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Washington State University
Student Financial Services Institutional Grants & Waivers
Understanding Institutional Grants & Waivers

Institutional grants (Washington residents) and waivers are awarded by WSU, using university funds. Most grants and tuition waivers awarded to WSU students are based on financial need.

To be considered for these awards, students need to complete the FAFSA or (for undocumented students) the WASFA. Award amounts are determined by the EFC (expected family contribution) calculated from the FAFSA and WASFA.

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To be eligible for need-based institutional grants and waivers:

  • File your FAFSA by the WSU priority deadline each year.
  • Submit your additional information into our office by the WSU priority deadline date.
  • Be pursuing your first bachelor’s degree and not enrolled in a professional program.
  • Be a Washington resident.

Required credits

  • To receive the maximum amount awarded to you, you must be enrolled in 12 or more credits per semester.
  • Enroll in 9-11 credits and you will receive 75% of the award.
  • Enroll in 6-8 credits and you will receive 50% of the award.


Institutional awards are paid out by the semester, one-half of the annual award for fall semester and one-half for spring. If you attend less than full-time both semesters or only attend 1 term, you may have Pell eligibility that may be used during WSU’s summer sessions. Grants and waivers are credited to your myWSU account no sooner than the first day of the semester or as soon as the award is ready.

Cougar Commitment Award

Because we believe that finances should never prevent students from attending college, the University has established an award program to cover the cost of tuition and mandatory fees for students who could not otherwise afford to attend.

Funds for Cougar Commitment come from variety of sources, including federal, state, and institutional aid programs as well as private donations.

More about Cougar Commitment

Grants and waivers in a nutshell

Grants and waivers are awarded to undergraduate students based on a determination of financial need.

  • Grants do not need to be repaid. Funds can come from WSU, the State of Washington, or the federal government.
  • Waivers are discounts applied directly to your tuition. Your total amount of waivers and tuition-specific aid cannot exceed the amount you have been charged for tuition.

Upon being admitted to WSU and successfully completing your FAFSA (or the WASFA, for undocumented students), you will automatically be considered for the grants and waivers administered by the University’s Office of Student Financial Services.

Post-baccalaureate students

If you’re a Post Baccalaureate student, you will not qualify for need based grants, waivers, or work-study. However, you do have aid options available to you.

Graduate & professional students

If you’re a graduate or professional student, you will not qualify for need based grants & waivers. However, your options are: assistantships, scholarships, work-study & loans.