How Financial Aid is Disbursed

In general, here’s how financial aid disbursement works.

Exactly when your funds will be distributed depends on what type of aid you have and when your application was processed.


Aid is Available Soon After Semester Starts

Financial aid disbursement begins on the second Friday of the term. The process continues each day until all funds are distributed to students.

Your actual disbursement date depends on when you applied for your aid and if we have received your funds yet. You’ll need to pay for books, supplies and personal expenses from personal funds until financial aid disburses each semester.

Student Loans

If you accepted any federal student loans, these funds are sent directly to WSU. Some loans can only be held for a few days, so you must notify the Financial Aid Office if you will be late registering to make sure that your loan funds are not returned.

You can cancel all or a portion of a student loan within 14 days from the day your loan was disbursed. This returned money will not count toward your loan totals to pay back later.

If you have applied for a private student loan, it may take 3-4 weeks for this loan to fully process. Check with your lender when they plan to release the funds to WSU.


Any Remaining Balance is Due

If all aid is applied to your bill and there is still an amount owed, you will need to pay the remaining balance through your own funds.

You may also want to look into the optional alternative loans if all other aid has been used. You may also want to review the payment plan options at WSU.


Extra Aid is Deposited to Your Personal Bank Account

Financial aid is first applied to your WSU bill. If there is any money left over, it will be automatically deposited to your personal bank account. It may take 3-4 business days for funds to appear in your account.

Please make sure you have a direct deposit account set up with Winona State.

Make sure that the funds are in fact in your account before attempting to use them. WSU is not responsible for your bank charges under any circumstances.

Students should discuss with a Financial Aid Counselor how their aid will be affected if you drop classes or withdraw. You must be in good academic standing and maintain satisfactory progress to receive financial aid.

Additionally, you should let the Financial Aid Office know if you change the degree you are seeking.

If you have any questions, please contact the Financial Aid Office at 507.457.5090 or

Assistance from Third Party Agencies

If you are receiving financial assistance from a third-party agency, you need to authorize the Student Accounts Office to bill your agency for tuition, fees, books and more.

Some examples of third-party agencies include:

  • Department of Vocational Rehabilitation
  • a job service
  • a private industry council

The third-party agency won’t be billed until about three weeks into the semester. WSU may not receive the actual payment for another three to four weeks after the bill is sent.

Any other financial aid such as loans, grants or scholarships will be applied to your account at their scheduled time.

When your agency’s payment is received, your account will be adjusted if your financial aid and third- party billing exceeds what you owe WSU. WSU will then direct deposit the difference into your bank account.

Please call 507.457.5075 with any questions about this process.