Information for Undergraduate Aid Recipients

Wake Forest expects students seeking or receiving aid to:

Apply each year by submitting required documents in a complete, accurate, clear and timely manner. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) provides consideration for federal student aid programs. Wake Forest’s FAFSA code is 002978. The College Board Profile application provides consideration for Wake Forest need-based aid programs. Wake Forest’s Profile code is 5885. For returning students, the FAFSA and Profile should be submitted by February 1. Supporting documents should be submitted by March 1. FAFSA applicants are strongly encouraged to use the FAFSA’s IRS Data Retrieval Tool 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 (see instructions at Helpful Resources). Aid eligibility notifications and all other notices and disclosures are made electronically. Students may request to opt out of electronic notifications by contacting Student Financial Aid. Students choosing to receive paper notifications will receive notifications at their permanent residence address of record. Students may visit Student Financial Aid to request a copy of their Student Aid History 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 eligibility is based upon full-time enrollment in an undergraduate degree program at Wake Forest, and in-person on campus learning mode (unless indicated otherwise). Full-time enrollment for purposes of financial aid is a minimum of twelve 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. Eligibility for federal aid programs (and most state aid programs) is subject to a review of actual course registration. 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 aid can be used only to pay for 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 college enrollment, etc.). A student who determines that he or she has received aid in excess of the amount needed for college enrollment should contact the Office of Student Financial Aid.

Notify the aid office in writing if outside assistance is received, including scholarships, grants and educational benefits. Aid 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 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 determinations 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.

Understand that recipients of University scholarships, by accepting the scholarships, 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. To balance overspent scholarship accounts and fully utilize all available sources of funding during an academic year, the financial aid committee may shift sources of a student’s scholarship and/or grant funding.

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 Eligibility for Need-Based Aid Programs

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 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 submit the CSS Profile and requested student and parent income tax forms, including all relevant schedules, and W-2 wage statements.

In the case of divorced or separated parents, both natural or adoptive parents (and spouses) are required to provide financial information. The Noncustodial Profile collects information from the noncustodial parents.

Wake Forest’s Net Price Calculator estimates aid eligibility, but families should be aware that estimates are only as good as the data on which they are based. Financial need is the difference between total Cost of Attendance and the expected family contribution.

Students are not required to accept the self-help components (loan and work-study) of their financial aid package in order to receive the gift aid components.


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 provides in a timely manner, credit balances from federal financial aid to students who have completed all application and disbursement requirements. Students receiving a Federal Pell Grant, which when added to other financial aid exceeds University charges, can purchase books within seven days of the start of each semester, using either a student refund or a credit on the Deacon One Card. Students who have received a financial aid eligibility notification, have completed all requirements for the disbursement of funds, and have concerns about the ability to purchase books, should contact Student Financial Services. Students whose financial aid eligibility has not been determined, should contact Student Financial Aid.


Types of Aid

Programs students apply for by completing the FAFSA

Federal Pell Grant

Pell grants assist undergraduate students with the highest financial need. Amounts vary up to about $6,200 per year.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)

FSEOG grants assist undergraduate students with the highest financial need. A typical amount is $1,400.

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 denied 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.)

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.

The fixed interest rate for Federal Direct Loans (to undergraduate students) disbursed between July 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021 is 2.75%. A 1.057% 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 offers students the maximum aid for which they are eligible based on the consistent and equitable application of financial aid policies. We do not use financial aid offers from other institutions as a basis for increasing aid.

We understand that families continue to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and we are committed to assisting applicants and their families, based on available financial aid resources.

In the event of another extenuating circumstance or dramatic change to a family’s finances that has not been previously described in a student’s financial aid application, a student may send a written request for reconsideration. The request must provide a detailed explanation of the financial circumstance and its associated monetary value, and should include relevant supporting documentation. Such requests 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 and may also be submitted via email at The Committee responds to all correspondence within a reasonable period of time (generally within two weeks of receipt, unless substantial documentation is required). We appreciate your patience during this time.


Outside Scholarship Policy

Outside scholarships are added to an original financial aid package if possible. In some cases based on federal student aid program rules, outside scholarships reduce need-based student loan and work-study eligibility. In no case may aid exceed the estimated cost of attendance.

Outside scholarship donors or the student recipient should provide official notification (copy of donor’s congratulatory letter to student, copy of donor’s award certificate to student, donor’s check to student, etc.) of outside scholarship awards to the Office of Student Financial Aid, so that the outside scholarship can be processed appropriately.

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 ten to twelve 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 1.057 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 4.228% 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.