Tips and Tools
Independent Student Status
At a graduate level, students are considered to be Independent students as deemed by the US Department of Education on the FAFSA. This means only the student (and spouse if married) information needs to be reported. No parental information is needed and if provided will not affect the calculation of the EFC.
Deferment – A deferment allows you to temporarily stop making your Federal student loan payments under certain circumstances. If your enrollment status is at least half time or more, you will be reported by WLU automatically to qualify.
Track My Federal Student Loans
The Federal Student Aid website is the US Department of Education’s central database for student aid. When a student logs into this website they will be able to view both past and present Federal Direct Loans.
The Loan Simulator is a free loan repayment estimator through the US Department of Education to help estimate your Federal student loan monthly payments, determine repayment plan eligibility, compare interest cost between plans over time, and estimate potential loan forgiveness amounts. Students have the option on this website to either log in with their FSA ID and pull their actual loan totals or they can use estimated figures without logging in.
Use this budgeting information to help you manage your finances so you can both complete your program of study and be financially smart about doing so.
WINS – Once your aid has been packaged, you will need to log into your WINS account to review and accept your financial aid. Below are the instructions:
- In WINS, click on the gray Financial Aid Tab at the top of the page
- Click on the blue Award link in the middle of the screen
- Click on the blue Award for Aid Year link in the middle of the screen
- Choose the appropriate award year from the drop down box
- Click on the gray Terms and Conditions Tab, complete if not already done
- Click on the gray Accept Award Offer Tab
- Choose “Accept” or “Decline” from the drop down boxes for all funds that are in offered status
IRS Data Retrieval Tool
The IRS data retrieval tool (IRS DRT) is a great way to transfer your Federal tax return information into your FAFSA form. When you are logged in your online FAFSA, it is in the finances section of the form. You will simply click the “Link to IRS” button and follow the prompts.
Book an Appointment with the Financial Aid Office
Book an appointment with the Financial Aid Office or call us at 304.336.8016.