Student Financial Services

Maximize Your Aid

Earning your college degree has never been more important and we are committed to helping you identify funds so you can invest in your future. Our staff are here to help you navigate federal and state applications, processes and policies.

Contact Student Financial Services if you have any questions.

The mission of Student Financial Services is to keep student success central while providing the highest level of service, and equal opportunity in the awarding of funds at all WSU campuses. We increase opportunities for access and affordability by providing accurate financial information, and individualized guidance and support for students and families in an environment that embraces teamwork and collaborative partnerships.

Important Dates

Financial aid applications open

Deadline for the WSU Tri-Cities scholarship applicationFASFA and WASFA applications

WSU Tri-Cities admission and scholarship applications open

Know the FAFSA code: 003800

File your FAFSA in October every year. The WSU school code
for all campuses is 003800.

ASWSUTC Executive Assistant

Student Remy Plate graduated debt-free

Remy Plate didn’t know what was in store for her at Washington State University Tri-Cities, but she is certainly glad to have found the campus, as she was able to graduate debt-free.
Read more

Getting Started

Before filling out your FAFSA/WAFSA, it is important to have all the documents you may need ready and organized to make the process easier:

Documents needed to apply

Depending on your circumstances (for instance, whether you’re a U.S. citizen or what tax form you used), you might need the following information or documents as you fill out the application:

  • Social Security number (it’s important that you enter it correctly on the FAFSA form!)
  • Parents’ Social Security numbers, if you are a dependent student
  • Driver’s license number, if you have one
  • Alien Registration number, if you are not a U.S. citizen
  • Federal tax information or tax returns including IRS W-2 information, for you (and your spouse, if you are married), and for your parents (if you are a dependent student):
    • IRS 1040
    • Foreign tax return, IRS 1040NR, or IRS 1040NR-EZ
    • Tax return for Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, or Palau
    • Records of your untaxed income, such as child support received, interest income, and veterans non-education benefits, for you, and for your parents if you are a dependent student
    • Information on cash; savings and checking account balances; investments, including stocks and bonds and real estate (but not including the home in which you live); and business and farm assets for you, and for your parents if you are a dependent student

Understanding Financial Aid

FAFSA vs WASFA, which one is right for me?

In Washington, students complete one of two applications to be considered for student financial aid: the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) or the WASFA (Washington Application for State Financial Aid). The applications open October 1 each year and students should try to complete their financial aid application as soon as possible after that date. In addition to state and federal aid, many school-based and school-funded scholarships require students to submit a FAFSA or WASFA form for consideration.


U.S. citizens and eligible non-citizen students will be considered for grants, loans and work-study funds upon completion of this form. Federal aid can be used at technical, two-year and four-year colleges and universities across the country. Learn more about eligibility requirements and complete the FAFSA at and


Students who are not eligible for federal financial aid due to immigration status may be eligible for several Washington State financial aid programs, including the State Need Grantthe College Bound ScholarshipState Work Study, or Passport Scholarship. These programs fund in-state public and private technical, two-year and four-year colleges and universities. Learn more about eligibility and complete the WASFA at

Student Loan Types

Federal student loans

Also called federal direct loans, federal student loans are the most commonly used to pay for college. The money is loaned directly to you, and you are solely responsible for repaying the money after dropping below a part-time credit load or leaving WSU.

To apply for federal student loans, you must first be eligible to complete the FAFSA at There are 2 types of federal student loans: subsidized and unsubsidized.

Subsidized loans

Eligibility for subsidized loans is based on financial need as determined by the FAFSA.

The federal government pays the interest while you are in college and during the six-month grace period after you leave school or enroll less than half time—you are not required to make loan payments until your grace period ends.

Subsidized loans are available only to undergraduate students.

Unsubsidized loans

Unsubsidized loans are offered regardless of income or assets.

You are responsible for paying all the interest on the loan. You may choose to defer interest and principal payments while in school at least half time. If you do, the interest will be capitalized—that is, added to the initial amount you borrowed. Future interest costs will be based on that higher loan amount.

Private Educational Loan

A college education is more important than ever before, yet paying for one can be a challenge for many students and their families. Private loans can help you pay for college expenses that may not be covered by federal loan programs or other financial aid. These loans help to close the gap between your financial aid resources and college costs. These are loans offiered outside of WSU.

The Private Lender Search Tool link below includes lenders with competitive private education loan products. These loan products generally offer borrower benefits and rates that could potentially lower the total cost of the loan for the borrower, and are able to process loans in the most efficient, accurate, and timely manner.

Borrowers are strongly encouraged to conduct their own research on the various private loan products. You can select any lender of your choice and are not required to use the lenders on the Private Lender Search Tool. Once you are in the Private Lender Search Tool, you will begin by selecting your program (undergraduate, graduate, etc).

Parent Plus Loan

If you are a dependent undergraduate student, a PLUS loan enables your parents or stepparents (but not your legal guardians or grandparents) to borrow money that can be applied to your educational expenses.

PLUS loans are loaned directly from the federal government to the borrower. This loan is not based on your family’s income or asset information provided on the FAFSA.


  • Must be a dependent student
  • Have a completed FAFSA on file
  • Parent must meet the credit eligibility requirements.
  • Must be enrolled at least half time.

Step 1: Grant Parent Borrower Access to myWSU

1. Log in to myWSU and enter the Profile menu

2. Select Third Party Access from the left navigation

3. Click on the link for Share My Information under the WSU Students Section

4. You will see any authorizations you currently have on your account and be able to add authorizations from this screen

You will be asked to provide an email for the person you want to share your information with. This is important, as we will communicate action steps to your parent borrower through this email. You will also be sent the same communications to your WSU email address.

If your parent has a Friend Account (FID) with WSU already, select “Yes”, or if you are unsure, select “No.” This may occur if you have an older sibling who has attended WSU.

If you selected “Yes” insert your parents email address and click “continue”; if your parent does have a Friend Account a notification will be sent to their email notifying them of the authorized access.

If you selected “No” You will be taken to a screen where you will be asked to provide First Name, Middle Name or Initial (optional), Last Name and a valid email. This information will also be verified in the WSU system, and a notification will be sent to your Third Party notifying them of the authorization.

Now you will choose the information you wish to share. In this case you will want to grant access to the Parent PLUS Loan application.

Note: Checking the Grant All Access box will NOT automatically select the Parent Plus Loan Application. This needs to be manually selected.

Step 2: Parent Completes WSU Loan Application

1. Log in to the WSU portal at myWSU with your Friend ID and password.

2. Click on the Third Party Access tile.

3. On this screen select the “View Info” box of the student you want to review. If you have multiple students at WSU who have authorized Third Party Access, you will see them listed on this screen.

4. Upon selecting the student, the parent or third party will see the areas they are authorized to view. The user can then select the option to view. Select the Parent PLUS Loan Application.

5. Fill out the application with your demographic information. The form will be asking you some questions about history or ties you may have with the school. This is so we don’t create duplicate records for you in our system.

6. Click “Submit.” A confirmation page will pop up once the form has been submitted and a confirmation email with further instructions will be sent to the student and the parent.

Step 3: Parent borrower must complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN)

The same parent who completed Step 2 must also complete this step.

1. Visit the Direct Loan website at

2. Sign in with your FSA ID.

3. Click on “Completed Loan Agreement (Master Promissory Note)” and select the “PLUS MPN for Parents” link to complete the MPN electronically.

4. Complete your MPN by signing it with your FSA ID.

5. Pending the successful completion and approval of the credit check and the loan process, the funds will deliver to the student’s WSU student account.

Grants & Cougar Commitment


Grants are those that you do not have to pay back. Grants can be awarded by the FAFSA, the WASFA, or WSU. To become eligible for grants, students must file a FAFSA or WASFA application, and meet all financial aid deadlines. Most grants are income contingent, and are automatically awarded to students. Most grants are only available to undergraduate, degree-seeking students.

Cougar Commitment

Because we believe that finances should never prevent someone from getting a college degree, the University has committed to covering the cost of tuition and mandatory fees for students who could not otherwise afford to attend.

Eligibility requirements

A student can be considered for Cougar Commitment funding for a maximum of eight total semesters of continuous enrollment. To be eligible for the Cougar Commitment, you must be a Washington state resident pursuing your first bachelor’s degree. You will also need to meet the following criteria:

    • File your FAFSA or WASFA1 by WSU’s priority deadline each year
    • Submit any requested financial aid verification documents to WSU Student Financial Services by the published deadline
    • New students must apply for admission to WSU by January 31 for fall semester or by November 15 for spring semester
    • Be receiving a Pell Grant
    • Have unmet financial need based on the Expected Family Contribution  (EFC) calculated by the FAFSA
    • Enrolled full-time (at least 12 semester credit hours)
    • Maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP) toward your degree.

1Undocumented Washington residents’ eligibility will be determined independent of Pell Grant eligibility determination, contingent on institutional funding
**Effective 2020-2021: Cougar Commitment eligibility will be dependent on institutional funding availability.

General information

Your tuition will be covered first by your federal and state grants—like the Pell Grant or Supplemental Need Grant. If federal, state and institutional grants do not cover the full cost of your tuition and mandatory fees (e.g., Student Union Building, Transportation & Safety), WSU will make up the difference with this award.

Funds awarded for Cougar Commitment may not exceed your unmet financial need. If you receive additional university aid (such as scholarships) or non-WSU funded aid (such as privately funded scholarships), those funds will be applied first, and Cougar Commitment will make up the difference, if any.

Cougar Commitment award amounts are limited to tuition and mandatory fees, ONLY. However, additional grant and scholarship funds may be available to help with the other costs of education.

Please note that this program is only available during the regular academic year (i.e. fall and spring semesters) and the established value may vary slightly from when final decisions are made on actual tuition and mandatory fee rates.

Please note that this program is only available during the regular academic year (i.e. fall and spring semesters) and the established value may vary slightly from when final decisions are made on actual tuition and mandatory fee rates.

Work Study & Student Jobs

Work-study is designed to help qualifying students fund their education by finding employment while attending WSU. Work-study student pay comes from a partnership of federal or state funds, and WSU employer funds. and provides students the opportunity to earn, often while working in their area of study. Work-study is not a requirement for students to work on campus. Many students are employed in part-time positions without work-study funding.  Many students choose to find an on-campus job as an alternative to taking out student loans.

Work study eligibility

You are eligible for Work-Study if you meet all of the following criteria:

  • At least $4,000 of unmet need-based eligibility
  • Check YES on the FAFSA and WASFA application
  • Satisfactory academic progress standing with WSU and the Student Financial Services office

Find a work study job at WSU Tri-Cities

Connect with Career Services or check out work study jobs on Handshake today!

Contact Us

Andrea Aldous
Financial Aid & Student Services Coordinator


Connect with Andrea in her personal Zoom meeting space during her student hours:

  • Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday 12:30-2:30

Gretchen Hormel
Financial Aid & Access Services Coordinator


Connect with Gretchen in her personal Zoom meeting space during her student hours (please email her if  you are prompted for a password):

Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 1 to 4 p.m.

Karina Barajas
Financial Aid Assistant


Check out local scholarship opportunities.