A WSU student stands in the Warrior Hub with a laptop showing the FAFSA homepage.

How to Apply for Financial Aid

To apply for federal and state financial aid, first you need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

You must file a FAFSA each year you wish to receive financial aid. Filing the FAFSA as a freshman student does not mean you will automatically get financial aid your sophomore year.

Financial aid is usually awarded for the fall and spring semesters. But aid is also available if you want to take summer courses or study abroad.

Fall & Spring Financial Aid Process

The Financial Aid Timeline (PDF) shows a visual overview of this process.

Complete the FAFSA Application


You can complete the FAFSA online.  The application opens each year on Oct. 1.

You’ll need the following information:

  • Winona State University's Title IV School Code – 002394
  • Identification information for yourself and your parents (social security numbers, birthdates, addresses etc.)
  • Income and tax information for yourself and your parents from two years ago

You may not need your parents’ information if you qualify as an independent student.

It is recommended that you use the IRS data retrieval tool to have the IRS transfer your financial information into your FAFSA.

Have questions? See FAQs about the FAFSA or contact the Financial Aid Office.


Be Prepared to Verify Your Information

Federal regulations require that WSU verifies the accuracy of information provided on the FAFSA. This means that some students may have to submit IRS tax transcripts, W2s and other requested documents.

If you do not provide these materials before or during the academic year, you will not receive aid awarded by the Financial Aid Office.

Your application is not complete until all required documentation is submitted.

Ultimately, the Financial Aid Office will determine your eligibility and award amounts based on a consistent assessment of family circumstances.


Watch the Deadline for Priority Consideration

You should submit your FAFSA as soon as possible after Oct. 1 for priority consideration. Some funds are limited and awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis to eligible students.

If you submit your FAFSA after May 15, you are considered a late filer. While you can still be considered for financial aid, you may not get your award letter and receive your aid before fall semester.

Learn more about payment processes at WSU.


Don't Forget about Scholarships

Completing your FAFSA is one (huge) step toward making college more affordable.

To get the most amount of financial aid, you’ll need to complete separate applications for WSU Foundation scholarships, WSU academic department scholarships and other outside scholarship programs.

Learn more about how to apply for scholarships.

Need to Update Information in Your FAFSA?

If you made a mistake, you can correct some information in your FAFSA online.

But if you’ve used the wrong social security number, you should submit a new FAFSA application.

What if Your Circumstances Change?

Major changes in your family circumstances such as loss of employment, high medical expenses or death could impact the financial aid you’re able to receive.

If you have completed the FAFSA and are experiencing this situation, you may submit a Special Conditions Review Form. You can find the right form for your situation on the Forms page.

The Financial Aid Office will review your information and determine whether changes can be made.