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Washington State University
College of Education

Graduate Student Financial Resources Frequently Asked Questions

Financial Resources for Graduate Students in the College of Education

Financial Aid

Q

What is the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)?

A

This form from the federal government allows students to apply for financial aid including loans. This form is available online, making it very easy to complete, at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov. The WSU code for completing the FAFSA is 003800. You must have your tax information completed and ready to complete the FAFSA.
It is a good idea to complete the FAFSA ASAP after the beginning of the calendar year so you get first priority in financial aid and scholarship decisions. If you decide you would like to receive financial aid during the academic year, you can always fill out a FAFSA for the current year. Keep in mind you will have to complete a new FAFSA each calendar year you desire financial aid, but it is easier the second, third, fourth, etc. time around as you receive a PIN and will only have to update the information rather than re-entering all of it again.

Q

What is work-study?

A

This federal or state program allows you to work part-time on or off campus to earn your expenses. You are awarded work-study as part of your financial aid package. You must first complete a FAFSA to receive financial aid. Work-study is generally more difficult to get at the graduate level, but if you do receive it, you can check online to find work-study positions. Go to http://www.hrs.wsu.edu and look for Student & Hourly Employment.

Q

What is the maximum amount a graduate student can borrow each year in Stafford Loans?

A

$18,500. As part of your financial aid package you will be offered a certain amount of loans. Before agreeing to the package, you can request more or less of what is offered. Be aware that if you ask beyond what is offered, it will probably be in unsubsidized loans (i.e., loans that accumulate interest as opposed to subsidized loans that defer interest until repayment). Call Financial Aid to find out more about loans at 509-335-9711 (beware of the awful phone tree) or go to their website at www.finaid.wsu.edu.

Q

What is a Short Term Loan (STL) or what is an Emergency Loan?

A

This is a WSU loan that is available in cases of emergency and must be paid back within the term borrowed. Access the Financial Aid web page to learn more about the STL at www.finaid.wsu.edu. There are forms to complete and stipulations regarding receiving this loan. The Office of Student Affairs also offers emergency loans to students in case of food, housing, or medical emergencies. Visit http://osae.wsu.edu/ to learn more about this program. In the same vein, the Office of Student Affairs also offers emergency tuition waivers to students unable to pay tuition in a given semester. Visit http://thedivision.wsu.edu/pages/links.asp?PageID=907&Letter=E&FilterBy=Letter for more information.

Q

What is March 1?

A

This is the priority date for filing for financial aid with the university. This early date for filing for financial aid allows you to be considered for university scholarships and to ensure that your financial aid is settled before classes begin. If you file later, you may not receive loan payments by the time classes begin. Filing for financial aid includes completing the FAFSA (see above) and filling out the WSU scholarship form online (see below).

Scholarships

Q

What is the amount of money that the College of Education gives in scholarships each year?

A

$150,000. The College of Education gives out many scholarships each year to graduate students. Watch the walls for flyers and make sure you’re subscribed to the COE Listserv as announcements are generally made about it there as well.

Q

When are COE scholarship applications due?

A

Early in February. Forms are available online. Check the COE website for new forms at http://education.wsu.edu/scholarships/. These usually come out in early winter months.

Q

When are WSU scholarship applications due?

A

January 31. This form can be completed online at http://www.finaid.wsu.edu/scholarships.html and is usually available in mid-fall. Make sure to complete this form. Very few realize there are scholarships easily available through WSU for graduate students.

Q

How many graduate students received COE scholarships last year?

A

Over 50. Again, very few graduate students realize how easy it is to receive scholarships from the College of Education. Make sure to complete this application and get it in on time!

Q

What is needed to apply for the COE scholarships?

A

A resume, two letters of recommendation, and a two-page form. Again, watch for the forms. And visit the web page to download the form and instructions at
http://education.wsu.edu/scholarships/. They are due in the beginning of February each year.

Grants

Q

What are T&L and ELCP?

A

These two departments in the COE offer travel and dissertation grants to graduate
students each semester. Teaching & Learning (T&L) and Educational
Leadershi
p and Counseling Psychology (ELCP) each offer graduate students
travel and dissertation grants to assist students in their scholarly pursuits.
The details of these applications and when they are available are distinct to
each department. Make sure to keep
your eyes open for posters advertising
these applications and sign up for the College Listserv to keep in the
information loop!
Q
What are professional associations?
A
These groups often offer specialized dissertation grants, professional
development funds, an
d other resources for graduate students, in addition to
hosting national conferences. Your program or disciplinary area will have its
own specialized professional associations, but some common and more
widely
known associations include the American Educat
ional Research
Association (AERA), the Association for the Study of Higher Education
(ASHE), the University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA), the
North American Society for Sport Management (NASSM), the American
Psychology Association (APA), a
nd the American Educational Studies
Association (AESA). Consult with your advisor or program area to find out
about the many associations available to you. It is recommend that you join
as a student
many of these associations offer discounted membership
and
registration fees to graduate students and it is a great way to make
professional connections across the world.
Q
What
is the OGRD?
A
This university office assists students in finding national grants and scholarship
programs. The Office of Grant, Researc
h, and Development (OGRD) assists
locating grants, scholarships,
and fellowships in addition to their work with
Human Subjects and the Institutional Review Board. You
can make an
appointment to discuss your options by calling 335
9661 or by reviewing the
w
ebsite at
http://www.ogrd.wsu.edu/
.
Q
What is a travel grant?
A
This funding is awarded through the GPSA and the Graduate School each
year to
assist full
time graduate students
with travel expenses national conferences
.
This is a wonderful resource if you are
looking to attend a national
conference to present your
research. Your chances of receiving a grant
are
better if you are presenting, so plan ahead.
You must be a full
time graduate
student (10
credits or more) an
d have a minimum of 3.0 GPA. The Graduate
School is strict about details
with this application and late applications are
not accepted
More information is available at
http://www.gradsch.wsu.edu/CurrentStudents/Funding/GraduateScholarships.
aspx
.
For Fall, grants are due by September 11 at 5:00 pm and on January 16
by 5:00 pm for Spring.
Grants are also available for summer conferences.
These grants will only pay f
or travel expenses, not hotel, food, or registration
costs.
Q
What is GPSA?
A
This WSU organization awards up to $100 in conference registration fees to
graduate students each year.
The Graduate and Professional Students Association
(GPSA) of WSU is a
graduat
e student
organization representing graduate
students across campus. Among many other resources
and information, the
GPSA offers a Registration
Grant program to assist in paying the
registration
fee for professional conferences.
Visit their website to lea
rn more about the
grant
http://www.gpsa.wsu.edu/
.
Assistantships
Q
What are TA, RA, and GA (or SA) positions?
A
These are the three types of assistantships available.
Teaching Assistantships
(TA), Research Assistantsh
ips (RA), and Graduate or
Staff Assistantships
(GA/SA) are the different types of assistantships available at WSU. TA
positions tend to be much more prevalent in the College of Education, as
they are funded through the department, while RA positions are mo
re rare
being typically funded through individual grants. GA positions are generally
available throughout the university, and are typically in university offices
such as
Financial Aid, Athletics, and Student Affairs. All assistantship
positions are
competi
tive and require you to do quite a bit of searching to
secure one
there is
no guarantee that you will receive an assistantship. The
best way to go about finding assistantships is to begin looking in the late
winter and early spring by
asking around (othe
r graduate students currently
on appointment and faculty
usually have good ideas of where to look) and by
doing the good old hitting of the
pavement. Another good resource is to join
the Education
Graduate
Organization’s (EGO) listserv
information about
open assistantships is often posted on their list.
Q
What are tuition waivers?
A
These are often awarded to graduate assistants residing in the state of
Washington in order to cover the costs of tuition.
Many assistantships offer
tuition waivers as part of you
r
funding package along with graduate student
insurance.
However, not all assistantships offer tuition waivers, so
make
sure to ask when looking. All assistantships,
though, offer a monthly stipend,
but the amount will
vary depending on the position. You
must be a resident
of the state of Washington to receive a tuition waiver,
in most cases, so make
sure to declare residency as soon as possible if you
have not already done so.
Residency is declared by living in the state for at
least 12 months, and by
ac
quiring a Washington State driver’s license as soon
as moving to the state.
Visit
http://www.gradsch.wsu.edu/FutureStudents/StudentLife/Residency.aspx
to
learn more about
declaring residency.
Q
What is the CTLT?
A
This university department offers assistance and resources to teaching
assistants.
The Center for Teaching, Learning, and Technology (CTLT) offers resource
assistance to TAs on campus. Visit their web site at
http://www.ctlt.wsu.edu/
to learn
more about what CTLT offers
In addition,
the university also offers a course for those
interested in teaching at the
college level called UNIV590.
Q
What is 90%?
A
The percentage of full
time
WSU graduate students supported by
assistantships.
Most full
time students are supported by assistantships at
WSU. While an
assistantship is not guaranteed to
students, it is a good idea to find one. Not
only do these
positions assist in meeting expenses,
provide health
insurance,
and offer tuition waivers, but they also give you
excellent training for future
careers. See above for more
information on locating assistantships on
campus.
Q
Who is
Tom Zimmer
?
A
This person in the COE will assist you with question
s regarding your TA and
RA paperwork.
Tom
works in the Finance Office, located in Cleveland Hall
272
.
H
e can be reached at 335
8301 or at
tzimmer@wsu.edu
.
If you have
specific questions regarding a GA or SA position
outside of the College,
speak to your respective supervisor or finance person.
Potpourri
Q
What are the 10th and the 25
th
?
A
The dates of payday each month,
Payday is on the 10
th
and 25
th
of each month,
unless a weekend or holiday
falls
on one of those days.
Paychecks are
automatically deposited into
your account if you have direct deposit (see
below) or are mailed to
your home. Visit Payroll Services’ web site to learn
more about
paychecks and pay days at
http://www
.wsu.edu/payroll/
.
Q
What are additional funding or special funding circumstances that
Financial Aid may
cover?
A
Expecting a baby, medical or dental expenses, purchase of a computer,
transportation expenses, and divorce.
There are many special funding
circum
stances that the Office of
Financial Aid may consider. Visit their web
site at
http://www.finaid.wsu.edu/specialcircumstances.html
to learn more
and to download
the appropriate forms.
Q
Wha
t is University Receiving?
A
The office where you can pick up your financial aid checks.
If you receive
student loans, scholarships, or additional money after payment of tuition
and fees, checks are available to be picked up at University Receiving,
located
on the third floor of French Administration Building. If you apply
for direct deposit (see below), you can automatically have these checks
deposited into your account rather than having to pick them up. To see if
funding has been deposited or a check is a
vailable for pick
up, go to
METRO and look under Account Information at
http://www.wsu.edu/genreceivables/
.
Q
What is direct deposit?
A
Allows you to automatically receive financial aid payments and deposit
p
aychecks.
Direct deposit allows you to have paychecks and financial aid
checks deposited automatically into your account as well as to have fees
such as parking permits deducted from your account each month. Visit
Payroll Services to learn more at
http://www.wsu.edu/payroll/fspay/directdep/directdep.htm
.
Final Jeopardy Question
s
:
Q
What is the Wiley Research Exposition?
A
This annual competition sponsored by the GPSA allows graduate stu
dents
to
compete for up to $500 in prizes for presentation of their research?
Sponsored annually by the Graduate and Professional Students Association
(GPSA) and the Graduate School, the Wiley Research Exposition is a
chance for graduate students across th
e campus to feature their research in
poster and paper format and to compete for cash prizes. The Expo is usually
held in March. Visit their web page to download the proposal form and to
learn more:
http://www.gpsa.wsu.edu/services_wiley.aspx
.
Q
What is the Education Graduate Organization?
A
The Education Graduate Organization (EGO) is a graduate student
organization within the College of Education. All graduate students within
the college are membe
rs of EGO and have an immediate vested interest in
the annual pursuits of the organization. The officers are elected annually by
the graduate students of the college. The role of EGO is to offer support
structures for the graduate students that may not e
xist elsewhere. As part of
the mission of the organization they host the Graduate Research Symposium
annually, the New and Returning Student Orientation annually, as well as a
series of Brown Bag forums. Representatives for both ELCP and T&L
attend depar
tmental meetings representing the interests of the graduate
students in that department and the EGO as a whole. EGO is a very
influential organization within the COE and is always working hard to bring
relevant programming to the graduate students within
the college.
Visit
EGO to learn more at
http://education.wsu.edu/ego/
.