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Financial Aid Basics

The Department of Financial Aid, Student Employment and Military Education Benefits is here to help you through the important task of financing your education. You won’t know if you are eligible to receive financial aid until you complete a FAFSA. We encourage you to watch a number of videos developed by the Department of Federal Student Aid that are posted throughout our website.  Start with these: 

Overview of Financial Aid Process

Myths About Financial Aid

Here is what you can expect to happen:

Fill Out a FAFSA:
The first step in applying for financial aid is filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You should apply regardless of your or your family’s financial status because everyone who is eligible qualifies for some form of financial aid.

How to Fill out the FAFSA

How to create an FSA ID which will now replace the PIN

Transferring Tax Information into your FAFSA

Use School Code 003896
You must include the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee school code, 003896, on your FAFSA. This ensures that your FAFSA information is sent to our school.

Apply Every Year
File your FAFSA as soon after January 1 as possible each year. Submit your FAFSA by the priority deadline of March 1 to increase the likelihood that you will receive grants and/or scholarships that do not have to be repaid.

Types of Federal Student Aid

Estimated Cost of Attendance
The Federal Government mandates formulas which measure a family’s ability to pay for a post secondary education. Your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is calculated using the information provided on the FAFSA. Your EFC is then subtracted from your Cost of Attendance (COA) to determine your financial aid awards based on your costs and financial need.

Be Admitted
You must be accepted into a degree program at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee to be eligible for financial aid. Special students may only qualify for limited financial aid funds.

Contact Us for Help
There are many ways to have your questions answered. Contact UWM’s Department of Financial Aid, Student Employment and Military Education Benefits for help.

Approximately one-third of all FAFSA filers are selected by the Department of Education for a process called verification. You must submit all requested documentation so our office can determine whether certain questions on the FAFSA were completed accurately.

Special Circumstances
If you/your family have special circumstances that you believe should be taken into consideration (e.g. an income source is no longer being received, a significant change in income is expected, etc.) you may contact a Financial Aid Advisor or send a letter detailing these circumstances to our office. We will review your letter and let you know what additional documentation may be required and provide an expected timeline on how long the review will take.

Promissory Note
You must complete a promissory note for any loans you accepted before the loan funds can be disbursed.

Disbursement of Aid
Several conditions must be met to ensure receipt of your financial aid during the first week of classes.

Academic Progress Standards
University and federal regulations require that you be making academic progress toward a degree to be eligible for financial aid.


PAWS Financial Aid Tutorial

Note: You must have the Adobe Reader to view forms. Click the icon below to download the latest version.