The Office of Financial Aid determines a student's financial aid award eligibility after processing the student's FAFSA. Students can see what awards they have, at any time once the FAFSA has been processed, by logging into their WebOPUS account and clicking on the financial aid "Award Overview" tab.
Official and estimated award letters for the upcoming school year will be mailed to incoming freshmen starting in March each year, and emailed to continuing students via their FLC email account. Financial aid awards may include a combination of scholarships, grants, loans and/or work-study.
Aid must be accepted before it can disburse
Once a student's financial aid awards have been established, a student must accept their aid, via their WebOPUS account. Students will have the ability to accept "terms and conditions" and award offers through their WebOPUS account starting in March. Directions on how to complete this can be viewed in the "How to" section located on the main page of this website. The student must read and accept "terms and conditions" and then accept or decline individual aid offers. If a student accepts any Federal Direct Loan offers, and they are a first time borrower at Fort Lewis College, they must also complete their loan entrance counseling and master promissory note at studentloans.gov. Aid must be accepted and all requirements complete by Census, in order for aid to disburse. Aid not disbursed by Census date of the first term the student begins the academic year will be cancelled (excluding Pell Grant and Federal Direct Loans.)
If a parent wants to borrow through the Federal Direct Parent Plus Loan Program, and they are a first time borrower at Fort Lewis College, they must have their student accept the loan in their WebOPUS account, and then the parent must apply online for the Federal Direct Parent Plus Loan, and complete their master promissory note on studentloans.gov
Financial aid disbursement
Financial aid disbursements are initially based on enrolled hours. Undergraduates must be enrolled in at least 12 credit hours per term for most types of aid to be disbursed (Graduate students: 9+ credits is fulltime, 6-8 is ¾ time, 4-5 is ½ time). Undergraduates enrolling in less than 12 credit hours must notify the Office of Financial Aid, in writing, prior to the start of the term, in order for their aid to disburse according to enrolled hours. If this is not completed the student’s aid will adjust to the number of credit hours enrolled at Census and the aid will disburse then. If the student is attending less than full-time the Federal Pell grant will be adjusted accordingly.
Remember, if the student is planning to complete their degree in four years, the student needs to enroll in a minimum of 15 credit hours per term or plan to complete a total of 30 credits each school year. Completing less than 30 credits a year could affect some financial aid that is limited to 8 semesters and therefore would not be available after four years. Students on financial aid suspension are not eligible to receive federal, state, or institutional need-based aid or Federal Direct loans.
Undergraduate students are expected to graduate once they have met their program requirements. Students are no longer eligible for aid once they have met their degree requirements. If the Office of Financial Aid discovers that a student is taking courses not required for the degree, their financial aid will be recalculated based only on the credit hours that meet their degree requirements. Students who are accepted to Fort Lewis College, who have already earned a bachelor's degree, are limited to student and/or parent loan funding.
Approximately one week before a term begins, financial aid will automatically be applied to a student’s bill, or once the student’s financial aid file becomes complete once this process begins. If the financial aid amount is greater than the student’s bill, a refund will be generated for the difference. Refunds are available to students the Friday before a term begins, when students have established direct deposit in a timely way, or a paper refund check from the Cashier's Office.
Students who are eligible for Federal Pell Grant, and have met all disbursement requirements by the applicable deadline prior to the first day of the term, will be able to purchase their textbooks from their federal aid refund, if their aid results in a credit balance.
Federal and State financial aid can be used for repeated coursework. However, there are limitations:
- Failed and withdrawn courses can be repeated with financial aid coverage multiple times until a passing grade is received.
- Courses that have ever been completed with a passing grade may be retaken only once more and be covered by financial aid.
- Any additional repeats will not be eligible for financial aid.