Financial Aid

Frequently Asked Questions About Financial Aid

We know that there can be many questions related to the financial aid process. Below are the most commonly asked questions we receive from students and parents. If your question is not answered here,
please contact us. We want to make the financial aid process as easy as possible for you.

When is the FAFSA due?

  • For new students, the FAFSA priority deadline is March 1.
  • For continuing students who don't require summer aid, the FAFSA priority deadline is May 1.

    The March 1 and May 1 deadlines are simply priority deadlines; we process all FAFSA information received. Students filing after these dates may be subject to limited funding in certain programs.

What if tax return(s) will not be ready when the student needs to file the FAFSA?

It's best to use your final tax return to complete the FAFSA, or request the IRS to load the data from a completed and submitted tax return. This second option is available as you fill the FAFSA out on the web. If either of these steps is not possible, the FAFSA does allow you to estimate your tax information. Later, when your taxes have been filed and a few weeks have passed for IRS processing, you can go back out to your online FAFSA information and request that the IRS data be loaded into the FAFSA so that the information is accurate. By doing this step, you will not be required to submit a copy of your tax transcript to the financial aid office if you are selected for the verification process (see below).

How do students and parents make corrections to a FAFSA?

Using your federal PINs, parents and students can make changes online at www.fafsa.gov. When the changes have been processed, the student will receive a corrected Student Aid Report via the e-mail address he/she provided on the FAFSA. The colleges listed on the SAR will receive a corrected electronic version.

When can students expect to receive a financial aid award?

We make financial aid awards for new students first, since they usually have to make a college choice before May 1. We begin sending out new-student awards in mid-March. Continuing students are notified via e-mail when their awards are available on Pirate Port. These e-mails are usually sent in May and June.

How will students be notified if the financial aid award is revised?

Students will receive an e-mail which is sent to their Whitworth e-mail account alerting them that there has been a change to their financial aid award. Students are asked to review their financial aid award on Pirate Port, where their most recent financial aid award will be shown. We remind students to discuss any changes to their financial aid awards with their parent(s) and Student Accounting Services if they have a payment plan in place.

What does it mean to be selected for verification?

The federal processor selects students for verification. You simply need to complete and submit the verification worksheet (which is available in our "Forms" section on the financial aid web site), and return it to the financial aid office. If you filed a tax return, but did not have the IRS load tax data into the FAFSA (see above), you will also need to provide a 2013 federal tax transcript directly from the IRS. Students and parents can obtain a federal tax transcript by calling 800.908.9946 or by ordering it at www.irs.gov. Your financial aid advisor will compare these documents with the FAFSA you completed. The student will be notified if changes in verification affect his/her financial aid award.

What does it mean if the Student Aid Report said he/she does not qualify for a Pell Grant? Does this mean he/she will not receive any financial aid?

No. It simply means the student did not qualify for a high-need-based federal grant. The student will still be considered for other types of aid, including university grants.

Is the EFC what will be owed to the university?

No. The estimated family contribution (EFC) is only an estimate. Depending on the costs of a student's education and the amount of his/her financial aid award, the student could owe more or less than the calculated EFC.

What happens if the student's financial aid award it is not enough to allow him/her to attend Whitworth?

The first thing to do is to call our office and speak to a financial aid advisor. The advisor will be able to tell you whether additional loans and/or scholarship opportunities are available.

How are special circumstances that were not indicated on the FAFSA communicated to Whitworth?

Review our information on special circumstances (PDF). When appropriate, submit the documentation required for review.

Can the financial aid award change after the freshman year?

We try to keep awards consistent from year to year. However, if there are significant changes to a family's resources reported on the FAFSA, the award may be affected.

Is there a payment plan available to parents?

Yes. The Whitworth Student Accounts Office administers that program. You will be receiving detailed information over the summer on how to set up a payment plan. There are also Federal Parent Loans available to assist you with financing your student's education.

What is required to maintain satisfactory academic progress in order to continue to receive financial aid?

Satisfactory-progress requirements are outlined in detail on our website. Click on satisfactory progress.

Where can a student research private scholarships?

Private scholarships are excellent resources for students and can be found in a variety of places:

  • For new students, be sure to check with high school counselors.

  • Churches: Whitworth will match all church scholarships up to $500 for matriculated day students. Churches must complete a Church Matching Form in order for the student to qualify.
  • Community organizations
  • Internet

www.finaid.org

www.fastweb.com

www.thewashboard.org (for Washington students)

  • Parent Employers