Receive Your Funds

Review your financial aid award letter and take the next steps to receive your funds.

If you have any questions, please contact the WSU Financial Aid Office at 507.457.5090 or

Review Your Award Letter

Once you’ve submitted your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), watch and wait for a notification from the Financial Aid Office.

Your award letter will detail all the types of aid you’re eligible for and the total amounts. The award letter isn’t a bill. Your tuition bill is a separate document that comes later.

It typically takes several weeks to process your FAFSA and draw up your award letter. You can view your award letter online in Student eServices, and you’ll get an email in your WSU email account when it’s ready.

How to Read Your Award Letter
You’ve received your award letter, but now what do you do? Here’s a step-by-step guide to what it all means.

Accept Student Loans If You Need Them

While WSU will automatically accept free money like scholarships and grants for you, student loans are another matter.

You need to accept the offered loans—however many you need, however much you need—if you want to use student loans to pay for college. As part of accepting a federal direct loan, you must complete entrance counseling and sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN).

You aren’t required to take out all the loans you’ve been offered. In fact, it’s best to take out only enough to pay for your upcoming tuition and/or living expenses.

There’s no advantage to taking out more money than you need since you’ll have to pay back the loan amount plus interest once you graduate or leave college.

How to Accept Student Loans
Any student loans in your award letter are just options. If you want to take out loans to help pay for college, here’s what you need to know.

Plan for When Funds Are Disbursed

Financial aid disbursement basically means how funds are paid out to your student account.

Exactly when your funds will be distributed depends on what type of aid you have and when your application was processed.

Financial aid disbursement begins on the second Friday of the term. The process continues each day until all funds are distributed to students.

Your actual disbursement date depends on when you applied for your aid and if we’ve received your funds yet.

You’ll need to pay for books, supplies, and personal expenses from your personal funds until financial aid disburses each semester.

Financial aid is first applied to your WSU bill.

If there’s any money left over, it’ll be automatically deposited to your personal bank account. It may take 3-4 business days for funds to appear in your account.

Please make sure you have a direct deposit account set up with Winona State University.

Make sure that the funds are in fact in your account before attempting to use them. WSU isn’t responsible for your bank charges under any circumstances.

If all aid is applied to your bill and there’s still an amount owed, you’ll need to pay the remaining balance through your own funds. Learn how to pay your bill.

You may want to look into the optional alternative loans if all other aid has been used. You may also want to review the payment plan options at WSU.

Student Loans

If you accepted any federal student loans, these funds are sent directly to WSU. Some loans can only be held for a few days, so you must notify the Financial Aid Office if you’ll be late registering to make sure that your loan funds aren’t returned.

You can cancel all or a portion of a student loan within 14 days from the day your loan was disbursed. This returned money won’t count toward your loan totals to pay back later.

If you’ve applied for a private student loan, it may take 3-4 weeks for this loan to fully process. Check with your lender when they plan to release the funds to WSU.

Assistance from Third-Party Agencies

If you’re receiving financial assistance from a third-party agency, you need to authorize the Student Accounts Office to bill your agency for tuition, fees, books, and more.

Some examples of third-party agencies include:

  • Department of Vocational Rehabilitation
  • a job service
  • a private industry council

The third-party agency won’t be billed until about 3 weeks into the semester. WSU may not receive the actual payment for another 3-4 weeks after the bill is sent.

Any other financial aid such as loans, grants, or scholarships will be applied to your account at their scheduled time.

When your agency’s payment is received, your account will be adjusted if your financial aid and third-party billing exceeds what you owe WSU. WSU will then direct deposit the difference into your bank account.

Please call 507.457.5075 with any questions about this process.