Over 126,000 UW System students received financial aid to help pay the cost of college in 2012-13.  Visit your institution’s financial aid webpage for more information about applying for financial aid, award types, deadlines, etc. or visit UW Help for general financial aid information and resources.

Applying for Financial Aid

The first step in applying for financial aid is to complete a Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA). You can complete the form on the FAFSA website. When students submit the FAFSA they are automatically considered for the types of federal, state, and institutional aid listed below.  Additional forms may be required; students are notified via email if that is the case when their FAFSA information is received.  Please apply for financial aid as soon as possible each your by submitting/resubmitting your FAFSA as some financial aid resources are limited.

For additional information regarding financial aid and deadlines, please contact your institution’s financial aid office.

Types of Financial Aid

Every UW institution Financial Aid website has in-depth information about types of financial aid and the application process. 


Loans must be repaid. Most loans are based on financial need, although some are not. The various loans have specific conditions regarding interest rates, borrowing limits, and repayment periods. Loans are available to undergraduates, to parents of dependent undergraduates (Parent PLUS), and to graduate and professional students.


Students with demonstrated financial need may qualify for federal, state, and/or institutional grant aid to help pay for their education. Grant aid does not need to be repaid. Funds are limited and offered to undergraduate students who are working towards a first degree.


UW System students are not automatically considered for scholarships when they submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Please contact your institution’s financial aid office for more information regarding scholarships.


The federal government subsidizes a number of employment opportunities for students on campus and in the community. Work-Study is not a grant or loan program, but is part-time employment that is offered based on financial need. Students must also answer “Yes” to the work-study question on the FAFSA. Work-Study is available to undergraduate, graduate, and professional students.