Frequently Asked Questions

To apply for any federal or state financial aid programs, you will need to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). FAFSA online is available at and must be completed each year. The next year’s application is available each year after October 1st. You will need to create a FSA ID to complete the FAFSA application. If you are a Dependent student, your parent will also need to create a FSA ID.

Yes. There are many sources of non-need based aid, but they usually require a FAFSA to be completed. Some sources of non-need based aid are Federal Unsubsidized Stafford loans, parent PLUS loans, Minnesota SELF loans, and alternative loans. You can find more information and application instructions on our Loans page

Current tuition and fees for a given academic year are generally set by the end of the summer.

The minimum amount of financial aid all freshmen qualify for is $5,500.00 in a Federal Student Stafford loan. Eligibility for federal or state grants depends on family income, family size and financial assets. You will receive a Financial Aid Offer Letter from UW-River Falls listing the aid you qualify to receive.

Prospective students: If you would like to get an early estimate of your financial aid eligibility, explore our Net Price Calculator. Remember, this is purely an estimate, and your real financial aid awards may differ from your results.

No. The FAFSA opens up October 1 every year for the following school year. On the FAFSA, you can list up to six schools you are considering attending. Before you receive an Award Letter or any financial aid funds at UW-River Falls, you must be admitted as a degree-seeking student.

If you would like to get an early estimate of your financial aid eligibility, explore our Net Price Calculator. Remember, this is purely an estimate, and your real financial aid awards may differ from your results.

Yes. After the first year you complete the FAFSA, you will be sent an email from the US Department of Education to remind you to reapply for the next year. Even if you don't receive an email, you should remember to fill it out each spring.

If you want to be considered married for financial aid purposes, you need to wait until you are married to complete the FAFSA. We will also need a copy of your spouse's previous year federal tax return even though you were not married at the time you filed your tax return. If you wait to complete your FAFSA, however, it can mean that you won't have your aid available when tuition is due and will have to make other arrangements to pay your costs until your aid is processed. If you complete your FAFSA before you are married, you must report your status as single even if you will be married before or during the school year for which you are applying for aid. You CANNOT correct your FAFSA later in the year to say you are now married. Students should evaluate their situation to determine when to complete the FAFSA.

You will get one disbursement of aid (half of your aid awards) for fall semester and one disbursement (the other half) in spring semester as UW-River Falls has two semesters in each academic year.

If you are determined a dependent on the FAFSA and your parents are separated or divorced, you must provide the information from the parent you have lived with the most in the past 12 months on your FAFSA. If you did not live with one parent more than the other, then provide the information from the parent who provided you with the most financial support in the past 12 months. For more information, please see Reporting Parent Information from FAFSA at StudentAid.Gov

Students are considered dependent and must report parent income information on the FAFSA unless they:

  • are 24 or older
  • are in graduate school
  • are married
  • have children or dependents
  • are an orphan or ward of the court
  • are currently serving or have served active duty as a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces
  • were homeless or in foster care

Failure to provide parental income will cause the FAFSA to be rejected unless one of the above conditions is true.

For more information, please see Dependency Status from FAFSA at StudentAid.Gov.

There will be no place to report unusual circumstances on the FAFSA. The Financial Aid Office has the ability to take into consideration situations such as recent loss of income, death of a family member, divorce, or economic hardship, for example. Please call the Financial Aid Office directly to speak with a counselor.

The UW-River Falls Foundation and outside organizations offer scholarships for which you can apply. There are also many free online scholarship searches.

Federal regulations require that we consider all outside resources you may receive to finance your education. Your federal and state financial aid eligibility may change if you receive any outside scholarships, grants, DVR assistance, etc. Promptly notify us of any such outside resources so any necessary adjustments can be made to your award as soon as possible. If you are a UW-River Falls student who has received an outside scholarship, you are required to report that scholarship using the Outside Resource Notification Form.

The FAFSA results determine who is eligible for Federal Work Study depending on financial need and the availability of funds. Student Assistance on-campus jobs are available to any student, regardless of need. You can search for on-campus and off-campus jobs at the Handshake site.

To help with educational costs not met through federal and state financial aid, there are additional loan options. Parents may be interested in a PLUS loan. Minnesota residents may consider the SELF loan. You may also consider applying for an alternative education loan available through private lenders. Please see the Loans page for more information.

First your financial aid is credited toward the balance you owe the University. If the financial aid money does not fully pay your bill, you will receive a new bill for the remaining balance. If your financial aid is more than your bill, you will receive a refund for the excess amount. Please see Payments and Disbursements for more information.

If you are a transfer student and have already completed a FAFSA for the current academic year, you do not need to complete it again. Instead, go to, and log back in to your FAFSA application to "Add or Change Schools". Add UW-River Falls’ school code: 003923. Your financial aid will not automatically transfer from one school to the next.

If you are a transfer student and have not yet completed a FAFSA, you would need to complete a FAFSA online if you are interested in applying for financial aid.

Visit our Leaving UW-River Falls webpage for information on Loan Exit Counseling, loan repayment, and loan consolidation for your federal student loans.

Students who are incarcerated in a state or federal correctional institution or subject to involuntary civil commitment are not eligible for most aid and are required to inform the Financial Aid office of their incarceration.