College Financial Aid | WGU (2024)

WGU is Approved by the U.S. Department of Education to Offer Federal Student Aid

WGU is approved by the U.S. Department of Education to offer federal student aid in all of our degree programs. Because of our more affordable tuition, WGU students are able to graduate without large amounts of student debt to repay. If you qualify for and accept federal student aid, it will cover most, if not all, of your direct education expenses.

You can usefinancial aid for:

  • Tuition and fees, including electronic learning materials
  • Textbooks
  • Technology
  • Other educational expenses

"WGU’s financial services staff helped me to attain the maximum amount available in Pell grants so that I would have minimal loans to pay!"

Najwa
B.S. IT graduate

Discover How to Pay for School

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Ready to start college but unsure how you'll pay for it? WGU offers a variety of ways to help make your tuition even more affordable.Grants, scholarships, and financial aid are based on a variety of factors. Answer a few quick questions and we can help you determine which options may be available to you.

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WGU is Recognized Nationally for Reducing Student Debt

We’re committed to helping you make smart decisions when it comes to financing your education. In August 2016, we received theExemplary Model Awardfrom the American Association of University Administrators for a responsible approach to student borrowing that hadreduced student debt by $400 million.

Institutional Scholarship Opportunities

Through the generosity of numerous corporations and foundations, plus special federal government appropriations, WGU maintains a robust program of scholarships made available to qualified students.

View Scholarships and Apply

Most WGU Students Qualify for Federal Aid

To receive consideration for any federal student aid program, you must first file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). When you fill out the FAFSA, you are applying for aid for a specific year; therefore, you will need to renew your FAFSA application each award year.

Most WGU students qualify for at least one type of federal aid. To be eligible for federal student aid (grants, loans, and work-study funds), you have to meet certain requirements.Click here for the basic eligibility criteria.

NOTE: The FAFSA Simplification Act means there will be a large shift in processes and systems used to award federal student aid starting with the 2024–25 award year. This means that the FAFSA form and other financial aid processes will be different starting in December, 2023. Learn about the FAFSA Simplification Act and the upcoming changes here.

Need More Help with Financial Aid?

Learn more about the details of filling out your FAFSA form or set up an appointment today.

Get FAFSA Help

Federal Direct Loan Program: Direct Federal Loans Account for 70% of All Student Loans

The Federal Direct Loan Program is the largest federal student loan program, through which eligible students and parents borrow directly from the U.S. Department of Education to help cover the costs of higher education. Students are only allowed to borrow the annual limit up to the Cost of Attendance based on their current grade level. There are lifetime loan limits also set by the Department of Education. This may limit your borrowing eligibility. WGU students may be eligible to receive the following Direct Loan programs:

A direct subsidized loan is given to eligible undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need. The interest is paid by the U.S. Department of Education while you are enrolled in school at least half time or during deferment periods.

Students who receive a Direct Subsidized Loans are subject to the terms and conditions, along with the borrower’s rights and responsibilities disclosed on theFederal Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loan Master Promissory Note(MPN).

For eligibility and application for a Direct Subsidized loan program, please visit the federalStudent Aid Subsidized/UnsubsidizedLoaninformation page.

A direct unsubsidized loan is made to eligible undergraduate, graduate, and professional students and is not based on financial need. Therefore, they are available to most WGU students. You are responsible for the interest from the day you borrow the money until you pay off the loan.

Students who receive a Direct Subsidized and/or Direct Unsubsidized Loans are subject to the terms and conditions, along with the borrower’s rights and responsibilities disclosed on theFederal Direct Stafford/Unsubsidized Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN).

For eligibility and application information about the Direct Unsubsidized loan program, please visit the federalStudent Aid Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loan info page.

Graduate PLUS loans are made to graduate or professional students to help pay for education expenses.Graduate students can borrow an amount up to the cost of attendance (COA) minus other estimated financial assistance.

Applicants are required to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and are given an opportunity to request the maximum eligibility under the Direct Unsubsidized Loan Program before applying for agraduateDirect PLUS loan. ThegraduatePLUS loan will be placed intodefermentwhile a graduate student is enrolled and for an additional six months after thedatethe student ceases to be enrolled onatleast half-time basis.

Students who receive a graduate PLUS loan are subject to the terms and conditions, along with the borrower’s rights and responsibilities disclosed on theFederal Direct PLUS Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN).

For eligibility and application information for a Federal Direct PLUS loan for a graduate student, please visit the federalStudentAid PLUS Loan information page.

If you are a dependent undergraduate student, your parents may apply for a parent PLUS loan to assist with your educational expenses. The application process includes completion and submission of a PLUS Loan application by your parents and completion and submission of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by the family. The application process is completed through the Federal Direct Loan Program. This loan is based on credit worthiness as determined by the U.S. Department of Education.

The yearly limit is equal to the cost of attendance (COA) minus any other financial aid received. Interest is charged on the loan from the date first disbursem*nt is made until the loan is paid in full. The parent borrower has the option to begin repayment either within 60 days from the date the loan is fully disbursed or may request to defer repayment while the dependent student is enrolled at an eligible institution and for an additional six months after the date the student ceases to be enrolled on at least half-time basis. Interest will accrue on the loan during the deferment. Generally, the samedeferment or forbearanceprovisions that apply to Subsidized/Unsubsidized loans also apply to PLUS loans.

Parents of dependent students who receive a parent PLUS loan are subject to the terms and conditions, along with the borrower’s rights and responsibilities disclosed on theFederal Direct PLUS Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN).

For eligibility and application information for a Federal Direct PLUS loan for a parent of a dependent student, please visit the federalStudentAid PLUS Loan information page.

WGU Also Participates in the Following Federal Grant and Work-Study Programs

The Pell Grant does not have to be repaid and may be awarded to students who have not yet earned a bachelor’s degree. It is available to those with the greatest need, which is calculated based upon income, number of dependents, and other factors reported on theFAFSA. Students may receive the Federal Pell Grant for no more than 12 terms (roughly six years).Click here for more detailed information on eligibility for Federal Pell Grants.

Beginning with the 2018-2019 award year, a Pell-eligible student whose parent or guardian died in the line of duty while performing as a public safety officer is eligible to receive a maximum Pell Grant. Please contact Student Services at1-877-435-7948 orfinancialservices@wgu.edufor additional information.

IASG does not have to be repaid and may be awarded to students who were either less than 24 years old or enrolled in college (at least part-time) when a parent or guardian died as a result of U.S. military service in Iraq or Afghanistan after September 11, 2001. In addition, students must not be eligible for a Federal Pell Grant on the basis of their Expected Family Contribution (EFC) but meet the remaining Pell eligibility requirements. The grant award is equal to the amount of a maximum Federal Pell Grant for the award year but cannot exceed your cost of attendance for that award year.

Click here for more detailed information on eligibility for IASG. As part of the FAFSA Simplification Act, the IASG will no longer be offered following the 2023-24 award year.

The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) does not have to be repaid and may be awarded to students who have not yet earned a bachelor’s degree. This grant is available for undergraduates with exceptional financial need. Limited funding has been given to WGU for this program; therefore, not all eligible students will receive this grant.Here's more detailed information on eligibility.

The Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant provides grants of up to $4000 per year to students who agree to teach for at least four years within the first eight years of their graduation in a high-need field, in a school serving low-income students.

Note: If you are pursuing a second bachelor’s degree, you are ineligible for the TEACH Grant. In addition, if you accept a TEACH Grant and choose not to work in a government-approved school, all TEACH Grant funds you received will be converted to a Direct Unsubsidized Loan that must be repaid with interest charged from the date of each TEACH Grant disbursem*nt.

Click here for more detailed information on eligibility for the TEACH Grant.

The Federal Work-Study (FWS) Program provides part-time employment while students are enrolled in an institution to help pay for education expenses.

Some students may qualify for a work-study positionin states where WGU has a state affiliate provided they meet thegeneral eligibility criteria. FWS is a need-based program that allows students to earn money to help offset the costs of attending WGU. Limited funding has been given to WGU for this program; therefore, not all eligible students will receive an award. Priority will be given to students who indicate “yes” to the FAFSA question about Work Study. The maximum award is the cost of attendance (COA) minus expected family contribution (EFC) and other financial assistance. This program encourages community service work and work related to the student’s course of study.

FWS employment is governed by employment conditions, including the rate of pay that is appropriate and reasonable according to the type of work performed, the geographic region, the employee’s proficiency, and any applicable federal, state, or local law, including state or locally established minimum wage rates.Click here for more information on FWS.

Annual Loan Limits: Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized

The amounts borrowed depend on a student’s grade level and dependency status at the university. Students are only allowed to borrow the annual limit up to the Cost of Attendance based on their current grade level. There are lifetime loan limits also set by the U.S. Department of Education. This may limit your borrowing eligibility.

The following table indicates Federal Direct Loan limits based on status as dependent undergraduate, independent undergraduate, or graduate student.

Dependent Undergraduate Student

$5,500 – No more than $3,500 of this amount can be subsidized loan.

Independent Undergraduate Student

$9,500 – No more than $3,500 of this amount can be subsidized loan.

Graduate/Professional Student

$20,500 Unsubsidized.

Dependent Undergraduate Student

$6,500 – No more than $4,500 of this amount can be subsidized loan.

Independent Undergraduate Student

$10,500 – No more than $4,500 of this amount can be subsidized loan.

Graduate/Professional Student

$20,500 Unsubsidized.

Dependent Undergraduate Student

$7,500 – No more than $5,500 of this amount can be subsidized loan.

Independent Undergraduate Student

$12,500 – No more than $5,500 of this amount can be subsidized loan.

Graduate/Professional Student

$20,500 Unsubsidized.

Aggregate Loan Limits: Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized

A student whose parent cannot obtain a parent loan for an undergraduate student (PLUS) loan is allowed to borrow additional unsubsidized Direct Loan amounts. Student dependency status will be determined based on answers to questions on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Subsidized

$23,000

Total Subsidized and Unsubsidized

$31,000

Subsidized

$23,000

Total Subsidized and Unsubsidized

$57,500

Subsidized

$65,500*

Total Subsidized and Unsubsidized

$138,500*

*Aggregate loan limits for graduate and professional students include loans received for undergraduate study. The $65,500 subsidized aggregate loan limit shown here for graduate and professional students includes subsidized loans received for loan periods beginning before July 1, 2012, and prior subsidized loans received for undergraduate study.

State Grants Available for WGU Students

In addition to federal grants and loans, you may be eligible for financial aid from your state. See ourState Financial Aid Informationdocument to learn about the state grants WGU students may be eligible to receive, how to apply, and other requirements.

State grant programs typically have strict application deadlines for funding eligibility. In many cases, completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the first step for state grant applications.

Private Student Loans

Private loans are generally more costly than federal loans and may be available to both students and parents who need assistance beyond their federal and state financial aid eligibility.

Private loans are made through private lenders and are not subsidized or guaranteed by the federal government. These loans may have higher rates and generally do not feature the flexible repayment terms. The interest rates and fees you pay on a private student loan are based primarily on your credit history (and if applicable, the credit history of your co-signer) and are subject to individual terms and conditions. WGU does not endorse a particular lender and encourages that a private loan only be considered after all federal and state financial aid options have been exhausted.

The U.S. Department of Education, Federal Student Aid office provides a summary of the differences between federal and private loans.

To further assist our students, WGU has compiled a Preferred Lender List. We have reviewed and compared several lenders’ interest rates, repayment incentives, and service standards to present the best options to our students. This free service will not require a student’s name, email, or personal information to compare private student loans. There’s a loan estimator to calculate estimated monthly payments and the total cost of a loan. WGU encourages students to explore other alternative loan options beyond this list and will certify educational loan requests from any lender of their choice.

Income Share Agreements

An Income Share Agreement (ISA) is an agreement between you and a funder that provides you with a certain sum of money for educational expenses. In return, you agree to pay the funder a certain amount that is calculated based on a percentage of your earnings—after leaving school—in monthly payments during a specified period of time.Generally, monthly payment amounts change with your monthly income, because the payments are calculated by multiplying your income by a fixed percentage. Payments are not typically required in months when your monthly earnings are below a certain minimum income threshold. However, ISAs differ on costs and are subject to different eligibility criteria and other individual terms and conditions. You should review the terms of each ISA program carefully. Please make sure you understand the terms of your preferred ISA program before signing an agreement.

Interest Rates for Loans

The interest rates for Direct Subsidized, Unsubsidized, and PLUS Loans are calculated each year based on the 10-year Treasury Bill rate plus an add-on for which the first disbursem*nt is made on or after July 1 through the following June 30.

See the latest and historical interest ratesfor Direct Subsidized, Unsubsidized, and PLUS loans.

Origination Fees

Federal Direct Loans are charged origination or loan fees, which are deducted from the loan proceeds by the U.S. Department of Education (ED).Learn more about loan feesfor Direct Subsidized, Unsubsidized, and PLUS Loans.

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Completed your FAFSA application and have questions?

The WGU Financial Aid Office can answer more specific questions about your personal situation once you have completed the WGU Financial Aid Application. The Financial Aid Office can be reached by email at financialservices@wgu.edu or by calling 1-877-435-7948. Hours of operation are weekdays 7 am to 7 pm (MT).

Note: Full-time enrollment is required for all financial aid programs. Failure to progress at the full-time rate and in accordance with your Degree Plan may result in loss of eligibility for additional aid and for loan deferment.

Start Your FAFSA Today
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College Financial Aid | WGU (2024)
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