WGU is approved by the U.S. Department of Education to offer federal student aid in most of our degree programs. Because of our more affordable tuition, WGU students are able to graduate without large amounts of student debt to repay. If you qualify for and accept federal student aid, it will cover most, if not all, of your direct education expenses. To be eligible for federal student aid (grants, loans, and work-study funds), you have to meet certain requirements. Click here for the basic eligibility criteria.
To receive consideration for any federal student aid program, a student must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This application must be completed each award year to establish financial aid eligibility.
Students are eligible for aid through WGU only if they are admitted to a WGU competency-based program of study and maintain a Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).
WGU participates in the following federal grant and loan programs:
Federal Pell Grant
The Pell Grant does not have to be repaid and may be awarded to students who have not yet earned a bachelor’s degree. It is available to those with the greatest need, which is calculated based upon income, number of dependents, and other factors reported on the FAFSA. Students may receive the Federal Pell Grant for no more than 12 terms (roughly six years). Click here for more detailed information on eligibility for Federal Pell Grants.
Under the Children of Fallen Heroes Scholarship Act, a Pell-eligible student whose parent or guardian died in the line of duty while performing as a public safety officer is eligible to receive a maximum Pell Grant for the award year. In addition to having a Pell-eligible EFC, the student must be less than 24 years of age or enrolled at an institution of higher education at the time of his or her parent or guardian's death to qualify for this scholarship.
Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant (IASG)
IASG does not have to be repaid and may be awarded to students who were either less than 24 years old or enrolled in college (at least part-time) when a parent or guardian died as a result of U.S. military service in Iraq or Afghanistan after September 11, 2001. In addition, students must not be eligible for a Federal Pell Grant based on their Expected Family Contribution (EFC) but meet the remaining Pell eligibility requirements. The grant award is equal to the amount of a maximum Federal Pell Grant for the award year but cannot exceed your cost of attendance for that award year. Click here for more detailed information on eligibility for IASG.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) does not have to be repaid and may be awarded to students who have not yet earned a bachelor’s degree. This grant is available for undergraduates with exceptional financial need. Limited funding has been given to WGU for this program; therefore, not all eligible students will receive this grant. Click here for more detailed information on eligibility for FSEOG.
Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant
The Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant provides grants of up to $4000 per year to students who agree to teach for at least four years within the first eight years of their graduation in a high-need field, in a school serving low-income students.
Note: If you are pursuing a second bachelor’s degree, you are ineligible for the TEACH Grant. In addition, if you accept a TEACH Grant and choose not to work in a government-approved school, all TEACH Grant funds you received will be converted to a Direct Unsubsidized Loan that must be repaid with interest charged from the date of each TEACH Grant disbursement.
Federal Work-Study Program
The Federal Work-Study (FWS) Program provides part-time employment while students are enrolled in an institution to help pay for education expenses.
Some students may qualify for a work-study position in states where WGU has a state affiliate provided they meet the general eligibility criteria. FWS is a need-based program that allows students to earn money to help offset the costs of attending WGU. Limited funding has been given to WGU for this program; therefore, not all eligible students will receive an award. Priority will be given to students who indicate “yes” to the FAFSA question about Work Study. The maximum award is the cost of attendance (COA) minus expected family contribution (EFC) and other financial assistance. This program encourages community service work and work related to the student’s course of study.
FWS employment is governed by employment conditions, including the rate of pay that is appropriate and reasonable according to the type of work performed, the geographic region, the employee’s proficiency, and any applicable federal, state, or local law, including state or locally established minimum wage rates. Click here for more information on FWS.
Federal Direct Loan Program (DL)
The Federal Direct Loan Program (DL) is the largest federal student loan program, through which eligible students and parents borrow directly from the U.S. Department of Education to help cover the cost of higher education. Students are only allowed to borrow the annual limit up to the Cost of Attendance based on their current grade level. There are lifetime loan limits also set by the Department of Education. This may limit your borrowing eligibility. WGU students may be eligible to receive the following Direct Loan programs:
Graduate students can borrow an amount up to the cost of attendance (COA) minus other estimated financial assistance. The terms and conditions applicable to parent PLUS loans also applies to graduate PLUS loans.
Applicants are required to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and are given an opportunity to request the maximum eligibility under the Direct Unsubsidized Loan Program before applying for a graduate Direct PLUS loan. The graduate PLUS loan will be placed into deferment while a graduate student is enrolled and for an additional six months after the date the student ceases to be enrolled on at least half-time basis.
Students who receive a graduate PLUS Loan are subject to the terms and conditions, along with the borrower’s rights and responsibilities disclosed on the Federal Direct PLUS Loan and Master Promissory Note (MPN).
If you are a dependent undergraduate student, your parents may apply for a PLUS loan to assist with your educational expenses. The application process includes completion and submission of a PLUS Loan application by your parents and completion and submission of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by the family. The application process is completed through the Federal Direct Loan Program. This loan is based on credit worthiness as determined by the U.S. Department of Education.
The yearly limit is equal to the cost of attendance (COA) minus any other financial aid received. Interest is charged on the loan from the date first disbursement is made until the loan is paid in full. The parent borrower has the option to begin repayment either within 60 days from the date the loan is fully disbursed or may request to defer repayment while the dependent student is enrolled at an eligible institution and for an additional six months after the date the student ceases to be enrolled on at least half-time basis. Interest will accrue on the loan during the deferment. Generally, the same deferment or forbearance provisions that apply to Subsidized/Unsubsidized loans also apply to PLUS loans.
Parents of dependent students who receive a PLUS loan are subject to the terms and conditions, along with the borrower’s rights and responsibilities disclosed on the Federal Direct PLUS Loan and Master Promissory Note (MPN).
Federal Direct Loans are charged origination or loan fees, which are deducted from the loan proceeds by the U.S. Department of Education (ED). Learn more about loan fees for Direct Subsidized, Unsubsidized, and PLUS Loans.
Interest Rates for Loans
The interest rates for Direct Subsidized, Unsubsidized, and PLUS Loans are calculated each year based on the 10-year Treasury Bill rate plus an add-on for which the first disbursement is made on or after July 1 through the following June 30.
See the latest interest rates for Direct Subsidized, Unsubsidized, and PLUS loans.
See the historical interest rates for Direct Subsidized, Unsubsidized, and PLUS loans.
State Grants Available for WGU Students
In addition to federal grants and loans, you may be eligible for financial aid from your state. See the current list of states and their respective websites for information regarding the state grants WGU students may be eligible to receive, how to apply, and other requirements.
State grant programs typically have strict application deadlines for funding eligibility. In many cases, completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the first step for state grant applications.
Through the generosity of numerous corporations and foundations, plus special federal government appropriations, WGU maintains a robust program of scholarships made available to qualified students. For the list of WGU General Scholarships and how to apply for a specific scholarship, see the Scholarships page.
Private Student Loans
Private loans are generally more costly than federal loans and may be available to both students and parents who need assistance beyond their federal and state financial aid eligibility. The University does not endorse a particular lender and encourages that a private loan only be considered after all federal and state financial aid options have been exhausted. Private loans are made through private lenders and are not subsidized or guaranteed by the federal government. These loans may have higher rates, and are subject to credit review and other individual terms and conditions. Click here for more information on the difference between federal and private loans.
Article Number: 20419, 1065