Types of Financial Aid

Financing Your Education


Eastern offers financial assistance in a variety of resources to help make your higher education experience affordable. Financial aid includes scholarships, federal and state grants, tuition waivers, work study and loans. Use this page to discover the possibilities each type of aid requires and requests of you.

Don’t forget: to be considered for the best aid available, be sure to file your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by February 1 for the upcoming school year. The first day to file your FAFSA is October 1, so mark your calendar! We don’t want you to miss out.

Apply for FAFSA

Grants


Federal Pell Grants are awarded to eligible undergraduate students based on the information you submit on your FAFSA. The amount of Pell Grant you may receive over your lifetime is limited by federal law to be equivalent to 6 years of Pell Grant funding.

FSEOG is a federal grant for high-need undergraduate students. It is generally paired with a Pell Grant, depending on availability of funds.

This is a grant awarded by Eastern Washington University to undergraduate, Washington state residents based on financial need. The award is available for qualified students up to 225 attempted credits.

The State Need Grant is available for up to 15 full time quarters or 225 attempted credits to undergraduates who are Washington state residents.  Financial need is the primary criteria and funds are limited.  You must apply by the February 1st FAFSA priority date to be considered.

The College Bound Scholarship program is an early commitment of state financial aid to eligible students who sign up in middle school and fulfill the pledge below. It is called a scholarship, but is technically a grant.  The program encourages students who might not consider college because of the cost.

When eligible students apply, they promise to:

  • Graduate from a Washington high school or home school with a 2.0 GPA or higher.
  • Be a good citizen and not be convicted of a felony.
  • Apply to an eligible college.
  • File the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) prior to February 1st each year.

Eligible students may receive the College Bound Scholarship for up to a maximum of 12 quarters, including summer session.

Grants are based on financial need and do not have to be repaid. With the exception of the Federal Pell Grant, consideration for grants is given to students who meet EWU’s priority funding deadline of February 1. Grants are limited to undergraduate students who have not received a bachelor’s degree and some grants are available to only Washington state residents.

Tuition Waivers and Discounts


Law Enforcement/Firefighter Spouse and Dependents

Waivers may be granted to the spouse and/or dependent children of Washington law enforcement/firefighters who were totally and permanently disabled or who died in the line of duty. Students must be Washington resident, full time and pursuing their first undergraduate degree. To be considered, contact the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office for more details.

Veterans
Waivers may be granted to all categories of military veterans. Students must be Washington resident, full-time and pursuing their first undergraduate degree. The discount will reduce Washington resident tuition by approximately 50 percent. The waiver is limited to state supported courses, which means it cannot be used for summer tuition, some online courses and the off campus programs (Bellevue, Clark, etc.).  To be considered, contact the Veterans Resource Center for more details.

Veteran’s Spouse and Dependents
Waivers may be granted to the spouse and dependents of qualifying veterans. Students must be Washington resident, full or part-time and pursuing their first undergraduate degree. The waiver is for all tuition types and course fees, but does not cover any mandatory fees.  To be considered, contact the Veterans Resource Center for more details.

Non Resident Employee Spouse and Dependents

Waivers may be granted to the spouse and/or dependent children of new EWU employees relocating to Washington State may be eligible. Qualified students will pay the Washington resident tuition rate, for up to one year, while Washington residency is established. To be considered, contact the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office for more details.

We also provide scholarships for non-resident undergraduates.  Apply for EWU Scholarships by February 1 to be considered for all opportunities.

Graduate students are eligible to apply, on a competitive basis, for a Graduate Service Appointment (GSA). GSAs teach or support scholarly activities in exchange for discounted tuition, a small stipend or a combination of the two.  Applications and award criteria can be obtained by contacting the Graduate Studies Office or your academic department.

Non-resident graduate students from the 14 western states who are admitted to the Communication Disorders, Creative Writing, Dental Hygiene, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy and Social Work programs may be eligible for the WICHE award.  A WICHE award reduces the non-resident tuition rate to the equivalent Washington resident rate in the student’s chosen program. No service to the University is required.  Applications and award criteria can be obtained by contacting your academic department.

Graduate non-resident tuition scholarship (NRTS) waivers are available to high-achieving non-resident students nominated by their academic department or program. These awards reduce non-resident tuition to approximately 150% of the Washington resident rate. No service to the University is required. Applications and award criteria can be obtained by contacting your academic department.

Waivers may be awarded to foreign national students who are attending EWU as a part of a formal exchange agreement and are intended to promote reciprocal placements and waivers in foreign nations for Washington residents. Students must be non-resident undergraduates or graduates. Waiver amounts vary depending on the exchange agreement. For more information, applications and award criteria, contact the Office of Global Initiatives at 509.359.2331 or global@ewu.edu.

Tuition waivers and discounts are awarded to students based on a number of criteria specified by the State of Washington and EWU.

Work Study

 

Work Study is a need-based financial aid award. It is not a grant (you must work to earn it), and it is not a loan (you do not have to repay it). Students must qualify for need-based financial aid to receive Work Study. Funds are limited, so not all qualifying students will receive an award

The Work Study program subsidizes a student’s hourly wage. It is a “pot” of money set aside to pay a portion or your entire hourly wage. For you the student, it is much like working any other job: you work a number of hours in a pay period at an hourly wage rate and receive a paycheck for your earnings. For the employer, however, the Work Study program reimburses a large percentage, if not all of your wages, which makes it very attractive to hire Work Study students. Work Study students are in demand by employers, so eligible students can often pick the job of their choice.

Please visit the Student Employment Office for more details.

Loans


Federal Direct loans are guaranteed student loans for all FAFSA filers and do not require a credit check.  Federal Direct Loans are borrowed by the student.  Funding for the loan comes from the U.S. Department of Education. Direct loans are divided into two types: subsidized and unsubsidized.

Direct Subsidized Loan

Qualification for the Direct Subsidized Loan is based on financial need as determined by the FAFSA. The federal government pays the interest on this loan during periods of half-time attendance or more, during the six month grace period, and for periods of authorized deferment.

Direct Unsubsidized Loan

Direct Unsubsidized Loans are not based on need, but the amount for which you are eligible may vary depending on the results of the FAFSA and the amount of your other aid. Interest starts accruing from the first disbursement and continues until the loan is paid in full. Interest payments are not required while the student is in school at least half-time, but can be paid by choice without penalty. Interest is capitalized (added to the principal balance) and is included in your monthly payment once one or more of the following occur: enrollment ceases, the grace period expires, and/or a deferment period ends.

Eligibility

To be eligible for Direct Loans, you must meet the following requirements:

  • have a completed FAFSA for the current academic year,
  • enroll in at least half-time credits (6 credits for undergraduates, 5 credits for graduates (at the 500-level or above)),
  • not be in default on previous federal loans,
  • not have exceeded lifetime borrowing limits,
  • have a completed Master Promissory Note (MPN) on file,
  • have completed loan entrance counseling.

Fees

The origination fee for Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans disbursed prior to October 1, 2018 is 1.066%.  The origination fee for loans disbursed on or after October 1, 2018 is 1.062%.  Fees are deducted from each disbursement.

Interest Rates

Undergraduate

Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans

  • 5.05% for the 2018-2019 school year (loans disbursed between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019)
Graduate

Direct Unsubsidized Loans

  • 6.6% for the 2018-2019 school year (loans disbursed between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019)

These rates are fixed until the loan is paid in full or is consolidated. However, these rates will change yearly for any new loans borrowed.

Dependent Student Borrowing Limits

Grade LevelSubsidized Loan LimitUnsubsidized Loan Limit
Freshman$3,500$2,000
Sophomore$4,500$2,000
Junior$5,500$2,000
Senior$5,500$2,000

Independent Student Borrowing Limits

Grade LevelSubsidized Loan LimitUnsubsidized Loan Limit
Freshman$3,500$6,000
Sophomore$4,500$6,000
Junior$5,500$7,000
Senior$5,500$7,000

The annual limit for graduate students is $20,500 in unsubsidized Direct Loans.

 

Independent Student Borrowing Limits

Student TypeLifetime Subsidized LimitTotal Lifetime Limit
Dependent Students$23,000$31,000
Independent Students$23,000$57,500
Graduate StudentsN/A$138,500

The Direct Parent PLUS Loan is available to parents of dependent students and is not based on financial need. However, parents must have a sufficient credit rating to qualify. Parents may obtain a PLUS Loan to make up any difference between the student’s cost of attendance and other financial aid.

Eligibility

The Direct Parent PLUS Loan can be borrowed by a parent of a dependent student. The student must have a completed FAFSA on file for the current academic year. The parent must sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN) and have a sufficient credit rating to qualify.

Credit

The U.S. Department of Education determines credit score requirements and loan approval. If the loan is denied for credit purposes, borrowers may contact the Direct Loan Servicing Center for credit override instructions or how to include an endorser (co-signer) to the loan. Electronic loan counseling may be required. The Direct Loan Servicing Center can be reached at 800.557.7394.

If the loan is denied for credit purposes, another option is to allow the student to borrow additional Unsubsidized loan funds. Keep in mind, the additional Unsubsidized loan is very limited and may not replace the full amount of the PLUS loan offer.

Fees

The U.S. Department of Education charges a 4.264% origination fee on all Direct Parent PLUS Loans with their first disbursement prior to October 1st, 2018.  PLUS loans with their first disbursement on or after October 1st, 2018 will have an origination fee of 4.248% at each disbursement.

Interest Rates

The Direct Parent PLUS Loan fixed interest rate is 7.6% for 2018-2019 (loans disbursed between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019).

Other Important Details

A Direct Parent PLUS Loan Request Form is required for each PLUS loan accepted. You may accept all or part of any loan offered, but you must indicate on this form the amount you wish to borrow.

2018-2019 Parent PLUS Loan Request Form

There is no grace period for PLUS loans. PLUS repayment begins as soon as the loan is fully disbursed; however, deferment options may be available. Contact your loan servicer for more information.

PLUS loans will always be in the parent’s name. PLUS loans cannot be transferred or consolidated with the student’s loans.

The Direct Graduate PLUS Loan is available to graduate students who have not reached their full cost of attendance with other aid. The loan is in the student’s name and is based on the student’s credit rating.

Eligibility

You must be a fully-admitted graduate student taking at least 5 credits at the graduate level (500 or above), and you must complete a FAFSA.

Credit

The U.S. Department of education determines credit score requirements and loan approval. If the loan is denied for credit purposes, borrowers may contact the Direct Loan Servicing Center for credit override instructions or how to include an endorser (co-signer) to the loan. The Direct Loan Servicing Center can be reached at 800.557.7394.

Fees

The U.S. Department of Education charges a 4.264% origination fee on all PLUS Loans with their first disbursement prior to October 1st, 2018.  PLUS loans with their first disbursement on or after October 1st, 2018 will have an origination fee of 4.248% at each disbursement.

Interest Rate

The fixed interest rate is 7.6% for 2018-2019 (loans disbursed between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019).

Other Important Details

  • There is no EWU application for a Graduate PLUS loan. Simply call or come into the Financial Aid and Scholarship office to request a Graduate PLUS loan.
  • You must have a signed Master Promissory Note (MPN) on file for Direct Graduate PLUS Loans.
  • You must complete Direct Graduate PLUS Loan entrance counseling prior to receiving the funds.
  • Direct Graduate PLUS Loans do not have a grace period.

Alternative loans – also called private loans – are loans from a lending institution. They are not part of the federal government’s guaranteed student loan programs.  Based on current interest rates, if you, or your co-signer, have excellent credit, you may find these loans to be a less expensive option than the federal loans.  Use the Alternative Loan Comparison chart and other resources to choose the loan that best meets your needs.  It is always important to research your eligibility for scholarships, grants, and employment before taking out a loan.

Eligibility

Students who are enrolled, pass a credit check with their lender, and have not already funded their full cost of attendance with other aid sources are eligible to apply.

Interest Rate and Fees

The interest rates and fees vary by lender and credit rating.

Important Considerations

  • Annual Percentage Rate (APR): The APR is the annual cost of your loan; it includes interest and the effect of any fees and charges. APRs will differ depending on the terms and amounts of your loan. If the rate is variable, the APR may change during the life of the loan. Carefully consider the terms and APRs when you borrow an alternative loan.
  • Fees: Does the lender charge any type of fees? Some lenders charge no fees at all, while some charge fees at the time they disburse, at repayment, or both.
  • Loan Limits: Is there a maximum amount you can borrow? Does the loan have an annual or aggregate limit? Will these limits meet your needs?
  • Co-Signer Release: Does the loan require you to have a co-signer? Does the lender offer a co-signer release option after you make a required number of on time payments?
  • Interest Capitalization: What happens if you choose not to pay interest while you are in school? When is the interest added? If the interest is capitalized monthly, quarterly, or annually, the loan is more expensive than if the loan is capitalized once at repayment.
  • Servicers: Does the lender sell their loans or contract with a servicer? Some lenders service their own loans; others may sell loans or contract with a service agency. If your loan is sold or serviced to another agency, all future correspondence and payments must go to the new agency.
  • Benefits: Does the lender offer incentive rewards for on-time payments or prior banking history with the institution?

Credit Checks and Scores

Lenders use credit scores to make credit decisions to determine which applicants are likely to repay their loans on time. Credit scoring is calculated using many pieces of your past bill history. The way a person managed credit in the past is often a good indication of how they will manage credit in the future. Therefore, your credit score is like a snapshot of your level of credit risk at a particular time. So, give yourself the credit you deserve. Pay your bills on time and avoid applying for too many credit accounts. It is a good practice to periodically monitor your own credit report. You may obtain a copy of your credit report by contacting any or all of the three major credit reporting agencies: Equifax 800.685.1111, Experian 888.397.3742, or TransUnion 800.888.4213.

Alternative Loan Lender Information

The Financial Aid and Scholarship Office at Eastern Washington University does not endorse or recommend lenders for alternative loans.  To assist you in determining which lender is right for you, we have listed all lenders that have been used by EWU students within the last three years. This is not a preferred lender list nor does it represent every lender offering alternative loans.   For a more convenient way to compare lenders, please visit http://www.elmselect.com/.  On that site, you will be able to view a variety lenders and the loans they offer. You can also apply for a loan though that site.

Students are encouraged to apply for alternative loans with a co-signer because this often means a better chance of approval and a lower interest rate.

Once you have been approved by a lender to borrow through their program, the lender will contact the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office for certification of the loan.  The amount you receive cannot exceed the cost of attendance minus other aid.

 

LendersLoan NamePhoneApply Online
Alaska Student Loan CorpAlaska Supplemental
*Alaska residents only
800.441.2962akadvantage.alaska.gov
Commerce BankYour Future Education Loan
866.530.9526
commercebank.com
Discover Student LoansDiscover Undergraduate and Graduate Loans
*requires half-time enrollment
800.788.3368 or 1.800.STUDENTdiscoverstudentloans.com
GESAStudent Choice877.308.7868gesa.org
Sallie MaeSmart Option Student Loan855.756.5626salliemae.com
SunTrust BankCustom Choice866.232.3889suntrusteducation.com
Wells FargoCollegiate800.658.3567wellsfargo.com

Repayment of federal student loans is required six months after leaving school or dropping below half-time enrollment.  Your loans will be assigned by the US Department of Education to a loan servicer. The loan servicer is who you will pay back and who you will contact if you have questions regarding your loans. To find out who your loan servicer is, log onto www.nslds.ed.gov. You will need your FSA ID and password.

 

All federal student loans are originated and funded by the U.S. Department of Education; there are no private banks involved. All students and parents wishing to borrow a Federal Direct Loan are required to sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN) with the Department of Education. You can complete this process at www.studentloans.gov.

Once the loan is fully disbursed, the Department of Education will transfer your loan(s) to one of several servicing partners.

It is best practice to keep all documentation and correspondence on your loans. If you need assistance locating the holders of your loans, log onto www.nslds.ed.gov using your FSA ID.

Below are some helpful links to information about the Federal Direct Loan program:

Student loans are available to qualified financial aid applicants and can be need-based or non-need based. Loans may be borrowed by the student or by the parents of dependent applicants.

Loans can be a valuable resource in financing your education. However, borrow conservatively — accept only what you really need. Explore all options such as grants, scholarships, and employment before borrowing.

Logo and link for the Ready Set Grad scholarship website. Click to be taken to their website.
The Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC) administers several state scholarship programs. For information and application details on any of the following programs, visit Ready Set Grad.

  • American Indian Endowed Scholarship
  • College Bound Scholarship
  • Passport to College Promise Scholarship

Logo and link for the Washington State Opportunity Scholarship. Click to be taken to their website.

Washington STEM supports low- and middle-income students pursuing eligible high-demand majors in science, technology, engineering, math (STEM) or health care and encourages recipients to work in Washington state once they complete their degrees. For information or application details visit the WSOS website.

Logo and link for the College Success Foundation. Click to be taken to their website.

The College Success Foundation administers several scholarship programs.  For information or application details for any of the following programs, visit the College Success Foundation website.

  • College Bound Scholarship
  • Governor’s Scholarship for Foster Youth
  • Leadership 1000 Scholarship