for the hours they have worked and the funds are deposited in the student's bank account, not their W&L student account.  The true purpose of Work-Study is to provide students with the personal expense funds needed throughout the year.  Students can replace their Work-Study with loan, but not with grant. 

How do I sign up for Work-Study?
Work-Study placement is based on eligibility and the student applying for the positions. Students who were not offered Work-Study, or have not started the application process, may still participate. Please contact Miranda Edwards in the Office of Financial Aid if you wish to participate in the program.  

Is Work-Study realistic with my academic schedule? How many hours a week do I work?
Students who participate in the student employment program typically work between eight and ten hours per week, so work study and academic excellence are compatible. Although time schedules and hours worked vary depending on the specific job, supervisors understand the importance of academics and how work study fits into your busy schedule.

Does my scholarship or grant cover the cost of the Baldridge Reading Program?
There is no increase in your financial aid to cover this program. The cost of attendance budget does include $2,500 in miscellaneous/personal expenses. You are provided grants, loans, and/or work-study for the full cost of attendance. So you can use your existing aid to cover the cost.

What other opportunities should I be aware of?
Students should be aware that application for Residential Life Staff (2024-25), sign up for Spring-Term Abroad (Spring 2024) and application for many summer (2024) internships and research opportunities occurs during the fall 2023 term. Johnson Opportunity Grant applications occur early winter term. Keep your eyes open for these opportunities.

What if I have additional questions?
Contact the Office of Financial Aid at (540) 458-8717 or email us at