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Financial Aid

How to apply for a Federal Direct Loan

Financial aid for online students typically consists of Federal Direct Loans, which have competitive interest rates and flexible repayment options. To qualify for a Federal Direct Loan, you need to complete the process outlined below.

Steps to apply for financial aid

1: Complete the FAFSA

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) can be completed online at The FAFSA must be completed annually in order to access federal funds (loans), and is typically available January 1 of every year. Renewal applicants must maintain a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA.

  • William Woods University’s School Code is: 002525 
  • To confirm your deadline for processing, call the Student Financial Services (SFS) Office at 573-592-1793.

These are the Federal deadlines to fill out the FAFSA. They are not William Woods University deadlines. Please call the Student Financial Services (SFS) Office at 573-592-1793 to confirm your deadline for processing. Should your federal aid application be selected for verification by the Department of Education, you will be required to submit a completed verification worksheet along with additional information to the Student Financial Services Office. If you are selected for verification, the SFS Office will contact you with additional information.

2: Enroll

You must be accepted for enrollment and the course dates must be finalized before a formal offer of financial assistance can be made. Students must be pursuing a degree or federally approved certificate in order to receive federal assistance. Undergraduate students must be enrolled in a minimum of six (6) credit hours and graduate students must be enrolled in a minimum of three (3) credit hours per payment period/semester for student loan eligibility.

3: Sign your Student Aid Award Letter

Once the SFS Office has received notification of enrollment, your file will be reviewed to determine your eligibility for financial assistance. You will receive notification of your eligibility in the form of an award letter. You will be asked to accept or decline the award and return the original to the Student Financial Services Office.

4: Complete your Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note

The SFS Office will process your Federal Direct Loan(s), once we have received your signed award letter and confirmation from the Department of Education that you have completed your online Entrance Counseling (EC) and online Master Promissory Note (MPN). Direct Loan EC and MPN are electronically transmitted to the SFS office within 2-3 business days.

Helpful hints

Read all instructions on all applications carefully and answer all questions as accurately as possible. Keep a copy of all completed forms for your personal records. Complete all necessary documents and return your signed Student Aid Award Letter as soon as possible!

Contact Student Financial Services