Information for Undergraduate Aid Recipients

The Student Financial Aid Office expects students seeking or receiving aid to:

Apply each year by submitting required documents in a complete, accurate, clear and timely manner. For consideration for federal student aid programs, submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Wake Forest’s FAFSA code is 002978.  For consideration for institutional need-based aid programs, submit the College Board Profile application . Wake Forest’s PROFILE code is 5885.  For returning students, the FAFSA and PROFILE should be submitted by March 1. Supporting documents should be submitted by April 1. FAFSA applicants are strongly encouraged to use the FAFSA’s IRS Data Retrieval Process to help simplify the federal verification process. Respond quickly to email messages, telephone calls, and letters from the aid office. Students should daily check their WFU-issued email accounts, and know how to access their financial aid records in WIN. Instructions are available through our Helpful Resources page.  The initial financial aid award notification is generally the only paper notification sent to students; all subsequent award notifications and all other notices and disclosures are made electronically. Students may request to opt out of electronic notifications by contacting Student Financial Aid.  If you choose to receive paper notifications, all notifications will be mailed to your permanent residence address of record.

Students may stop by Student Financial Aid at any time and request a copy of their Student Award detailed report.

Read and understand the contents of this web page, the Undergraduate Bulletin and other provided documents.

Keep copies of all aid applications and documents.

Understand that awards are based upon full-time enrollment in an undergraduate degree program at Wake Forest (unless indicated otherwise). Full-time enrollment for purposes of financial aid is a minimum of 12 hours each semester, through the last day to drop second-part-of-term courses without penalty (University Academic Calendar). The third and subsequent attempts of previously-passed courses do not count as enrollment for purposes of federal aid programs and most state aid programs (including the North Carolina Need-Based Scholarship). In addition, for purposes of federal aid programs (and most state aid programs), once a student has satisfied the courses required by his or her program of study, any additional courses in which the student enrolls are not considered part of the student’s program of study, and cannot be included when determining the student’s enrollment status or cost of attendance. Most students should enroll in an average of at least fifteen hours each semester, in order to complete degree requirements in four years (eight semesters).

Understand and agree that you will use all aid received, only to pay for your costs of attendance at Wake Forest and not for any other purpose (including support of family members or others, activities or goods or services that are not related to your college enrollment, etc.). If for any reason you find that you have received aid in excess of the amount needed for your college enrollment, please contact the Office of Student Financial Aid.

Notify the aid office in writing if outside assistance is received, including scholarships, grants and educational benefits. Awards must be adjusted if additional resources reduce demonstrated need and/or federal eligibility. For more information visit the Outside Scholarship Policy page.

Notify the aid office in writing of any change in family financial circumstances.

Understand that Wake Forest corrects applicants’ FAFSA data based upon its review of families’ tax returns and other supporting documentation.

Understand and comply with the terms and conditions of specific awards, including completion of entrance and exit counseling for federal student loan programs.

Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress for federal aid eligibility; the full policy is available at Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid Eligibility, and is available, upon request, from the aid office. Aid awards for subsequent semesters that are made prior to the review of satisfactory academic progress are tentative, conditioned upon the student meeting satisfactory academic progress requirements. Additionally, a Wake Forest grade point average of at least 2.00 is required to receive Wake Forest need-based scholarship and loan assistance. Institutional aid is not awarded beyond the eighth (fall or spring) semester; this limit is prorated for transfer students. Students enrolled in the last year of the MS program in accountancy are considered graduate-level students.

Understand that recipients of University scholarships, by accepting the awards, agree to allow the University to release their directory information to the donor individuals and organizations. The University’s definition of directory information is listed at the Registrar’s Privacy Policy Page, and is available, upon request, from the registrar’s office. Foundations sponsoring named scholarships may use for reporting and promotional purposes student photos, annual reports, articles, and other materials submitted to the respective foundation by the University.

Understand that renewal of aid is not automatic; annual applications are required so current assessments of need can be made. Renewal of aid is based upon continued eligibility, demonstrated need and satisfactory academic progress. Factors that can significantly reduce or eliminate aid eligibility include: a decrease in the number of family members simultaneously enrolled as undergraduate students, and increases in family income or assets. The University may revoke aid for violation of University regulations or federal, state or local laws.

Understand that aid for summer sessions is generally limited to possible federal aid program eligibility, if any, and private educational loans. Students are admitted to degree-seeking status only for fall or spring semesters. Students admitted to the fall semester who enroll for the prior summer term are not considered to be matriculated into degree-seeking status for the summer term and are therefore not eligible for federal financial aid programs for the summer term.

Understand that students who begin a semester but later withdraw are subject to significant adjustment in aid eligibility, and in most cases must repay aid under applicable federal regulations and University policies as published in the Undergraduate Bulletin and and available, upon request, from the aid office.

Understand that scholarship and grant assistance in excess of tuition, fees, and required books and course supplies may be considered taxable income. Recipients should consult IRS Publication 970 for more information. Foreign nationals, and undocumented students who have received DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) status, may be subject to additional IRS requirements (required tax withholding, filing federal and state quarterly estimated tax payments, etc.); such students should submit their DACA approval notice to the Wake Forest Financial Services Tax Office at Undocumented students who have not yet applied for DACA status should consult the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services web page for information about applying for DACA status. Students without DACA status may be subject to mandatory 30% withholding of scholarship amounts to the IRS.


Determining Need

Most financial aid at Wake Forest is determined on the basis of a family’s demonstrated financial need. Except in the most extraordinary circumstances, Wake Forest considers all undergraduate students to be dependent on their parents.

To determine eligibility for federal financial aid, the university uses the information families submit on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  Families applying for institutional need-based aid are required to file the CSS Profile. Before awarding any type of aid, Wake Forest requires all students and parents to provide signed copies of income tax forms, including all relevant schedules, and W-2 wage statements. Both students and parents (including stepparents) must submit tax documents.

In the case of divorced or separated parents, both parents (and their respective spouses, if applicable) are expected to provide financial information. When you complete your Profile registration, the College Board will notify you that Wake Forest requires the Noncustodial Profile. You will receive an e-mail that explains this requirement, which you should share with your noncustodial parent. This e-mail will provide a link to the Noncustodial Profile website, with login instructions for your noncustodial parent.

Our Net Price Calculator can help you estimate how much your family contribution will be, but families should be aware that financial aid estimates are only as good as the data on which they are based. Need is the difference between total Cost of Attendance and the expected family contribution.

Students must reapply for financial aid each year by completing the CSS PROFILE and Renewal FAFSA and submitting the appropriate tax documentation. Changes in your family’s financial circumstances (such as a reduction in the number of children in undergraduate college) may significantly affect the amount of financial aid you receive in subsequent years. Students do not have to accept the self-help component of their financial aid package to receive gift aid or scholarships from the university.

If your family experiences a change in financial circumstances at any point in the year that was not addressed in the initial review for financial aid, you may submit a written letter of appeal. The appeal letter should provide a detailed explanation of the circumstances upon which the appeal is based and should include any supporting documentation. It is also helpful if the family outlines a monetary value associated with the change in circumstances. The Financial Aid Committee will attempt to respond to all appeals within two weeks of receipt of the appeal letter.


Receipt of Aid

Unless otherwise noted below, aid funds are credited to student accounts near the beginning of each term. Students with excess funds not needed to pay University charges may request a refund for the surplus amount through the Office of Student Financial Services. Payment is based only upon funds actually applied to the student’s account. Students experiencing delays in the delivery of funds from sources outside the University should contact those sources (i.e., the lenders or donors) directly.

Wake Forest University is committed to providing students whose applications and awards are completed prior to the opening of school with credit balances from federal financial aid.  If you receive a Pell Grant, which when added to your other financial aid, exceeds your University charges, we will provide you with the means to purchase books within seven days of the first day of the semester.  This can be either in the form of a student refund or credit on your Deacon One Card.  Please contact Student Financial Services, if your financial aid award is complete, and you have concerns about the ability to purchase books.  If your financial aid award is not complete, please contact the Financial Aid Office.


Types of Aid

Programs students apply for by completing the FAFSA

Federal Pell Grant

Pell grants are generally reserved for students with high levels of need. Grants range from $600 to $6,095 per year and are available to undergraduates only.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)

FSEOG grants are for undergraduate students who demonstrate exceptional need. A typical award amount is $600 per year, with recipients of Federal Pell Grants receiving first consideration for these funds.

Federal Direct Loan Program

Students may borrow a Federal Direct Subsidized Loan up to $3,500 for freshman year, $4,500 for sophomore year, and $5,500 for junior and senior years. Undergraduates who are unable to meet their expected family contribution may be eligible to borrow up to $2,000 of additional Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan. Eligibility for a Federal Direct Subsidized Loan is determined on the basis of need with information you provide on the FAFSA. Interest is deferred during the period of time students are in college.

Students who are not eligible for federal financial aid as determined by the FAFSA can still obtain an Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan. Interest on an unsubsidized loan is charged from the time the loan is disbursed until it is paid in full. Students, however, have the option to allow interest to accrue and capitalize while they attend school.

If an undergraduate student’s parent is turned down for a Federal PLUS Loan for credit reasons, the student may borrow up to $4,000 for each of the freshman and sophomore years, as well as $5,000 for each of the junior and senior years, in additional unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan. (If parents are denied a PLUS Loan, freshmen and sophomores who have not previously requested the additional $2,000 in unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan may request up to $6,000 — juniors and seniors up to $7,000.) There is a fixed interest rate of 4.529% for loans disbursed between July 1, 2019, and June 30, 2020.  A 1.069% federal origination fee is deducted. Learn More

Federal Work-Study

Undergraduate students with federal need may be eligible to earn up to $2,000 per year in either on-campus or off-campus employment. Wages vary by employer. Earnings are paid directly to the student each month as work is performed; therefore, Federal Work Study awards are not subtracted from charges in the Office of Financial and Accounting Services. For more information about federal financial aid, visit the U.S. Department of Education Student Aid website.


Requests for Reconsideration (Appeals)

The Office of Student Financial Aid makes every attempt to award students the maximum aid for which they are eligible based on financial aid policies and available resources. We do not match financial aid awards from other institutions or use other awards as a basis for adjusting the Wake Forest award. If there have been changes in the family’s financial situation, or if there are special circumstances which should be taken into consideration, send a written appeal to the Office of Student Financial Aid.

Students must reapply for aid each year by submitting the Renewal FAFSA, CSS PROFILE, and copies of student and parental W-2 wage statements and income tax forms. Any revisions in aid to returning students will be based on carefully documented changes in family circumstances. If you wish to appeal a decision, send a written appeal to the Office of Student Financial Aid.

All appeals should be addressed to the Committee on Scholarships and Student Aid, Office of Student Financial Aid, Wake Forest University, PO Box 7246, Winston-Salem, NC 27109-7246. The Committee responds to all correspondence within a reasonable period of time (generally within two weeks of receipt, unless substantial documentation is required.)


Outside Scholarship Policy

Wake Forest encourages students to apply for outside scholarships for which they may be eligible. Outside scholarships count as student resources, becoming part of the package of financial aid. When need calculated under the federal methodology (FM need) is greater than the offered aid package, outside scholarships are allowed to meet that difference. Once the offered aid package equals FM need, any portion of outside scholarship exceeding FM need results in a reduction of need-based student loans and work-study funds.  If all loan and work-study funds are eliminated by outside scholarships, then need-based scholarships originally awarded by Wake Forest may be reduced.  In no case may aid exceed the estimated cost of attendance.

Outside scholarship donors should include on the check the recipient’s name and the term(s) for which the scholarship is intended. Checks should be payable to Wake Forest University (or co-payable to Wake Forest University and the student) and sent to the Office of Student Financial Aid, P.O. Box 7246, Winston-Salem, NC, 27109-7246. Checks delivered by donors to the student should be forwarded to the aid office. If a student has instead previously deposited outside scholarship funds into her/his personal bank account, the student should notify the Office of Student Financial Aid to prevent the expected outside scholarship proceeds from showing as anticipated credit against semester charges on the student’s DEAC account. It is not recommended that students deposit outside scholarship funds into personal bank accounts; doing so may result in the student losing certain tax benefits.

By submitting, or allowing donors to submit, checks to Wake Forest, a student gives permission for Wake Forest to write the Wake Forest University student identification number on the face of the check. If funds are not received by Wake Forest in a timely manner from an outside scholarship donor, the student becomes responsible for payment of charges previously deferred by the anticipated receipt of funds from the donor.

Study Abroad:

Students who study abroad in a University-approved program may receive aid as though they were attending classes at Wake Forest. The amounts and types of available aid depend on the program costs and whether the program is a Wake Forest program or not, and may vary greatly from those available to an on-campus student. Special competitive scholarships for study abroad may be available. Interested students should contact the Center for Global Programs and Studies for required procedures. Students who study away from Wake Forest at a domestic college or university (visit out) do not receive aid through Wake Forest.  Students with questions about a financial aid award will be impacted by studying abroad should contact Student Financial Aid.

Information about outside scholarships for study abroad is available at International Student and Study Abroad Scholarship Search

 Other Financing Options

To finance major purchases such as houses, cars and higher education, most families spread the costs over time, by using past savings, drawing on current earnings and/or borrowing against future income. Families considering financing options may wish to investigate the loan programs listed below and at Supplemental Loans from Private Lenders page. The IRS has information regarding possible tax deductions for interest payments made on educational loans.

Employment Opportunities, both on and off campus, are available on a limited basis to Wake Forest students. Federal funding assists Wake Forest in its job location and development activities for students. Students may earn from $1,500 to $2,000 by working 10 to 12 hours weekly during the academic year. Jobs are available in the libraries, in academic departments and in other campus locations, as well as in the city of Winston-Salem. Interested students should check the job postings in the aid office upon arrival on campus. Earnings are paid bi-weekly directly to the student as work is performed and time sheets are submitted.

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans are available to students meeting all Federal Direct Loan program requirements other than demonstrated need. Students must apply for need-based aid before being considered for this unsubsidized loan. Total annual borrowing under combined subsidized and unsubsidized Federal Direct Loans is limited to $5,500 for freshmen, $6,500 for sophomores, and $7,500 for juniors and seniors (up to an aggregate amount of $31,000 as an undergraduate). Independent students and those dependent students whose parents are denied Federal PLUS Loans may increase the unsubsidized loan limits above by $4,000 for their freshman and sophomore years and by $5,000 for subsequent years of undergraduate study (up to an aggregate amount of $57,500). The Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act of 2013 ties federal student loan interest rates to financial markets. Under this Act, interest rates will be determined each June for new loans being made for the upcoming award year. Federal Student Aid Interest Rates and Fees provides the latest available interest rates and fees. An origination fee of 1.073 percent is deducted from loan proceeds. (The net disbursement amount is approximately 99 %.) Interest accrues during the in-school period but payment of interest may be deferred upon request; it is best to pay interest to avoid capitalization, which increases the loan principal. Funds are paid by electronic funds transfer to student accounts. Entrance and exit counseling requirements apply to Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans as well as to the subsidized loans. As required by law, the University reports borrower information to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS).

Federal Direct PLUS Loans allow credit-worthy parents of a dependent student to borrow up to the cost of education minus any expected aid. Students must apply for federal need-based aid (submit a FAFSA) before their parents can be considered for this loan. Under the Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act of 2013, interest rates are determined each June for new loans for the upcoming award year. Federal Student Aid Interest Rates and Fees provides the latest available interest rates and fees. Loan fees of 4.292% are deducted from loan proceeds. (The net disbursement amount is approximately 96 %.) Repayment of principal and interest generally begins immediately and continues over a period of five to ten years, although limited deferments of repayment are sometimes available. Federal PLUS Loans are paid by electronic funds transfer to student accounts. Please visit Types of Aid for more information and application instructions. As required by law, the University reports benefiting students’ information to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS).

Private Supplemental Education Loans are offered by financial institutions and agencies. In most cases, it is advantageous for students to pursue Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans and for parents to pursue Federal PLUS Loans before seeking alternative loans. Several non-federal education loan programs are listed at Supplemental Loans from Private Vendors.

A Payment Plan is offered through the Office of Student Financial Services. Families unable to secure financing through other less-expensive options may wish to consider this plan.