Financial aid can make the already affordable tuition at the WashU School of Continuing & Professional Studies (CAPS) even more reasonable.

Students may register for courses after completing all of the steps below. We recommend applying for financial aid as early as possible in the semester prior to your enrollment. Typically, financial aid applications take eight or more weeks to process.

Step 1: Apply for a degree or select a certificate program.

If you have a high school diploma or the equivalent, you may enroll in most CAPS courses. However, some courses are open only to graduate students, and others are open only to students admitted to a degree program. In order to qualify for financial aid, you must first apply for and be officially admitted to a CAPS degree or select certificate programs.*

*The Geographic Information Systems program is eligible for financial aid.

Step 2: Complete the FAFSA online.

To apply for federal student aid, such as federal grants, work-study, and loans, you need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at every year.

Note: Washington University’s school code is 002520.

The FAFSA takes four weeks to process. You may submit the FAFSA before you are officially admitted to CAPS. After you submit the FAFSA, you will receive a Student Aid report from the U.S. Department of Education.

*Note: the FAFSA form will calculate what it calls the “Estimated Family Contribution” figure. This number does not indicate what you will have to pay for tuition, or what you might receive in aid. It is used for our office to gain insight into your eligibility for need-based aid, such as Pell Grants and loans.

Step 3: Complete the Master Promissory Note (MPN).

If you are using Federal Direct Loans (Stafford) or PLUS loans, you must fill out a Master Promissory Note.

Step 4: Complete Entrance Counseling.

New borrowers must complete online entrance counseling. Entrance Counseling ensures you understand your borrower rights and responsibilities.

Step 5: Submit a Financial Aid Award Request Form.

Once Steps 1-5 have been completed, Washington University’s Student Financial Services (SFS) office will send you a financial assistance award letter, telling you how much you are eligible for in Federal Direct Loans (Stafford), Pell Grants, or Missouri state grants.

You must complete the next steps (if applicable) prior to registering for courses.

Note: Financial aid for undergraduate students is awarded based on your current grade level at Washington University.  If you attended another institution, official transcripts must be received and reviewed by your advisor to increase your grade level and award according to the US Department of Education.

Step 6: Login to WashU’s Student Financial Services (SFS).

Visit and use your WUSTLKey to log in. From the MENU dropdown go to Accept Offer to accept, reduce or decline loans. Then from the MENU dropdown go to Documents and Messages to complete any missing documentation.

Step 7: Complete the financial aid process.

Your Student Aid Report will tell you if your FAFSA has been “selected for verification.” In order for you to complete the verification process, you will need to provide the following required documentation:

  1. Verification Worksheet for Independent Students (PDF) or for Dependent Students (PDF)
  2. Finalized federal income tax return information. This must be provided by transferring your tax return information to your finalized FAFSA. If you are not eligible to use the FAFSA IRS data retrieval tool, contact Student Financial Services. If you are not required to file a tax return, submit our Non-Filer Statement at Sign in with your WUSTLKey and from the MENU dropdown go to Messages and Documents to complete the form and upload. To determine if Washington University is missing information from you, please log in to and from the MENU drop down go to Messages and Documents. 

Financial Aid Eligibility Requirements

Financial Aid Eligibility Requirements

Federal and state regulations require that educational institutions measure students’ academic progress toward a declared educational objective. To remain eligible and retain disbursed federal and state financial aid, students must maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP). To remain in good standing, students must satisfy the following requirements:

  • Undergraduate students must complete a minimum of 6 units of course work during each of the fall, spring, and summer semesters with a C (2.0) minimum grade point average.
  • Graduate students must complete a minimum of 4.5 units of course work during each of the fall and spring semesters (3 credit hours during the summer) with a B (3.0) minimum grade point average.

In addition, all students receiving financial aid are reviewed on a case-by-case basis to ensure a significant portion of enrolled courses have been successfully completed.


Students who have not met the SAP requirements as outlined above will be notified in writing and placed on financial aid probation (although students may appeal this decision if there are mitigating circumstances). Students on financial aid probation may continue receiving federal financial aid, however the probationary period remains in effect for the succeeding academic year. Each student is required to meet with the CAPS Financial Aid Coordinator to develop an action plan for meeting SAP requirements. If a student returns to good standing by the end action plan period (typically the end of the following academic year), he or she will be released from probation. If, however, the student does not meet the requirements of the action plan, the student is placed on financial aid suspension, and no further aid will be processed by Washington University in St. Louis.


Students whose financial aid eligibility has been terminated due to SAP may appeal the decision. Federal guidelines dictate that valid appeals must be based on a student’s illness or other extenuating circumstances. Appeals must be in writing and will be reviewed by CAPS and communicated to the student in a timely manner. If aid is suspended, it may be reinstated after one year of satisfactory progress at another college or university.

Failure to complete the required number of units of course work within any given semester will also jeopardize a student’s financial aid for that semester. Washington University may be required to return disbursed financial aid to the lender, which could result in an outstanding balance for the student. Any balance would be due immediately and would be subject to a late fee of at least $50 and up to 5% of the outstanding balance each semester until resolved. A hold will also be placed on your account. Non-payment of tuition and other expenses due the University will be cause for exclusion from class or refusal of graduation, further registration, or transfer of credit. In addition, you are liable for any costs associated with the collection of your unpaid bills, including but not limited to collection agency costs, court costs, and legal fees. Past due amounts can also be reported to a credit bureau.

Students should apply for financial aid as early as possible in the semester prior to enrollment.