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Frequently Asked Questions About Financial Aid

We know that there can be many questions related to the financial aid process. Below are the most commonly asked questions we receive from students and parents. If your question is not answered here, please contact us. We want to make the financial aid process is as easy as possible for you.

When is the 2023-24 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) available?

Parents and students can complete the 2023-24 FAFSA as of Oct. 1, 2022. Complete the FAFSA online at Whitworth's federal school code is 003804.

What if tax return(s) will not be ready when the student needs to file the FAFSA?

The 2023-24 FAFSA will use 2021 parent and student income information. In most cases, both the parent and student can use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to load income information into the FAFSA directly from the IRS.

How do students and parents make corrections to a FAFSA?

Using their person specific FSA ID, parents and students can make corrections online at When the corrections have been processed, the student will receive a corrected Student Aid Report (SAR) via the email address s/he provided on the FAFSA. The colleges listed on the SAR will receive a corrected electronic version.

When can students expect to receive a financial aid offer?

New incoming fall 2023 students can anticipate receiving their 2023-24 Financial Aid Offers from Whitworth University beginning in early February (transfer student offers begin in mid-March). Returning students should receive their 2023-24 Financial Aid Offer starting in early summer.

How will students be notified if the financial aid offer is revised?

Students will receive an email alerting them that there has been a change to their financial aid offer. Students are asked to review their financial aid offer on Self-Service. We remind students to discuss any changes to their offers with their parent(s) and with Whitworth Student Financial Services if they have a payment plan in place.

What does it mean to be selected for verification?

The federal processor selects students for verification. You simply need to complete and submit the verification worksheet (which is available in our "Forms" section on the financial aid website), and return it to the financial aid office. And, if you haven't already used the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT), then go back in the FAFSA and do so. If you are unable to load the IRS tax data into the FAFSA, you will need to provide a 2021 federal tax transcript from the IRS. Students and parents can obtain a federal tax return transcript by calling 800.908.9946 or by ordering it at Your financial aid counselor will compare these documents with the FAFSA you completed. The student will be notified if changes in verification affect his/her financial aid offer.

What does it mean if the Student Aid Report states that a student does not qualify for a Pell Grant? Does this mean s/he will not receive any financial aid?

No. It simply means the student did not qualify for a high-need-based federal grant. The student will still be considered for other types of aid, including need-based grants provided by Whitworth.

Is the EFC what will be owed to the university?

No. The estimated family contribution (EFC) is only an estimate. Depending on the costs of a student's education and the amount of his/her financial aid offer, the student could owe more or less than the calculated EFC.

What happens if the student's financial aid offer it is not enough to allow them to attend Whitworth?

The first thing to do is to call our office and speak to a financial aid counselor. The counselor will be able to tell you whether additional loans and/or scholarship opportunities are available.

How shall I/my student communicate to Whitworth any special circumstances that were not indicated on the FAFSA?

We recognize that students and parents may have expenses and/or loss of income that are not reflected on the FAFSA. Please consult with a financial aid counselor to determine the required form and/or documentation needed to consider special circumstances when evaluating a student's financial need and available resources. 

Is it possible for a financial aid offer to change after my first year of attendance?

We try to keep offers consistent from year to year. However, if there are significant changes to a family's resources reported on the FAFSA/WASFA, the offer may be affected.

What resources are available to parents to help cover the remaining balance?

Parents can spread out their payments using a Whitworth monthly payment plan. In addition, there are also Credit-Based Loans/Federal Parent Loans available to assist with financing a student's education. Typically, these loans do not go into repayment until after the student graduates.

What is required for a student to maintain satisfactory academic progress in order to continue to receive financial aid?

Satisfactory progress requirements are outlined in detail on our website.

What are students' options regarding work-study/student employment?

Most Whitworth students are eligible to apply for on- or off-campus jobs. Working in college can help students pay for expenses, gain work experience, learn job-search and time-management skills, and network within the Whitworth and Spokane communities.

If a student has completed the FAFSA, she/he may be eligible for state or federal work-study. While eligibility for work-study is not a requirement for a student to search for employment, some positions may require that a student have eligibility in one of these programs.

Students can begin searching for jobs before they arrive to campus via Handshake. Incoming students will receive an email with more detailed information about Handshake in mid- to late-summer. Students should be sure to bring an up-to-date résumé with them. While most jobs are available in the fall, there are positions available year-round.

Will financial aid resources be available to help my student purchase books?

Students should come to campus prepared to pay for books and supplies without financial aid assistance. In some cases, students may receive financial aid funds that can be used for books and supplies, but the timing of those funds varies, and they often are not available in the first days of the term.

When can students anticipate receiving their financial aid funds?

Financial aid funds are transferred to Whitworth student accounts twice weekly, beginning the first week of each semester. Credit-balance refunds are processed on Wednesdays and Fridays, with the credit balance issued via direct deposit or by check, available for pickup after 1 p.m. in the Whitworth Student Financial Services Office. Balances issued via direct deposit are transmitted to students' bank accounts on Wednesdays and Fridays and are generally available within 1-3 days of the time of transmittal, depending on the bank's policy.

Where can a student research private scholarships?

Private scholarships are excellent resources for students and can be found in a variety of places: