How to Read Your Award Letter

Your award letter is a really important document because it outlines all the details of your financial aid package. It is unique to your financial situation and the information you provided on the FAFSA.

In the award letter, you’ll see your total estimated award amount based upon your financial need and the estimated cost of attendance for one year.

This award total will be built from several different programs that you are eligible for, such as scholarships, grants and loans.

You don’t need to do anything else to accept these funds. Since grants and scholarships are free money, the Financial Aid Office has already accepted these awards for you.

Learn more about the specific scholarships and grants you might see on your award letter.

Outside Scholarships

If you are receiving an outside scholarship (not from WSU) and it doesn’t appear on your award letter, please notify the Financial Aid Office. You’ll need to send a copy of the award notification you received from the source.

  • Email:
  • Fax: 507.457.5628
  • Mail: Winona State Financial Aid Office, P.O. Box 5838, Maxwell Hall, Winona, MN 55987

If you have received work study, you can start looking for a work study job on campus. Or you could decide that you don’t want to use those funds.

If you don’t have work study listed, you can contact the Financial Aid Office about your options to work on campus.

Learn more about work study and student employment.

You will need to take steps to accept any loans you may need to cover your college education.

The award letter lets you know your eligibility, but the application process still needs to be completed. The loans are not automatically processed for you.

Learn more about the specific loans you might see on your award letter.

Third-party funding could affect your other financial aid awards from WSU.

If you expect funding from another source that is not shown in your award letter, please send a copy of your award notification to the Financial Aid Office:

  • Email:
  •  Fax: 507.457.5628
  •  Mail: Winona State Financial Aid Office, P.O. Box 5838, Maxwell Hall, Winona, MN 55987

If you are receiving financial assistance from a third-party agency such as the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation or a job service, you need to authorize the Student Accounts Office to bill your agency.

It usually takes about 3-4 weeks into the semester before your agency will be billed. Once third-party funds are received, any extra money from your financial aid award will be direct deposited to your personal bank account.

Please call 507.457.5075 with any questions about this process.

Reasons Your Awards Might Change

Your award letter is your guide to how you can pay for college. But, it may be adjusted when the funds are actually paid out. Here’s a few reasons why:

  1. You have money from other sources such as private scholarships

    If you don’t need federal or state aid programs, the Financial Aid Office will redistribute those funds to another student who does.

  2. You aren’t going to be a full-time student

    The exact amount disbursed will depend on the number of credits you are enrolled in. We assume that all students are full time, taking at least 12 credits for undergraduate and 6 credits for graduate.

    The Minnesota State Grant does require 15 undergraduate credits to be paid out at the maximum amount.

    If you are not a full-time student, please contact the Financial Aid team at 507.457.5090 or by email at The staff can adjust your award letter and answer any questions you may have.

  3. Awards are based on the availability of funds

    Many financial aid programs are on a first come, first served basis. Once the pool of money is claimed, that’s it.

    So be sure to take the next steps to accept your awards as soon as possible.

If your award is adjusted for any reason, you’ll be notified.