Coronavirus (COVID-19): Important Financial Aid Updates and FAQs

The Office of Student Financial Aid remains open and is available to assist you with your questions about your financial aid and scholarships.

You can reach us by sending an email to studentservice@wayne.edu or calling us us at 313-577-2100. You can check the status of your financial aid award and any outstanding requirements in Academica.

These FAQs were last updated on 8/6/2020.

  • What is the WSU CARES Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund?

    The WSU CARES Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund is intended to assist students with urgent financial needs directly related to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus. Needs may include food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and childcare. This is federal funding that has been made available under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act).

    WSU signed and returned to the US Department of Education, the Certification and Agreement with the assurance that we intend to use no less than 50 percent of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students. WSU has received $9,653,092 from the US Department of Education to be used to provide emergency grants to students.

    Students who apply via our WSU CARES Application are reviewed on a first-come-first-served basis to determine eligibility. The application is used to document that the student has expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus (including eligible expenses such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and childcare).

    Students who receive an award are advised upon approval of their application that the CARES Act funding is to assist with their expenses related to the coronavirus.

    Estimated number of students eligible to participate in Title IV programs: 14,167

      5/12/2020 5/18/2020 6/1/2020 6/4/2020 6/25/2020 7/24/2020 8/6/2020
    Total number of students who have received a CARES Act Emergency Financial Aid Grant 2,512 4,573 5,172 5,620 5,974 6,228 6,302
    Total amount of CARES Act Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students $2,206,500 $3,990,200 $4,883,950 $5,288,600 $5,735,050 $6,060,800 $6,161,000

    The Office of Student Financial Aid continues to award these funds and the application will be available until funding is exhausted.

  • How do I apply for WSU CARES Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds?

    The application period for students affected by the pandemic disruption during the winter semester ended July 31, 2020. A new application for WSU CARES Higher Education Emergency Relief Funding will be posted near the end of August.

    Current students may complete the WSU Student Emergency Grant application to be considered for WSU Emergency Grant funding.

    If you haven't already done so, we recommend that you file the 2020-21 FAFSA and sign up for Direct Deposit.  

  • Who is eligible for the WSU CARES Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds?

    Under U.S. Department of Education rules for the program, these funds can be awarded to students who are eligible for federal financial aid. This includes undergraduate, graduate, and professional school students enrolled at WSU and pursuing degree programs.

    Eligibility requirements:

    • Be a currently enrolled student at Wayne State University who was enrolled for at least one credit during the winter 2020 semester when the campus disruption occurred. Note: Students who have graduated are not eligible for this award.
    • Have a FAFSA on file and be eligible for federal financial aid
    • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen
    • Be enrolled in a program that is not exclusively an online program
    • Have expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child-care
    • Complete all application questions in full

    If you have graduated and are no longer enrolled, you are not eligible for CARES Act funding.

    If you are eligible to file a FAFSA and need assistance, we encourage you to file the 2020-21 FAFSA online at studentaid.gov.

    If you don't qualify based on the eligibility criteria, you may request assistance from the WSU Student Emergency Grant fund. The Student Emergency Grant offers limited emergency financial assistance to currently enrolled students who are unable to meet immediate, essential expenses because of temporary hardship related to an unexpected situation. 

    Looking for other types of assistance? See the resources on our Resources for low-income students web pages.

  • How much WSU CARES Act funding can I receive?

    The WSU CARES Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund application is currently capped at $1,000 in order to distribute the funds to as many students as possible. Students with extenuating circumstances may complete the WSU Student Emergency Grant application to be considered for additional funds for a total up to $3,000. Additional funding requests will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis to ensure our neediest students have the opportunity to apply for funding. 

    Depending on the volume of requests and level of need, WSU may award a lesser amount than requested.  We appreciate students only asking for the amount needed so we can serve as many students as possible.

  • How are decisions being made?

    Awards will be made on a first-come, first-served basis and preference will be given to students with documented need. Students who received the $850 housing credit will be considered during our second review of applicants.

    Every effort will be made to have a decision within one to two business days; however, depending on volume of applications this timeframe may be extended. As our funding is limited, WSU cannot guarantee that all applications submitted will receive an award.

  • If I am approved, when will I receive WSU CARES Act funding?

    We will make every effort to have a decision within one to two days; however, depending on volume of applications this timeframe may be extended. After award approval, you can expect funding within three days if you are signed up for direct deposit, paper checks will be mailed within the week. Sign-up for direct deposit in Academica.

  • If I owe money to WSU, can WSU apply these funds to my balance?

    Charges or balances owed to WSU cannot be deducted from this funding, under any circumstances. Please check your account in Academica for up to date balance information. If you would like to use your WSU CARES Act funding to pay your balance, you may do so via any of the WSU accepted payment methods available on the Office of the Bursar website.

  • How can I view/submit my financial aid requirements?

    There are multiple ways to submit documents to us without having to come to our office. Check your financial aid requirements in Academica. Many of our forms are electronic and can be submitted to us directly. Documents without social security numbers or other personally identifiable information can also be emailed to us at studentservice@wayne.edu. If your forms are not electronic, you can use one of the links below. Documents submitted via these links will be reviewed and identified before your requirements are updated in Academica.

  • What if I have changes in my income due to COVID-19?

    We recognize that students and their families may have extenuating financial circumstances that the standard need analysis form (the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, FAFSA) does not consider. If you have had a change in your income due to COVID-19 and would like us to consider a making a change in your FAFSA EFC, please complete this form and submit it along with an explanation and supporting documentation. If approved, a change in your EFC may make you eligible for need-based financial aid and student loans.

    2020-21 Special Circumstances Appeal - Income Changes due to COVID-19 - paper form

    2020-21 Special Circumstances Appeal - Income Changes due to COVID-19 - Independent Student - electronic form

    2020-21 Special Circumstances Appeal - Income Changes due to COVID-19 - Dependent Student - electronic form

    If you have had changes in your family income due to other circumstances, email us at studentservice@wayne.edu.

  • I am worried about my merit scholarship renewal for next year, should I file an appeal?

    We recognize the unprecedented challenges you may be facing at this time. To assist you, we are temporarily reducing the merit scholarship renewal requirements for the 2020-21 academic year. In order to remain eligible for your scholarship, you must meet satisfactory academic progress (SAP) standards. SAP standards include earning a cumulative 2.0 GPA and completing 67% of all attempted coursework in your degree program.

    This policy change applies to the following awards: President's Award, Warrior Award, Gold Award, Distinguished Award, Detroit Leadership Award, Green Award, Scholar Award, Anthony Wayne Scholarship, Scholars Day Award, Honors Dean's Award, Warrior Transfer Award, Gold Transfer Award, Green Transfer Award, Pathway Award, and Born to Be a Warrior Award.

  • I am worried about my WSU Access Program and Promise Grant renewal, should I file an appeal?

    To assist you at this challenging time, we are temporarily reducing renewal requirements for the 2020-21 academic year for the WSU Access Program and WSU Promise Grant. We are temporarily waiving the requirements to pass a certain number of credit hours in the 2019-20 academic year in order to retain the award for 2020-21. In order to remain eligible for your scholarship you must meet satisfactory academic progress (SAP) standards. SAP standards include earning a cumulative 2.0 GPA and completing 67% of all attempted coursework in your degree program. The FAFSA and EFC requirements still apply.

  • What happens to my financial aid if I elect to change an earned grade to an N or P?

    Grades that have been converted to a P (Pass) or N (No credit) will not increase or decrease your GPA. These courses are included in the pace calculation of your Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) status. A grade of "P" counts as credits attempted and earned. A grade of "N" counts towards credits attempted and no credits are earned. All current SAP guidelines are still in place and must be followed. However, we will consider reasons for withdrawal on a case-by-case basis when reviewing SAP appeals. We understand these are difficult times and will be reviewing appeals with this in mind.

    There are no credit hours earned for an N grade. If you fail to earn any credits in all courses in a semester for which you received financial aid, WSU is required to determine if you "earned" the federal financial aid you received.

    Contact the Office of Student Financial Aid if you have questions about how a switch may affect your financial aid.

  • If I withdraw for the semester due to a COVID-19 related circumstance, will this negatively affect my eligibility for federal or state aid, according to SAP guidelines?

    No, leniency will be provided to students who withdraw due to a COVID-19 related circumstance.

  • I rely on a work-study job for income throughout the semester. Can I still be paid while classes are held remotely?

    Many Wayne State students rely on work-study or student assistant wages to meet their financial needs. Federal law includes provisions for us to make federal work-study payments under certain limited circumstances. These circumstances include when the student is unable to continue a work-study job because face-to-face classes have been canceled. We continued to pay those enrolled students that were currently working through the end of the winter semester. 

    The student must have submitted their timesheet every pay period with their expected work hours based on their existing work schedule. The timesheet approval process did not change. Employers are responsible for keeping track of the student's actual or expected work hours and approving timesheets. This process was only for currently employed students until the end of the winter semester. 

    CARES Act and Unemployment: The Federal CARES Act expanded eligibility for unemployment benefits.

  • Where can I get more information about COVID-19 and its impact on WSU? 
  • Where can I get information on new options for my federal student loan payments?
  • How can I get technical assistance?