What is Need-Based Aid?
Need-based aid is financial aid that you can receive if you have financial need and meet other eligibility criteria.
Visit the Applying for Aid page for information about how financial need is determined, priority filing dates, and the application process.
Need-Based Aid Programs
Wake Forest Need-Based Scholarships
Wake Forest Need-Based Scholarships are made possible by the many annual donors to the Wake Forest Fund for Student Aid.
Wake Forest Endowed Need-Based Scholarships
Generous donors have established named scholarships that include financial need as an eligibility criterion. No additional scholarship application is necessary.
FAFSA® Simplification is expected to have minor impacts on Wake Forest students.
FAFSA® Simplification for the 2024-25 academic year provides a more streamlined FAFSA® application process and a new FAFSA® calculation to determine eligibility for federal student financial aid.
The new FAFSA® calculation for 2024-25 may either increase, or in a limited number of circumstances, decrease, each FAFSA® applicant’s eligibility for federal student financial aid.
Federal Student Aid programs include the Federal Pell Grant, the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, Federal Direct Loans, Federal Work Study, and the Federal TEACH Grant.
The 2024-25 FAFSA® will likely become available to students to complete, about three months later than normal (anticipated in late December 2023 or early January 2024, instead of the normal October 2023 availability).
Rather than relying solely on the FAFSA® to evaluate students’ eligibility for all need-based aid programs, Wake Forest primarily utilizes the more comprehensive CSS Profile® to determine eligibility for Wake Forest need-based scholarship assistance and uses the FAFSA® to determine eligibility for federal student financial aid programs.
The CSS Profile® uses the standards and principles developed by the College Board to measure a student’s financial need. Unlike the FAFSA® calculation for 2024-25, the CSS Profile® is not undergoing any major changes for 2024-25.
Wake Forest does not anticipate changes to how it determines students’ eligibility for total need-based scholarship assistance for the 2024-25 academic year due to changes in the FAFSA® calculation.
Nor does Wake Forest anticipate changes to its financial aid application priority filing dates and its aid notification timelines, other than possible slight delays in aid notifications to prospective students who are accepted under the Early Decision I and Early Action admission application processes. Prospective students who are accepted under one of these early admission processes may anticipate receiving and aid notification by early December, which will include estimated eligibility for federal student aid programs based on CSS Profile® data. Enrolling students who applied under one of the early admission processes will then receive a subsequent aid notification in early 2024 after the 2024-25 FAFSA® becomes available for students to submit and for those FAFSA® results to be received by Wake Forest. This subsequent aid notification will include final official eligibility for federal student aid programs.
As the 2024-25 academic year approaches, there may be increased media attention about FAFSA® Simplification and its potential impacts on students. Students at colleges and universities who rely solely on the FAFSA® to determine students’ eligibility for all financial aid programs will likely be more impacted by FAFSA® Simplification.
The determination of students’ financial aid eligibility is an annual process, and students’ eligibility may therefore change each year due to changes in families’ financial circumstances. Wake Forest maintains its commitment to provide need-based scholarship assistance based on the annual analysis of information provided by students and families via the CSS Profile® and supporting documentation.
For the latest FAFSA® Simplification information from the U.S. Department of Education, visit studentaid.gov and type “simplification” in the search box. The U.S. Department of Education’s Launch of the 2024–25 FAFSA® Form page provides additional resources and updated information. The U.S. Department of Education’s “What’s Changed for the 2024–25 FAFSA® Form?” video and other related videos are also available.