Skip to main content Skip to navigation
Washington State University
Financial aid information For Parents

Transitioning to college life is a challenge for students and parents alike. Both you and your student will have to adapt and prepare for a different way of life in a short amount of time. Our office is committed to making this transition easier for you.

We encourage active parent involvement, but like many other aspects of the university experience, college is intended for personal development. We strongly encourage that the student be the principal manager of their finances, budget, and the financial aid process.

If you haven’t begun the process or if you are new to the financial aid system, follow our Getting Started guide to get a better picture of what aid is available.
**When you accept federal student loans, your student’s FSA ID will enable you and your student to track and manage student loans at**

Viewing your student’s financial aid

If you need to view your student’s financial aid information, your student will need to set up third-party access through myWSU.

This is done by going to > Profile > Third Party Access to set up a WSU friend ID. This allows you to view your student’s account balance, financial aid information, and grades—depending on what options they select for you.


FERPA requirements

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a federal law that protects the privacy of students’ education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education.

FERPA gives you certain rights with respect to your children’s education records. These rights transfer to your student when he or she reaches the age of 18 or attends a school beyond the high school level. Students to whom the rights have transferred are “eligible students.”

  • You or eligible students have the right to inspect and review the student’s education records maintained by the school.
  • Schools are not required to provide copies of records unless, for reasons such as great distance, it is impossible for parents or eligible students to review the records. Schools may charge a fee for copies.
  • You or eligible students have the right to request that a school correct records which they believe to be inaccurate or misleading. If the school decides not to amend the record, you or eligible student then has the right to a formal hearing.
  • After the hearing, if the school still decides not to amend the record, you or eligible student have the right to place a statement with the record setting forth his or her view about the contested information.
  • Generally, schools must have written permission from the parent or eligible student in order to release any information from a student’s education record. However, FERPA allows schools to disclose those records, without consent, to the following parties or under the following conditions (34 CFR § 99.31):School officials with legitimate educational interest;
    • Other schools to which a student is transferring;
    • Specified officials for audit or evaluation purposes;
    • Appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student;
    • Organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the school;
    • Accrediting organizations;
    • To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena;
    • Appropriate officials in cases of health and safety emergencies; and
    • State and local authorities, within a juvenile justice system, pursuant to specific State law

Schools may disclose, without consent, “directory” information such as a student’s name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, honors and awards, and dates of attendance. However, schools must tell you and eligible students about directory information and you and eligible students a reasonable amount of time to request that the school not disclose directory information about them. Schools must notify you and eligible students annually of their rights under FERPA. The actual means of notification (special letter, inclusion in a PTA bulletin, student handbook, or newspaper article) is left to the discretion of each school.

About parent PLUS loans

Parent PLUS loans are taken out by a parent of the student to help pay for the student’s education. Unlike direct student loans, parent PLUS loans are subject to credit approval.

Typically, parent loans are considered after all other financial aid has been awarded. They can be seen as a loan of last resort. Before considering a parent PLUS loan, you should have your student apply for financial aid and scholarships.

Apply for financial aid
Apply for a Parent PLUS Loan

Tax benefits for education

Middle-income families that may not qualify for need-based grant aid are likely to qualify for tax benefits for higher education.

The American Opportunity Tax Credit, the Lifetime Learning Tax Credit, and the Tuition & Fees Deduction, all may provide significant tax benefits for families.

The University Receivables office will send you a 1098-T form each January to assist in preparing your annual income tax forms. Visit Bursar’s Office or the IRS for additional information.