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    Central Washington University
  Feb 19, 2018
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Financial Aid  

Each year approximately 80 percent of CWU students receive financial aid. To be eligible for federal aid a student must be a U.S. citizen, a permanent resident, or eligible non-citizen.  Washington state aid programs are also available to financially eligible DREAMers (undocumented students) who complete the Washington Application for State Financial Aid (WASFA).

Financial aid is available to matriculated students seeking a degree or certification in an eligible program. Most financial aid programs require a minimum of half-time enrollment, which is 6 credits at the undergraduate level and 5 credits at the graduate level. Students who have a first baccalaureate degree and are not admitted to a master’s program will be classified as a post-baccalaureate student. Post-baccalaureate students are eligible for federal loans.

Students must apply and be accepted for admission to the university (matriculated) to receive financial aid. Students and their families must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The application can be completed online at Paper copies are available in the Financial Aid Office and at most high schools or libraries. If ineligible to file the FAFSA, Washington resident students and their families should submit a Washington Application for State Financial Aid (WASFA) to be considered for Washington State aid programs. The WASFA is available on the web at

The application should be submitted to the federal processor as soon as possible after October 1 each year. February 1 is the cutoff date for priority consideration for limited gift aid. Accurate preparation of the FAFSA/WASFA and timely response to all requests for additional information or documentation are critical.

Students who have been admitted to the university and have listed Central Washington University Title IV code #003771 on the FAFSA will have a student financial aid file delivered to the university electronically. Once that file has been reviewed and verified, the student will receive an award letter.  WASFA applications are also received electronically before being reviewed, verified and awarded aid by the financial aid office. 

The award letter will indicate the estimated student budget, the federally determined expected family contribution, and an offer of aid including the type and amount. You must accept, reduce or decline aid offers on MyCWU. Aid is disbursed quarterly in equal amounts. If you have chosen to borrow student loans, the master promissory note and loan entrance counseling are completed electronically at

Students are expected to maintain “good academic standing” while receiving financial aid. A minimum CWU cumulative GPA of 2.0 is required for undergraduates after two years of attendance; post-baccalaureates are required to maintain a 2.0 cumulative GPA; and a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required for graduate students. Financial aid recipients are required to make reasonable progress toward a degree.

Additional financial aid information is available in the Financial Aid Office, Barge Hall, room 115; and through the Financial Aid Counselors at certain University Centers, at 509-963-1611,, or on the CWU Financial Aid home page at


Scholarships are gift aid which do not have to be repaid. Central Washington University’s Financial Aid Office (Ellensburg Campus, Barge Hall, room 115) makes available the most recent scholarship application information on the Scholarship page of the CWU website. The CWU General Scholarship Application opens each October 1st and closes February 1st, scholarships awarded through this application are for the following academic year beginning in fall quarter. Make sure to apply online through your MyCWU account using the path MyCWU>Financial>Scholarship Application.  

Scholarship eligibility is based on a variety of criteria including, but not limited to, academic proficiency, specialized talent, community service, leadership, and financial need. College and departmental selection committees as well as the Financial Aid Office select scholarship recipients. To be fully considered for all scholarship opportunities students should complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), or WASFA (Washington State Application for Financial Aid),, and any college or departmental scholarship applications for which the student is eligible that are available in the Financial Aid Office. In addition, students with talent in athletics, art, music, and/or theatre should contact the department(s) directly for specific audition or exhibition opportunities. Institutional merit aid is awarded to incoming students based on GPA and ACT/SAT scores. Need is not always a criteria.

Community-sponsored scholarships include awards for which the recipients are chosen by organizations outside the university. Each organization establishes its own eligibility criteria and application process. More information can be found at the scholarship website or by contacting the organizations directly. Recipients are to inform the CWU Financial Aid Office if they are receiving an award from a community organization. Checks should be made payable to “Central Washington University.” Include student’s name and identification number. Send to the CWU Financial Aid Office, 400 East University Way, Ellensburg, WA 98926-7495.

Scholarships are considered an educational funding source and may change a student’s eligibility in other institutional, state or federal aid programs.