Financial Aid FAQ

Read through some commonly asked questions about financial aid, loans, consolidation, and more.
In this Section

General Questions

How do I apply for financial aid?

To apply for any federal or state financial aid programs, you will need to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at You may apply any time after January 1, but Stout recommends you apply before March 15 to ensure all aid programs are available. UW-Stout's Federal School Code that you will need for the FAFSA is 003915.

I probably don't qualify for aid. Should I apply anyway?

Yes. Many families mistakenly think that they don't qualify for aid, so they don't apply. There are many sources of non-need based aid, but receipt of these types of aid also requires a financial aid application. Some sources of non-need based aid are unsubsidized Stafford loans, parent PLUS loans, Minnesota SELF loans and alternative collegiate loans.

How much does it cost to attend UW-Stout?

Tuitions and fees for a given academic year are generally set by mid-summer. See current tuition rates.

How much financial aid will I be awarded?

The minimum amount of financial aid all freshman qualify for is $5,500 in an unsubsidized Stafford loan. Receipt of a subsidized loan, federal grant, or state grant depends on family income, family size and financial assets. You will receive an e-mail notification from Stout listing the aid you qualify for.

Do I need to be admitted before I can apply for aid?

No. You can apply for aid anytime after October 1 for the following year. You can list up to six schools you are considering attending. To actually receive funds, you must be admitted as a degree-seeking student at the university where you enroll.

Do I have to apply for financial aid every year?

Yes. You are required to apply each academic year for which you seek financial aid.

Does Stout have an application deadline?

We prefer that you file your FAFSA by March 15, which is our priority date. Filing as early as possible increases your chances to receive all the available aid types, if you qualify.

Will I get all of my aid at the beginning of the year?

You will get one disbursement of aid (half the total amount) in September and one disbursement (half the total amount) in January, as Stout has a two-semester academic year.

What if my parents/guardians are separated or divorced?

If your parents/guardians are separated or divorced, the custodial parent/guardian should fill out the FAFSA. The custodial parent/guardian is the person with whom you have lived with the most in the past 12 months. If you did not live with one parent/guardian more than the other, then the person who provided you with the most financial support should fill out the FAFSA.

My family has unusual circumstances. How do I report that?

There will be no place to report unusual circumstances on the FAFSA. Do not include any written narratives or other documentation with the FAFSA. The Financial Aid Office has the ability to take into consideration recent loss of income, death of a family member, divorce or economic disaster. If a family feels that they have unusual circumstances that may affect the student's financial aid eligibility, please contact our office directly to discuss appropriate action: e-mail or call 715-232-1363.

What do I enter for the grant/scholarship amount reported?

It is uncommon that you would have an amount to enter for this question. You would only enter the amount of grants and scholarships that you were required to report as income in your (or your parents') Adjusted Gross Income on your tax return. The FAFSA is not simply looking for the amount of grants and scholarships you earned. 

How do I report a rollover from an IRA or pension?

It's possible that your, or your parent's, IRA or Pension Distribution will show on your FAFSA as income even though it was a rollover. Rollover IRA or Pension Distributions should not be counted as untaxed income; however, the FAFSA's IRS Data Retrieval Tool is unable to distinguish these from non-rollover distributions.

Please submit to our office a signed copy of your 1040 Tax Return, along with a copy of the IRS Form 1099-R, which you should have received from the organization the IRA or Pension was rolled into. Do not make the correction to your FAFSA. With this documentation, we will remove the rollover amount from your FAFSA.

I won a scholarship. Do I report that to Stout?

Yes. You are asked to report your scholarships to the Financial Aid Office. Receipt of scholarships may reduce your student loan and/or work-study. You can report these awards in your ACCESS STOUT account, on your "Student Center" page, under Financial Aid. If you are sending a scholarship earned to STOUT, there is no need to report these awards. 

How do I get work-study?

The FAFSA results determine who gets Federal Work-Study, depending on your financial need and the availability of funds. On-campus jobs start at minimum wage, $7.25. State payroll jobs are available to any student, regardless of need and also start at $7.25.

What if my Student Aid Report (SAR) has errors?

We prefer that you report the errors to the Financial Aid Office so we can make the corrections electronically for you. You may call the office, email, write, or send in a copy of your SAR with the errors highlighted.

What is a subsidized vs. unsubsidized Stafford loan?

Subsidized Stafford Loans are need-based and interest-free while you are in school. Unsubsidized Stafford Loans are non-need based and interest-bearing loans, therefore interest will accrue while you are in school and will be added to the principal when repayment begins (unless you choose to may interest payments while in school).

Why am I a dependent if my parents don't claim me on taxes?

Students are considered dependent and must submit parent income information unless you:

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

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

Where can I find scholarships to apply for?

The Stout University Foundation offers over 400 scholarships each year, and there are also many external scholarships available to UW-Stout students.

How do I do entrance counseling for my Stafford loan?

All first-time borrowers of Stafford loans are required by law to perform entrance counseling. Entrance Counseling can be completed electronically via the Federal Loan Servicing Site. You will review basic facts about the Stafford loan program, managing educational expenses, and borrower rights and responsibilities. Your counseling session will end with your completion of an interactive quiz. Once your Entrance Counseling session is successfully completed, your Financial Aid Office will be notified that your requirement has been met.

What happens to my financial aid when it is sent to Stout?

First your account is credited for the amount you owe the university. If the financial aid money does not fully pay your bill, you will receive a new bill for the balance. If your financial aid is more than your bill, you will receive a refund. Your refund options are chosen when you activate your Stout BlueCard.

Where can I find on-campus jobs?

There are hundreds of job opportunities on campus for UW-Stout students. Browse position openings through Handshake.

Is financial aid available for WinTerm and Summer?

There may be aid available for WinTerm and Summer. Read the full details about the requirements how to apply.

Loan Consolidation Questions

What is a Federal Consolidation Loan?

A Federal Consolidation Loan is a loan that allows a borrower to combine all eligible federal education loans into a new loan with a single payment and an extended repayment period up to 30 years.

The Federal Direct Consolidation Loan website is a one-stop shop for information, resources, contact information and the consolidation application process:

Which loans can I consolidate?
  • Auxiliary Loans to Assist Students (ALAS)
  • Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Consolidation Loans
  • Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans
  • Direct PLUS Consolidation Loans
  • Direct PLUS Loans (for parents or for graduate and professional students)
  • Federal Insured Student Loans (FISL)
  • Federal Perkins Loans
  • Federal PLUS Loans (for parents or for graduate and professional students)
  • Federal Supplemental Loans for Students (SLS)
  • Guaranteed Student Loans (GSL)
  • Health Education Assistance Loans (HEAL)
  • Health Professions Student Loans (HPSL)
  • Loans for Disadvantaged Students (LDS)
  • National Defense Student Loans (NDSL)
  • National Direct Student Loans (NDSL)
  • Nursing Student Loans (NSL)
  • Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)
  • Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans
  • Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Consolidation Loans

You may only consolidate loans that are in a grace period or in repayment (including loans in deferment or forbearance). At least one of the loans that you consolidate must be a Direct Loan Program loan or a Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program loan.

Am I eligible for loan consolidation?

You may apply for a Consolidation Loan during your grace period or once you’ve entered repayment. Stafford and PLUS borrowers may consolidate their loans at any time during repayment including periods of deferment or forbearance.

What will be my interest rate?

The Federal Consolidation loan interest rate is a fixed rate equal to the weighted-average of the interest rates of the loans being consolidated rounded up to the nearest 1/8 of 1% but not exceeding 8.25%.

Are there fees to receive a Federal Consolidation Loan?

There are no processing or application fees associated with consolidating a loan.

What are my repayment options?

Total Education Costs

Max. Debt Payback Period

$7,500 - $9,999.99

12 years

$10,000 - $19,999.99

15 years

$20,000 - $39,999.99

20 years

$40,000 - $59,999.99

25 years

$60,000 or more

30 years

The Federal government offers a choice of repayment plans including a level payment plan and different graduated income-sensitive repayment plans. For specific details regarding repayment plans, visit the Federal Direct Loan Consolidation website: You will be asked to specify the repayment plan that best fits your needs on the Federal Consolidation Loan Application and Promissory Note.

There is no penalty for pre-payment; that is, you may pay the loan off earlier than your repayment term.

Are there deferments available?

If you meet certain requirements, you may receive a deferment that allows you to temporarily stop making payments on your loan. If you cannot make your scheduled loan payments, but do not qualify for a deferment, we may give you a forbearance. A forbearance allows you to temporarily stop making payments on your loan, temporarily make smaller payments, or extend the time for making payments.


You may receive a deferment while you are:

  • Enrolled at least half-time at an eligible school;
  • In a full-time course of study in a graduate fellowship program;
  • In an approved full-time rehabilitation program for individuals with disabilities.
  • Unemployed (for a maximum of three years; you must be conscientiously seeking, but unable to find, full-time employment).
  • Experiencing an economic hardship (including Peace Corps service), as determined under the Act (for a maximum of three years).
  • Serving on active duty during a war or other military operation or national emergency, or performing qualifying National Guard duty during a war or other military operation or national emergency, and if you are serving on or after October 1, 2007, for the 180-day period following the demobilization date for your qualifying service.

Effective October 1, 2007, if you are a member of the National Guard or another reserve component of the U.S. Armed Forces (current or retired) and you are called or ordered to active duty while enrolled at an eligible school, or within 6 months of having been enrolled, you are eligible for a deferment during the 13 months following the conclusion of the active duty service, or until the date you return to enrolled student status, whichever is earlier.

You may be eligible to receive additional deferments if, at the time you received your first Direct Loan, you had an outstanding balance on a loan made under the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program before July 1, 1993. For a list of qualifying criteria, go to


The federal government will give you forbearance if you are serving in a medical or dental internship or residency program, and you meet specific requirements:

  • You are serving in a national service position for which you receive a national service education award under the National and Community Service Act of 1990 (AmeriCorps).
  • You qualify for partial repayment of your loans under the Student Loan Repayment Program, as administered by the Department of Defense.
  • You are performing service that would qualify you for loan forgiveness under the teacher loan forgiveness program that is available to certain Direct Loan and FFEL program borrowers.
  • The total amount you owe each month for all of the student loans you received under Title IV of the Act is 20 percent or more of your total monthly gross income (for a maximum of three years).

In addition, we may give you a forbearance if you are temporarily unable to make your scheduled loan payments for reasons including, but not limited to, financial hardship or illness.

For additional information, including processing instructions, go to

Can I alter my loans after I consolidate?

You may add any other/new eligible loan(s) to your outstanding consolidation loan, provided you make the request within 180 days of the date the consolidation loan is made. You may also be eligible for a subsequent consolidation loan if you wish to consolidate your existing consolidation loan with at least one other eligible loan.

Once a loan is consolidated, you cannot undo the consolidation, because the borrower completed a promissory note.

Should the consolidation rates go lower than when you consolidated your loans, you are not allowed to re-consolidate them at the lower rate.

What if I default on a consolidated loan?

Several instances could occur:

  • Collection costs and legal expense
  • Damage your credit
  • Wages could be garnished
  • Tax refund withheld
What if I receive solicitation from a Consolidating Company?

If you have questions, contact Direct Loans at 1-800-557-7392 or go to the Federal Direct Consolidation Loans website: