Navigating Student Financial Aid
Explore the topical sections below to learn about important information on financial aid resources.
Information for New Deacs
Undergraduate Aid Recipients
Wake Forest expects aid recipients to fulfill responsibilities related to their aid. Here’s what you need to know.
I Applied For Aid. Now What?
You filed your FAFSA™. So what happens next? Here’s what you need to know about what to expect once you’ve applied for financial aid.
Additional Resources & Topics
The Office of the Provost organizes a Constitution Day event each year. Events are typically lectures by members of the School of Law faculty. Events are publicized to the University through news and event postings on the University website and calendar.
Information on how need-based aid is determined can be found on our Applying for Aid page.
Disclosures & Other Information
The Office of Student Financial Aid invites families to contact any of its staff members for additional information regarding aid programs.
The Institutional Information website contains valuable and important information.
Wake Forest adheres to the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) and the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999 to protect your privacy; financial aid application materials are securely stored for a period of time as required by law, then are destroyed. Wake Forest’s FERPA disclosure and definition of directory information are available on the University’s Registrar website. Wake Forest has adopted and adheres to an information security program under Federal Trade Commission Rule 16 CFR 313.3(n) and 16 CFR 314.1-5.
Comments, questions, appeals of aid decisions or complaints should be addressed to the Committee on Scholarships and Student Aid, in care of the Director of Financial Aid, Wake Forest University, P.O. Box 7246, Winston-Salem, NC 27109-7246. The Committee responds to written comments within a reasonable time frame (generally within two weeks of receipt, unless substantial investigation is required). Students are assured of freedom from any penalty in the event of a complaint.
Wake Forest University is committed to diversity, inclusion and the spirit of Pro Humanitate. In adherence with applicable laws and as provided by University policies, the University prohibits discrimination in its employment practices and its educational programs and activities on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, genetic information, disability and veteran status. Inquiries or concerns regarding the University’s nondiscrimination policies should be directed to the University Title IX Coordinator at 336.758.7258 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Individuals with disabilities or special print-related needs may contact the Center for Learning, Access, and Student Success at 336.758.5929 for more information.
The information in this document is believed to be correct at the date of publication (March 1, 2015) and is subject to change without notice. This document contains material related to the Federal Title IV student aid programs. This document has not been reviewed or approved by the U.S. Department of Education. Please direct comments or questions to the Office of Student Financial Aid.
Enrollment: Repeat Coursework and Required Courses
Financial aid eligibility is based upon full-time enrollment in an undergraduate degree program at Wake Forest.
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).
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).
To determine a student’s enrollment for purposes of federal aid programs and most state aid programs (including the North Carolina Need-Based Scholarship), a repeat enrollment in a previously-passed course counts one additional time, whether or not a student received federal aid for an earlier enrollment of the course. The third and subsequent attempts of previously-passed courses do not count as enrollment. If a student retakes a course that is no longer eligible for federal or state aid, the hours are excluded from the total enrollment and the student’s aid is adjusted to exclude those hours.
Courses Required by Student’s Academic Program
To determine a student’s enrollment for purposes of federal aid programs and most state aid programs (including the North Carolina Need-Based Scholarship), 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. If a student takes courses that are not eligible for federal or state aid, the hours are excluded from the total enrollment and the student’s aid is adjusted to exclude those hours.
Federal PLUS Loan
How to apply for a Federal PLUS Loan
Through the Federal PLUS Loan Program, parents may borrow up to the annual cost of attendance minus any aid the student receives for the year. Eligibility for a PLUS Loan is based on a parent’s creditworthiness and not on need.
- Student (not parent) completes the FAFSA™
- Parent initiates a credit authorization
- Parent signs a master promissory note
Parents should start the application process sometime in July to meet fall semester deadlines, since lender processing can take several weeks.
We encourage families to plan ahead to borrow the full amount needed for the year and have the amount disbursed in two payments rather than reapplying each semester. This arrangement expedites the process and can also defer loan repayment, since repayment begins 60 days after the final loan disbursement is made.
Federal Verification is a process of review to ensure the accuracy of the data provided in the federal aid application (FAFSA™). For dependent students, information to be verified relates to the student and to his/her parent(s). Please note carefully the documentation required to verify this information.
Please check your WIN account for missing financial aid requirements, You must complete and return the verification worksheet, if you have not already done so, and all other required documentation to avoid cancellation of your Federal Student Aid.
For 2020-21, a signed copy of the federal tax return is acceptable. (This may not be the case in future years.) If you are unable to provide a signed copy of the tax return, you may print and submit an official tax transcript from the IRS website IRS Get Transcript.
Note: If you (the student) filed, or were required to file, a tax return and are selected for verification, you must submit a signed copy of your own federal tax return, in addition to the tax return requested for your parents. If you did not file a tax return, you must submit the non-tax filer statement.
For federal Pell grant eligible students whose application has been selected for verification, verification must be complete by a deadline published annually in the Federal Register (generally no later than 120 days after the last day of enrollment during the academic year). Verification must be completed for campus-based (Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG) and Federal Work Study) and Federal Direct Subsidized Loan eligible students by the last day of enrollment during the academic year. Failure to complete verification will result in cancellation of Federal Student Aid.
If a FAFSA™ transaction is selected for verification after an award has already been made and/or disbursed and requested verification documents are not provided, any undisbursed award will be canceled. No additional federal funds will be disbursed until verification has been completed.
If verification causes a change in your eligibility for Federal Student Aid funds, you will be notified via email that your award has been modified. You may review your modified financial aid award by accessing your financial aid record through the Wake Information Network.
Please contact the Student Financial Aid office at email@example.com or 336.758.5154 with any questions.
Financial Aid and Your Deacon OneCard
If a student’s total financial aid award exceeds the student’s charges for a semester, the student may:
- Request a refund through Student Financial Services to purchase books, supplies, or personal expenses. Funds disburse before the start of the semester if all requirements have been satisfied, and Student Financial Services begins processing refunds the first week of classes.
- Move a credit balance from the student account to the Deacon OneCard, which can be used at the College Bookstore, Benson Student Union, Z.Smith Reynolds Library
Financial Wellbeing Resources
Make informed financial decisions throughout your college years and into your professional life.
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 and the Supplemental Loans from Private Lenders section. The IRS has information regarding possible tax deductions for interest payments made on educational loans.
Glossary of Financial Aid Terms
Cost of Attendance (COA): The total estimated amount that it will cost to go to school during the fall/spring academic year. COA includes tuition and fees; housing and meals; and allowances for books, supplies, transportation, and loan fees. It also includes miscellaneous and personal expenses. For students attending less than half-time, the COA includes tuition and fees; an allowance for books, supplies, and transportation; and dependent care expenses.
Total Grants and Scholarships: Student aid funds that do not have to be repaid.
Net Costs: An estimate of the actual costs that you or your family will need to pay during the fall/spring academic year to cover education expenses at a particular school. Net costs are determined by taking the institution’s cost of attendance and subtracting your grants and scholarships. Please see the note about “Actual Net Costs” above.
Work-Study: A federal student aid program that provides part-time employment while you are enrolled in school to help pay your education expenses. Earnings are paid directly to the student bi-weekly as work is performed; therefore, FWS awards are not subtracted from semester charges that are due prior to the start of each semester.
Loans: Borrowed money that must be repaid with interest. Loans from the federal government typically have a lower interest rate than loans from private lenders. Federal loans, listed from most advantageous to least advantageous, are called Federal Perkins Loans, Direct Subsidized Loans, Direct Unsubsidized Loans, and Direct PLUS Loans. You can find more information about federal loans at StudentAid.gov.
Family Contribution (also referred to as Expected Family Contribution): A number used by a school to calculate how much financial aid you are eligible to receive, if any. The federal methodology family contribution is based on the financial information you provided in your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)™. It’s not the amount of money your family will have to pay for college, nor is it the amount of federal student aid you will receive. The federal methodology family contribution is reported to you on your Student Aid Report, also known as the SAR.
Graduation Rate: The percentage of students who graduate from an institution. This shows students who began their studies as first-time, full-time degree- or certificate-seeking students and completed their degree or certificate within 150 percent of “normal time.” For example, for a four-year school, the graduation rate would be the percentage of students who completed that program within six years or less.
Loan Default Rate: The percentage of student borrowers – undergraduate and graduate – who have failed to repay their federal loans, based on individual borrower performance three years after leaving the school. A low loan default rate could mean that the institution’s students are earning enough income after leaving school to successfully repay their loans.
- The James W. Denmark Loan, established in 1875, assists qualified students.
- The Hutchins Student Loan assists needy students.
- The Grover & Addie Raby Loan gives preference to applicants from the First Baptist Church of Tarboro, NC.
- The Sidney G. Wallace Loan gives preference to students studying at a Wake Forest-sponsored or approved overseas program
International students are eligible for most Wake Forest merit-based scholarship programs. Eligibility for federal aid programs is determined by the student’s FAFSA™ results. However, students classified as international students by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions are not eligible to receive institutional need-based aid. International students may wish to consult eduPASS for comprehensive information about applying to colleges and universities in the U.S.
International students may find this outside scholarship search site to be helpful.
Loans for international students are available through MPOWER Financing.
- No cosigner required for international or domestic students
- Borrowers must be within 2 years of graduation
- Fixed rates from 8.8% to 16.17% APR
- 5% origination fee added to loan amount at time of disbursement
- A 0.25% interest rate reduction is available for automatic debit
- A 0.25% interest rate reduction after 24 months of on-time payments
- Easy online application and 24/7 online account management
- May be used for a past-due balance for the previous academic year
- 3 and 10 year repayment periods, chosen at time of application
- Small monthly payments required until graduation.
- Additional benefits include free financial literacy courses from USA funds® onsite financial literacy courses upon request, resume building assistance, and job search assistance
- All remaining balance is forgiven in case of death of borrower; in the case of disability, loan balances will be forgiven on a case-by-case basis
We encourage you to compare lender discounts and other borrower benefits with these loan comparison tools:
Code of Conduct
Wake Forest University adheres to a code of conduct in suggesting lenders, as approved by the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators.
Individual borrower prices for private loans vary; they are based on the credit worthiness of the borrower and/or cosigner. Please contact the lender if you have additional questions.
Need-Based Supplemental Forms
Supplemental forms are sometimes required of need-based aid applicants. Student Financial Aid notifies applicants if any supplemental forms are required.
Non-need-based grants and scholarships reduce eligibility for need-based aid programs. Outside grant and scholarship recipients have need-based aid packages revised according to the outside scholarship policy.
Recipients of Wake Forest merit-based scholarships have their loan or work assistance reduced before any reduction in need-based scholarships is contemplated; total grant aid cannot exceed demonstrated need.
Outside Scholarship Announcements
A list of available outside scholarships available to Wake Forest students.
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.
Requests for Reconsideration (Appeals)
We understand that families across the country are being impacted by the current COVID-19 pandemic, and we are committed to working with applicants and their families. COVID-19 represents a significant and rapidly evolving challenge to public health and the economy, but one for which we don’t fully understand the ramifications. As additional resources are identified to further assist families, we will examine extenuating circumstances that have impacted families’ abilities to contribute toward college costs.
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 at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
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 match financial aid offers from other institutions or use other offers as a basis for increasing aid.
Say Yes to Education Scholarships
Wake Forest University is a partner to Say Yes to Education and offers Say Yes Scholarships annually to eligible students who gain admission to Wake Forest from public schools in Guilford County, North Carolina, as well as Buffalo and Syracuse, New York.
To determine eligibility for the Say Yes Scholarship, students must complete the Say Yes Certification Form and apply for financial aid.
Additional information on how private colleges and universities partner with Say Yes to Education can be found on their website.
For free information about financial aid, contact our office, or visit one of the following sites to conduct your own scholarship search.
- College Foundation of North Carolina Scholarship Search
- College Board Scholarship Search
- Outside Scholarship Tips
- College Resource Network
- Free Scholarship Searches
- Masters in Accounting Scholarships
- Discover Accounting Guide to Scholarships
- Business Degree Scholarships
Scholarships for study abroad
Private Outside Scholarships
Wake Forest University does not endorse any outside scholarship organization, but is pleased to make students aware of possible scholarship opportunities that they may then investigate themselves. This link includes recent information on selected outside scholarships.
For more opportunities, look in the Outside Scholarship Notebook on the front table in the Office of Financial Aid.
Students’ spending habits can vary widely. Here are some money-smart strategies to investigate:
Starting on campus. Our current students page lists resources, services, opportunities and activities, many at low or no-cost. Highlights include: Student Union’s events (and its fee waiver process); Athletic events; Arts and Culture events; Tutor and Counseling services; Fitness, Recreation, and Wellbeing opportunities; Parking and Transportation options; Copy Center; Textbook purchase and rental options; Dining options.
Extending to the community, Winston-Salem opportunities include:
Student Loan Consolidation
Many students and parents are wondering if it is beneficial to consolidate educational loans to take advantage of these new low rates. The answer is… it depends.
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 on the International Student website.
Study Away Domestic Programs
Students may consider a domestic study away program when a similar opportunity does not exist at Wake Forest University. The domestic away program will enhance a student’s degree and will not duplicate experiences/work available at Wake Forest University. Students may be determined for financial aid eligibility only after the student has received the approval from the academic department and the Office of the University Registrar, Student Financial Aid, and the Office of Academic Advising (Dean’s Office) are notified by the student’s academic department with a formal letter of support and approval for the Study Away Domestic Program. Student Financial Aid does not offer institutional need-based assistance for summer programs.
For more information about submitting a proposal for a Study Away Domestic Program, please contact the Office of the University Registrar at email@example.com.
Summer School Aid
Summer financial aid at Wake Forest consists of federal aid, private education loans, and limited institutional aid programs. Applicants for federal and institutional aid must be degree-seeking Wake Forest students. Visiting students cannot receive federal or institutional aid. Summer enrollment does not relieve students of Wake Forest’s minimum student summer earnings expectation for the following academic year. A student who begins attendance in all classes during a compressed period of enrollment (summer term) is paid aid based on the enrollment status at the time of disbursement, even if his or her enrollment status changes subsequently. A student who withdraws from all courses is subject to the return of aid funds.
Students intending to apply for federal aid should have a 2022-23 FAFSA™ on file with the Office of Student Financial Aid by April 10, 2023. Federal aid is limited to remaining academic year eligibility (if any) for Pell Grants, Work-Study, Direct Loans, and PLUS Loans. Federal aid applicants must meet satisfactory academic progress requirements and are subject to the return of funds upon withdrawal. Applicants for Federal Direct and PLUS loans must enroll in at least six hours during the summer. In addition, all students who plan to attend summer school should complete the Application for Summer 2022 Financial Aid.
If you need to borrow a private education loan for summer 2022 please review this information about private supplemental loans. Contact your chosen lender and complete all required forms for them. Also submit to the Financial Aid Office the Application for Summer 2022 Financial Aid, so that we can accurately certify your private loan for your lender. To facilitate timely disbursement, WFU must receive the lender’s pre-approval notice by April 10, 2023.
Students intending to use summer financial aid to pay for on-campus summer meals should purchase a summer meal plan through Residence Life and Housing’s summer housing/meal plan portal. If a summer meal plan is purchased in this manner, then students can begin to use a summer meal plan even if all summer financial aid funds have not yet arrived at Wake Forest by the start of summer school
Please refer to the Information for Undergraduate Aid Recipients page for important information.
Supplemental Loans From Private Vendors
Supplemental loans are designed to help students who need additional assistance with educational costs. In most cases, it is advantageous for students to pursue a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan and for parents to pursue Federal PLUS Loans before seeking alternative loans.
If a student still needs assistance beyond what is available through federal loan programs, there are a number of private lenders who offer supplemental loans to cover educational expenses. The supplemental loans listed below are not based on need, and they can replace a portion of the Expected Family Contribution. Loan approval is generally based on creditworthiness and ability to repay. The maximum that may be borrowed is the difference between cost of attendance and other financial aid.
College Cost Adjuster provides a helpful tool for calculating what a student may need in private loans, after financial aid, savings, and availability of current income are considered.
Students applying for a private educational loan are required to complete the Private Education Loan Applicant Self-Certification Form available through their lender’s website. Information regarding the total cost of attendance at Wake Forest University can be found on the Cost of Attendance page.
Each lender offers different rates, fees, repayment terms, and approval requirements. Wake Forest suggests students carefully investigate the loan terms and conditions before choosing a lender.
Wake Forest adheres to a strict code of conduct in its relations with private lenders.
We encourage you to compare lender discounts and other borrower benefits with these loan comparison tools:
You are not required to borrow from one of the loan programs listed on the comparison. If you have any questions about private educational loans, please contact Student Financial Aid.
Veterans Education Benefits
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has approved Wake Forest University as an eligible institution at which students may use its Education Benefit Programs.
Wake Forest participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program. Students eligible for the Post 9/11 GI Bill® at the 100% benefit level qualify for Yellow Ribbon. No separate application is required. Active duty service members and their spouses using transferred benefits became eligible for Yellow Ribbon on August 1, 2022.
To get started, you must apply for benefits on the VA’s website. Once the VA makes a decision, they will mail your Certificate of Eligibility (COE) letter to you. Upon receipt, please email a copy of your COE to the VA Certifying Official, Courtney Kim (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Please refer to the Veterans Education Benefits page for additional information.
Wake Forest supports efforts to ensure that all students have access to resources to engage in the electoral process.
Students can check their voter registration status at Vote 411.
It is important for college students to determine for themselves whether they should be registered to vote either in their home state, or in North Carolina where they are physically present attending college.
Non-North Carolina residents who register to vote in North Carolina may limit their eligibility for higher education student aid programs (grants, scholarships, loans) from their home state. For instance, a requirement of Pennsylvania residents receiving a PHEAA State Grant is that they do not register to vote outside of Pennsylvania (see the FAQ, Prepare, Domicile answer at PHEAA.org. Please contact your home state’s higher education agency if you have questions about whether voter registration in North Carolina would affect your eligibility for possible higher education state student aid program assistance from your home state.
Conversely, a student’s registration to vote in North Carolina does not alone meet North Carolina’s residency requirement for the purpose of establishing eligibility for higher education state student aid programs from North Carolina. Please see the Student FAQs, Residency Eligibility Requirements information at NCResidency.cfnc.org.
The Federal Voting Assistance Program provides contact information for each state’s election office, information about each state’s absentee voting guidelines, and absentee voting information for students who are studying abroad or serving abroad in the US military.
The North Carolina State Board of Elections states: “A college or university student may register and vote in the county where they go to school if the student is physically present in the school community and does not intend to return to his or her former home after graduation. However, if the student intends to return to their former home after graduation, then they should remain registered in their hometown. If the student does not know where he or she will go after college, they may register in their college community or remain registered at home. If a student registers at his or her school address, that registration cancels any previous registration.”
In North Carolina, the civilian voter registration deadline is 25 days before election day.
For more information about North Carolina’s voter registration deadline, the different ways to register to vote, voter qualifications, registering as a college student, and making changes to voter registration, please visit the North Carolina State Board of Elections.
Same-day voter registration during the one-stop early voting period may also be available. The Forsyth County Board of Elections lists the early voting sites (including the Winston-Salem First Assembly of God Church across from Deacon Place).
We hope this information is helpful and we encourage all eligible students to exercise their right to vote!
Financial Aid Portal
Wake Forest students can securely and efficiently view and manage their financial aid through WIN.
Financial Aid Resources
Discover financial wellbeing tools, learn about financial aid receipt and refunds, and explore outside
Understand student aid recipients’ rights and responsibilities, how financial need is determined, and the impact of outside scholarships.
Connect with government agencies and trusted independent organizations that provide financial aid information.