Disbursement Process

Disbursement Schedule

Federal regulations allow Financial Aid to disburse up to ten days before a term begins.

  • Before the Term: WOU Financial Aid disburses two times during the week before a term begins.

  • 1st Week: WOU Financial Aid disburses three times during the first week of the term.

  • During the Term: WOU Financial Aid regularly disburses aid twice a week.

  • Last Week: WOU Financial Aid disburses two times during the last week of each term.

Disbursement Payment

    • Financial Aid is electronically disbursed to your Wolf Web account as a payment.

    • After Financial Aid is paid to your Wolf Web account, you may have an owed balance or a refund issued.

    • See the Accounting & Business Services office’s Payment Information page for information on payment deadlines.

      • It is the responsibility of the student to ensure sufficient payment is made for the charges on a Wolf Web account.

    Estimate Your Wolf Web Account Balance

    Wolf Web account charges are assessed by the Accounting & Business Services Office on a per-term basis.

    • Estimate Wolf Web account charges with the Accounting & Business Services office Tuition Calculators.

    Disbursement Inhibitors

    Why hasn’t your financial aid disbursed? Check My FinAid > Documents & Messages. Additionally, refer to the list below for the most common issues which prevent Financial Aid from disbursing.

    Census Date

    The WOU Financial Aid Census Date is always the second Friday of each academic term.

    Eligibility for all federal, state, and institutional aid is based on your enrollment level as of Census Date. Your enrollment level will lock at 5pm on Census Date and is the enrollment level which your financial aid is based for that term, regardless of whether you add or drop courses after that date. Degree Partnership students should ensure their enrollment level is set by the second Thursday of each term.

    Exception: For summer term students in late-starting summer modules. Your aid may be reduced if you do not begin attendance in a late-starting session.

    2021-2022 Census Date Schedule
    • Summer 2022 – July 1, 2022

    • Fall 2022 – October 7, 2022

    • Winter 2023 – January 20, 2023

    • Spring 2023 – April 14, 2023

    Financial Aid is revised for students whose registered enrollment at Census Date does not match their financial aid enrollment level.

    Census Date revisions begin the third week of each term.

    Example: Joe College began this term enrolled in 12 credits. Joe’s financial aid disbursed on the first day of the term, but by Census Date, he dropped a course and his enrollment was locked at 8 credits. After the Census Date, Joe’s financial aid will be revised to reflect 8 credits worth of Joe’s Pell Grant. This may create an owing balance on Joe’s Wolf Web account, after the revisions are made. Note: Other grants and scholarships may also be impacted by a reduced enrollment level.

    Learn more about enrollment level requirements for Loans and Grants.
    Learn more about enrollment level requirements for Scholarships.

    Retroactive Disbursement

    Retroactive disbursements are disbursements which occur after an academic term has ended. View types of retroactive disbursments here.

    Taxability of Various Types of Educational Assistance

    Note: Some or all of your financial aid (from scholarships, fellowships, need-based education grants, and qualified tuition reductions) may be considered taxable income. Please consult IRS Publication 970, Chapter 1 for more information.


    Common Issues

    Enrollment Level Mismatch

    WOU Financial Aid is packaged based on full-time enrollment.

    • If you are not enrolled full-time each term, your aid will not disburse until your registered enrollment level matches your financial aid package enrollment level. 

    If you do not plan to attend full-time each term, please submit a Revision Request to avoid delays in your financial aid disbursement.
    • Revision Requests may take several weeks to be process, so we recommend students submit the request as soon as they are aware they will not attend full-time.

    Student Level Full-Time Three-Quarter Time Half-Time Less than Half-Time
    Undergraduate & Post-Baccalaureate 12+ 9-11 6-8 1-5
    Graduate 9+ 7-8 5-6 1-4

    Pending Award Status

    After you receive your official award notification, use My FinAid in your Portal to accept award(s).

    You must choose “Accept” or “Decline” on every award listed to officially process your award acceptance.
    1. Log-in to Portal, and click the My FinAid icon at the top.  
    2. On the Menu, click “Accept Awards“. Read the Terms and Conditions, and check the box to accept them.
    3. Open the Menu, and click “Accept Awards“. Scroll to the bottom of the page and slightly to the right.
    4. Each award is in pending status. Choose which awards you would like to accept and which to decline.
    5. Click submit.

    Outstanding Federal Loan Requirements

    If you plan to take out or have accepted Federal Direct Loans, the following requirements must be completed prior to disbursement.

    Undergraduate & Post-Baccalaureate – Federal Direct Stafford Loan

    Graduate – Federal Direct Stafford Loan

    Graduate – Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan

    Parent – Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan

    Satisfactory Academic Progress

    WOU Financial Aid completes an annual SAP review at the end of every spring term, after final grades become available.

    To view the full Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy:

    • Undergraduate students, refer to “Financial Aid Eligibility and Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy – UG”
    • Graduate students, refer to “Financial Aid Eligibility and Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy – GR”
    If you are not meeting one or more Satisfactory Academic Progress standards:

    You are ineligible to receive federal, state, and some institutional aid (WOU Grant, WOU Supplemental & Transfer Fund, etc.) until you successfully meet all SAP standards, or until you successfully appeal your SAP standing. You may apply for a private educational loan to cover expenses until you are meeting SAP standards.

    Types of Retroactive Disbursements

    Federal Direct Loans

    Students who meet these requirements may be eligible for a retroactive disbursement:

    • The student successfully completed at least half-time for the previous term(s)


      • The student is currently registered at least half-time; OR

      • The student was awarded and accepted their awards prior to the end of their last term.

    Meeting this criteria does not guarantee a student is eligible for a retroactive disbursement.

    Students are encouraged to contact the Financial Aid Office about retroactive disbursement eligibility.

    Federal Grants

    Retroactive Pell Grant disbursement eligibility requirements:

    • The student successfully completed at least 1 credit for the previous term(s)

    • The student has a valid FAFSA on file with the WOU Financial Aid Office

    • The student submitted all required verification documents, if applicable

    Retroactive TEACH Grant disbursement eligibility requirements:

    • The student completed the TEACH Grant Application, Agreement to Serve, and TEACH Grant Counseling.

    • The student met all TEACH Grant Application requirements for the previous term(s).

    Meeting this criteria does not guarantee a student is eligible for a retroactive disbursement.

    Students are encouraged to contact the Financial Aid Office about retroactive disbursement eligibility.

    Institutional Scholarships

    Most scholarships require that students successfully completed three-quarter time or full-time enrollment in prior term(s), among other requirements.

    Contact the Financial Aid Office about retroactive disbursement eligibility for WOU Scholarships. 


    Financial Aid Office

    toll free 1-877-877-1593 | or e-mail: finaid@wou.edu | Location: Welcome Center 140