Welcome Warriors

Welcome Warriors

Letter from the director

Dear Warrior,

Welcome to Wayne State University! We're excited that you're now part of our diverse and supportive campus community that is dedicated to your success. Investing in a quality college education will provide lifelong personal and professional rewards. I'm confident you will discover the value of a Wayne State University education, regardless of the direction life takes you.

Financing a college education is no small task. We realize that your financial situation is unique. New undergraduates will receive a text message from us that will link to a video with award offer information. If you did not give us your cell number when you applied for admission, view your award information in the Financial Aid Portal in Academica.

Wayne State's financial aid program includes scholarships, grants, loans and work-study programs to help with your costs for school. Be sure to consider all costs for your academic year including books, supplies, transportation and personal expenses. Many students rely on a combination of student and parent loans, and payment plans to finance their education. We encourage you and your family to review all available options. 

Your award amount is an estimate and may change if you receive additional scholarships or if there are changes to the information you provided on your FAFSA. For example, there may be institutional scholarships awarded later that may replace aid that you have already been awarded.

Wayne State University's faculty, staff and students are looking forward to having you on campus next fall and are excited to share all the new experiences waiting for you! If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to visit our main website or contact us at studentservice@wayne.edu.


Catherine Kay

Director, Student Financial Aid


  • A financial aid plan

    Federal aid and many Wayne State scholarships and grants have annual and lifetime limits. To help you stay on track, we recommend that you develop an academic plan and meet regularly with your advisor. A good academic plan includes calculating how much financial aid will be available to you.

    • Federal Pell Grant limits: Receipt of the Pell Grant is limited to 12 semesters of awards for full-time enrollment.

    • Federal loan limits: Federal direct loans (subsidized and unsubsidized) have annual and lifetime limits. Once you reach the limits, you will be ineligible to borrow additional loans.
      If you wish to enroll in the summer and plan to pay with loan funds, borrow less than your maximum loan eligibility limit in the fall and winter.

    • WSU grant and program limits: Wayne State grants are awarded for four consecutive years to new freshmen, and for two consecutive years for new transfer students. Grant recipients are required to pass 30 credits each academic year and maintain satisfactory academic progress.

    • WSU scholarship limits: Most scholarships are awarded to new freshmen for four years only, and to new transfer students for two years only. Recipients are required to pass 30 credits each academic year.
  • Financial aid checklist
    • File the FAFSA every year at studentaid.gov.

    • Check the status of your financial aid regularly in the Financial Aid Portal in Academica.

    • Check your WSU email account regularly for information from the Office of Student Financial

    • Submit all documents and complete all requirements promptly to avoid delays.

    • Create a budget (financial plan) for yourself before you borrow loans.

    • Accept or decline your financial aid awards in the Financial Aid Portal in Academica.

    • Complete entrance loan counseling and a Master Promissory Note if you are a First-time Federal Direct Loan borrower.

    • Parents who would like to apply for a Parent PLUS Loan must complete the Parent PLUS Loan application and a Parent PLUS Loan Master Promissory Note online at studentloans.gov.

  • Keeping your award

    Maintaining financial aid eligibility is an annual process. You must reapply for financial aid every year, and our office is required to monitor your eligibility each year.

    • Your participation in each course must be confirmed by each instructor. Your aid may be reduced or canceled if your participation is not confirmed.
    • You must be enrolled at least half time (6 credits) to qualify for most other types of financial aid funds. Check the terms and conditions of any scholarships or grants you are awarded.

    • You must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress toward your degree or certificate.

    • You must complete courses. Withdrawing from one class or all classes can negatively affect your eligibility to retain the funds awarded and/or disbursed to you.

  • Common financial aid terms
    • Cost of Attendance (COA): The estimated cost of attending college for one academic year. This amount covers tuition and fees, room and board, living expenses, transportation costs, books and supplies, and miscellaneous personal expenses.
    • Student Aid Index (SAI) - formerly the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) - is used by colleges, states, and scholarship providers to determine financial aid packages. The SAI is calculated according to a formula specified by law and is based upon the information provided by the student and their family during the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA) filing process.
    • Verification: This is the process to confirm the accuracy of information provided on the FAFSA. To complete the verification process, students are required to provide certain documents to the school for review.
    • Educational Loan: A form of financial aid that must be repaid with interest, an educational loan can have varying interest rates and repayment terms. Students and/or parents are required to sign a Master Promissory Note when accepting an educational loan.
    • Federal Direct Student Loan: These are loan funds provided to the student by the U.S. Department of Education, through the school, based on the FAFSA. Repayment of principal balance begins six months after the borrower ceases to be a student on at least a half-time basis.
    • There are two types of federal direct student loans:
      • Subsidized Loans: Students with financial need can qualify for a subsidized loan, and the government pays the interest on the loan while the student remains enrolled at least half time.
      • Unsubsidized Loans: Students who don't demonstrate financial need qualify for an unsubsidized loan, and interest accrues while the student is in school
    • Federal Direct PLUS Loan: This is a federal loan program that allows parents who have no adverse credit history to apply for up to the cost of attendance each year, less any financial aid. PLUS loans must be repaid with interest.
  • Financial aid basics

    Scholarships and grants

    Scholarships are awarded based on many factors, including academic achievement, ability or financial need.

    Grants are awarded based on financial need.

    Next steps

    1. Complete any requirements outlined in the Financial Aid Portal in Academica.
    2. Be aware of the terms of your award, which may be reduced or canceled if you do not attend full time.

    * Please note: Awards may be reduced or canceled if you do not attend full time or complete your courses.

    Federal college work-study

    Federal College Work-Study is an opportunity to earn financial aid through employment. Funds are disbursed to you in a paycheck.

    Next steps

    1. Visit wayne.edu/financial-aid/types/work-study for information about obtaining an award.
    2. Once you have an award, visit careerservices.wayne.edu for job opportunities.

    Federal student loans

    Borrow only the amount you need. Loans offered may be accepted, reduced or declined.

    • Federal Direct Subsidized Loan: This is a need-based loan for undergraduates. No interest accrues on the loan while you are enrolled at least half time.
    • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan: This is a non-need-based loan. Interest begins to accrue on the loan from the day the loan funds are disbursed.

    Next steps

    1. Calculate a personal budget to determine if you need a loan. 
    2. If you want a loan, accept all or a portion in the Financial Aid Portal in Academica. Accept asubsidized loan first.
    3. Log on with your Federal Student Aid ID at studentaid.gov to complete entrance counselingand a Master Promissory Note.
    4. Stay in school. Your loan may be canceled if you do not attend at least half time.
    5. Learn about loan repayment choices and calculate a monthly payment.

    Federal direct parent loans

    Parents of dependent undergraduates can apply for a Federal Direct PLUS Loan to assist with educational expenses. The maximum annual loan amount is the cost of attendance minus all other financial aid received.

    Next steps

    1. The parent borrower completes the Direct PLUS Loan application at studentaid.gov. The parent borrower must log on using their Federal Student Aid ID. Part of the loan approval process is a credit check, which will be valid for 180 days.
    2. The parent borrower must complete the Direct PLUS Loan Master Promissory Note.
  • What will it cost

    The cost of attendance figure is only an estimate of expenses you will have during an academic year. It is not a bill that you will owe.

    Your actual costs will depend on your housing choices and the number of courses you take. Visit wayne.edu/financial-aid for more information about financial aid and the estimated cost of attendance.

  • eBills - electronic billing

    WSU's Office of Student Accounts Receivable (SAR) can provide assistance with account balance inquiries.

    Registered students can access their eBill statement by logging in to Academica. New eBill statements are prepared on the first business day of each month and available for student viewing and printing online a day later. A notification is sent to each student's WSU email address when a new eBill is available online.

    Find out more information about Student Accounts Receivable and e-bills.