Hi! Today, I’d like to walk you through the financial aid awarding process. You’ll need to log in to your myFinAid portal to get started, so let’s go.
To start your awarding process, you will have to have complete your FAFSA, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid. If you haven’t submitted that yet, then you’ll need to do so at least a month before your term starts.
After your FAFSA is submitted, you’ll want to log in to the portal to begin tracking your financial aid. When you log in, first use the dropdown menu in the upper right-hand corner of the page to select the award year you want to view. As a continuing student, you’ll have to choose the current award year. If your FAFSA hasn’t been processed yet, then you’ll only see the previous years. If you are a new student, then you’ll have to wait 5 business days from when you submitted your FAFSA before you can first log in.
Once you are in the correct award year, click on the “Documents” tab. You’ll want to visit this tab often because whether you’ve been awarded aid or not, you may have documents here to complete.
Once your FAFSA and any additional documents are completed, your financial aid application will be reviewed for an award determination. When your awards have been determined, you’ll be notified through your Walden email. Then you’ll need to come back to your portal.
To review your awards, click on the “Awards By Term” tab and scroll to the bottom. The subtotal combines all grants, loans, and scholarships you’re eligible to receive. You can use this figure to compare your university charges with the aid you’ve been awarded.
Keep in mind that the date to the left of the fund refers to the start date of the term for which you’re receiving aid, not the disbursement date. The financial aid award year at Walden is generally three terms, and new awards are made on a rolling basis.
Next, you’ll want to click on the “Accept Awards” tab. If you’re ready to make a decision about your awards, you’ll need to agree to the term and conditions first. These explain how the awarding process works. They help you set your expectations and plan accordingly.
After you click “Agree,” you’ll be taken to a new page that shows your awards..
At the bottom of the screen, you’ll have the option to Accept the full award, reduce your award amount, or Decline your awards altogether. You don’t have to accept all of the aid, but it’s smart to review your loan history before accepting any of it. You can do this on the “Loan History” tab, which shows the outstanding and pending amounts for your federal Stafford Loans according to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS). These amounts are important to know because they count toward your lifetime aggregate loan limit. There are limits to how much federal loan money you can borrow in your lifetime, so this tab will help you calculate how much money is still available to you.
If you want to accept all of the aid listed, simply click the “Accept All” button.
To decline all financial aid, click “Decline All.”
To reduce the amount of one or more awards, enter the amount of aid you want to accept into the box for that fund. Remember that the amount entered will be divided evenly in three disbursements over your current award year. Once you’ve entered the amount, change the “status” for that aid type from “Pending” to “Accept.” Then, click "SUBMIT.” You may decide to decline a particular award. To do that, change the status for that aid type from "Pending" to "Decline." Next, click “SUBMIT.”
After you’ve finished making your award decisions, you should return to the “Documents” tab. It’s a good idea to check there to see if there are any new documents or forms you need to complete.
If you’re taking out loans, you can use the “Loans” tab at any time to check on their status. Once your loan shows “Sent to lender,” it will be ready for disbursement. Disbursement is when the lender actually sends your financial aid money to Walden.
So when will your funds be disbursed? You can use the “Disbursement” tab to find out. This tab displays the scheduled and actual disbursement dates for your financial aid. As a general rule, disbursement occurs on the second Friday after the start of each term. When Walden receives the funds from the lender, we apply them to your outstanding bill. If there is money left over after your tuition and fees are paid, we’ll send it to you as a refund within 14 days of the disbursement date.
And now we’re done! It’s that easy.
I hope you found this overview of the Walden University financial aid awarding process to be helpful. You can find more detail on each tab we’ve just reviewed by visiting the myFinAid portal. If you have any trouble in your portal or need assistance with financial aid, you can call us at 1-800-WALDENU or email us at [email protected]. Thank you, and best of luck as you continue your studies at Walden!