Common Questions

Common Questions

W&L's estimated cost of attendance is only a starting point for determining what your actual cost to attend W&L. 

Every year, W&L awards more than $60 million in need-based financial aid through grants, scholarships and guaranteed campus work without the need for loans. The average need-based financial aid award last year was $ 57,902.

Visit our Tuition and Costs page for a comprehensive breakdown of tuition and other financial costs for the academic year.

W&L is committed to meeting 100% of a student's institutionally determined need. When you apply for financial aid at W&L, a variety of factors are taken into account to determine the family's expected contribution and need. Once institutional need is determined, a combination of grant and Work-Study will be used to meet 100% of your demonstrated need.

Yes. W&L offers both merit scholarships and need-based aid.

The Johnson Scholarship, which awards tuition, room and board, serves as the only application for all scholarship awards. 

The Scholarship application deadline is December 1.

You must reapply for financial aid each year, but it is normally renewable for four years as long as the student maintains satisfactory progress towards a degree and the family's financial circumstances remain the same. The amount of financial aid the University will provide to a need-based grant recipient may vary from year to year depending on a family's financial strength.

Your financial aid award and information will be included in the W&L admittance packet if you submit a complete financial aid application by the relevant Early Decision 1, Early Decision 2 or Regular decision financial aid deadlines.

You may view the status of your financial aid application online on the Financial Aid Applicant Portal.

Yes! You can use the Financial Aid Online Portal to electronically upload documents.  The documents must be in PDF format to be accepted. Our concern for your privacy prohibits us from accepting documents as email attachments or by fax.

If you apply on-time, your need-based grant will be the same for either the early or regular decision cycle. It is important to make sure your application for financial aid is completed and received by our office before the appropriate deadline.

In general, students who receive financial aid can apply their funding towards a study abroad program during fall term, winter term, or the full academic year. W&L Spring Term abroad programs have additional costs associated with them, but need-based aid is available.

W&L Promise Questions

Family income is a combination of all income sources as determined by the financial aid evaluation. Family income may include the adjusted gross income (AGI), untaxed income, income imputed from assets, living allowances and relevant employer benefits, and income from a non-custodial parent, if applicable.  When family assets exceed levels typical for their income then portions of the assets may be considered in the evaluation as part of the total income.

Applicants must submit a complete university need-based grant application including the CSS Profile, parent and student federal tax returns, and non-custodial information if applicable. The evaluation of the application will determine if the student will qualify for the W&L Promise.

Students who qualify for the W&L Promise will receive, at minimum, a grant equal to the full cost of tuition at W&L. In addition, families who qualify for the W&L Promise will also receive total financial aid packages consisting of grant and Work-Study awards, which, in combination, with the W&L Promise, will meet their full demonstrated need.

Yes, you will need to submit the complete university need-based grant application each year.

Upon receipt of a complete university need-based grant application from your family, the Office of Financial Aid will review your family's finances and through institutional evaluation determine your estimated family contribution (EFC). Your family's "Full Demonstrated Need" is the difference between the W&L cost of attendance and your institutional EFC.

International currencies and exchange rates can vary greatly from week to week making a family income evaluation inconsistent. However, entering international undergraduate students are eligible to receive the W&L Promise. International students may also be eligible for generous need-based and/or merit awards.

Although loans are not included as part of the university need-based package, they may be offered to families as an option for meeting the estimated family contribution. It is not required that you accept these loans.

Transfer students are eligible to receive the W&L Promise. Applicants must submit the complete need-based application and have total family income less than $150,000.  Please review the complete W&L Promise requirements. Transfer students with income greater than $150,000 may still be eligible for university need-based aid. Please submit the complete need-based application by the March 15 deadline to be considered for any university need-based assistance.

You may qualify for a W&L-specific fee payment code if the CSS Profile fee poses a financial hardship to your family. To apply for a W&L-specific CSS payment code you must follow the steps indicated below. Please do not contact the Office of Financial Aid or Admissions to request a CSS fee waiver.

  1. Submit your application for admission to W&L. Only W&L admission applicants are eligible to receive a fee waiver.
  2. Once you have received acknowledgment that your admission application has been received, you will need to complete this form.
  3. Be Patient. You'll receive a response, but it can take up to three weeks.
  4. Once approved, you will receive a CSS code which you can use to submit your CSS Profile to W&L. Please be aware that there is no appeal process if your fee waiver request is denied. You will need to purchase the CSS Profile with your own funds.

The only option to receive a fee waiver code is to follow the four steps above. We will be unable to respond to any email requests for a fee waiver.

Do I qualify for aid?

W&L uses its own formula to determine an individual's eligibility for aid using a combination of information we receive from the CSS Profile and your family's federal tax returns. We do take into account family size, income, taxes, living costs, number of siblings currently enrolled in college, assets, and other personal or financial circumstances that may be pertinent. The evaluation of these factors results in a family contribution, and need is determined by subtracting the family contribution from the cost of attendance for the specific academic year.

W&L offers two tools for families to estimate their costs at W&L. The MyinTuition Quick College Cost Estimator asks six basic financial questions and provides an estimated cost range. The Net Price Calculator collects more information from the family and provides a more detailed estimation. Neither tool replaces the full financial aid application, however, the results can be educational and help you feel comfortable in your admission application decision.

W&L provides both need and merit-based aid to approximately 20 international students in each entering class. Awards range from several thousand dollars to the full annual cost of education. It should be understood, however, that admission to W&L does not guarantee financial assistance.

There is no specific income cutoff for financial aid eligibility. Any student interested in applying for financial aid should do so as we examine all aspects of a family's ability to contribute to the cost of attendance in a given year.

Applying for Aid

Please visit How To Apply for details on the application process.

Because there is no guarantee we will be able to offer aid after the deadline has passed, it is important to apply for financial aid at the same time you apply for admission to the University.

W&L welcomes financial aid materials at any time, although the availability of money we have set aside for a given year decreases the longer you wait to submit materials after the deadline has passed. We encourage you strongly to submit financial aid information by the deadline to ensure you will receive the maximum amount of available aid.

  • CSS Profile code: 5887
  • FAFSA code: 003768

Verification is used to confirm the information you provided on the FAFSA. Your FAFSA may be selected for verification randomly by the Department of Education. Additionally, inconsistent or incomplete data as well as estimated figures may increase the chances of being selected for verification. When the Office of Financial Aid verifies your FAFSA, we will ask you for additional documentation such as a verification worksheet and tax transcripts. Those who are eligible may prefer to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to transfer their tax data to the FAFSA in lieu of requesting tax transcripts from the IRS.

Work Study

Students may be offered work-study positions within specific departments at the University. Placement is determined after a student accepts her or his offer of admission. Students may also do community service.

Students are allowed to work up to 20 hours per week. The full amount of the award can be earned by a student working six to eight hours a week throughout the academic year.

Campus jobs not affiliated with the Work-Study program are available through the University. They are considered separate means of employment and will not contribute to the cost of your attendance.

Award Packages

A financial aid award is the combination of any grant or scholarship money given by the University, outside scholarships received, work-study and any parent or student loans.

W&L awards institutional, federal and state grants based on student eligibility. Work-Study is also awarded to meet a student's institutionally determined need.  Student and parent loans are included in the financial aid award as a potential resource for meeting the family's contribution.

All financial aid awards made by W&L will be a combination of grants, student employment, and any merit scholarship money offered from the college. If a student's family is unable to pay the estimated family contribution out of pocket, student and/or parent loans may be used.

Federal grants are awarded to students who have federal financial need and who meet eligibility requirements such as eligible citizen, enrollment requirements, satisfactory academic progress, etc. To be evaluated for federal grants, a student must submit a FAFSA each academic year.

W&L meets your full demonstrated need, so your award will be adjusted to accommodate additional funds such as those from scholarships.


W&L's Office of Financial Aid processes VA Benefits including Yellow Ribbon to qualified recipients.  Please notify the Office of Financial Aid for additional information on how to apply for benefits at W&L.


Parents may apply for the credit-based Parent PLUS loan to meet the family contribution portion of a student's aid package. For more information, please visit Federal Financial Aid.