Paying for College

Financial Aid: Helping Students to Pay for Their Education

In recent years, more than 60 percent of college students in the United States received some form of financial aid to help offset college-related expenses like tuition and fees, books and supplies. Numerous forms of financial aid are available to students; some are need based while others are merit based.

WCTC's Financial Aid office is available to help students obtain financial aid so they can focus on their studies without the worry of how they will pay for school.

The only form needed to apply for most types of financial aid – either federal or state – is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), unless otherwise stated. Scholarships do not require a FAFSA, however, other application materials are required. (See “FAFSA Fridays” in right column.)

Financial Aid Eligibility

The following criteria are necessary to qualify for most federal and state financial aid programs. You must:

  • Be admitted into an associate degree or technical diploma program.
  • Be registered for at least six credits per semester. Pell Grants may be available to high-need students enrolled less than half time, contingent on federal funding.
  • Be registered for classes that are required for the degree you are currently admitted to.
  • Be a United States citizen, national or permanent resident of the United States.
  • Maintain academic progress toward completion of your degree or diploma. This status is evaluated every semester.
  • Not be in default on a student loan.
  • Not owe a repayment on any federal grant or loan.
  • Be registered with the Selective Service, if you are a male. Register online.
  • Have a high school diploma or a General Education Development (GED) certificate.

Non-Eligible Programs/Courses

Students may be eligible for federal aid, state aid, or a combination of both. Common sources of financial aid:

  • Loans - Money that must be paid back with interest.
  • Grants - Money that does not need to be repaid.
  • Student Employment/Work-study - Money earned through a job.
  • Scholarships - Money that does not need to be repaid.
  • Veterans Benefits - Money provided to military service members and their families. Remember: veterans may be eligible for all types of financial aid, beyond specific veterans' benefits.
  • Emergency Assistance – Money given through the WCTC Foundation for short-term emergencies.

The links below will guide you through the process of applying for student aid and provide resources and answers to financial aid-related questions.

Apply for Financial Aid

  1. Complete the FAFSA

    • The first step to apply for federal and state grants and loans is to use the online Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). File online
    • When filing, you will need to list WCTC's school code: 005294. You can start filing the FAFSA beginning Oct. 1 of the year prior to the year you plan on enrolling.
    • We encourage you to have your FAFSA processed by the priority deadline of April 1 for maximum grant opportunities.
    • The FAFSA requires income and asset information from the student and both parents if they are married and the student is under 24 years of age. The U.S. Department of Education will use this information to calculate your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Within a few days, the U.S. Department of Education will process your FAFSA and send a message to your e-mail address. You should thoroughly review this message to ensure all information is correct.
    • Remember to file the FAFSA early. Nearly 1,000 WCTC students do not receive up to $1,200 in Wisconsin Higher Education Grants every year because they apply for financial aid after these funds are spent.
  2. Apply for Admission

    In order to be considered for financial aid, you must be accepted for admission to an eligible program and be registered for classes that are required for the program you are currently admitted to. Check to make sure the program you are enrolled in is eligible for aid.
  3. Complete Verification (if selected)

  4. Track your Financial Aid Status

    Once you have completed the FAFSA, WCTC will determine your eligibility for federal and state grants and loans. If additional documentation is required, then a posting will be set on your myWCTC account and a letter will be mailed to you.
  5. Respond to Your Award Offer

    An award notice will be sent to your WCTC email address letting you know that you may view your financial aid award on myWCTC and that you may accept any loans that were offered. You are not required to borrow, and you may borrow less than the offer.
  6. View Financial Aid Awards and Accept Student Loans

    Financial aid award notices will be sent to your WCTC email address, along with a link to myWCTC to view your award. Paper award notices are no longer mailed.

    To check the status of your financial aid and to view your award:

    • Select "Student Services"
    • Then select "Financial Aid."
    • Then select "Award Information."
      • Select "Award By Aid Year."
      • Select "Aid Year."
      • Click "Submit."

    If you've completed the Direct Loan Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note (MPN) as a WCTC student, use myWCTC to accept, decline or reduce your Direct Loan:

    • Start with "My Overall Status of Financial Aid."
    • Then select "You have been Awarded."
    • Then select "Accept Award Offer" to review your loan options.

    Direct Loan Disbursement and Direct Deposit

    Direct Loans generally arrive the week before each semester so you can pay your tuition bill. Any remaining loan funds are mailed or directly deposited to your bank account. First-time borrowers must wait 30 days after the semester begins. First-time users should login to myWCTC through "My Account" to set up direct deposit. Select "Student Services" then "Student Account Center." On the new web page, select "eRefunds," then "Payment Profile," to enter or update bank account and routing numbers.

    Electronic Book Vouchers for Pell Grant Recipients

    Pell Grant recipients may use their WCTC IDs or myCard to purchase textbooks in the WCTC Bookstore. Visit the Library to obtain the myCard and gain access to financial aid funds for textbook purchases. Book funds are available the week prior to each term through the second Friday (three weeks). Financial aid will pay your WCTC Bookstore bill and unpaid tuition. Any remaining funds will be mailed or directly deposited into your bank account.

  7. Apply for Scholarships

    The WCTC Foundation is a tremendous resource to obtain scholarships to help pay for tuition and books. The deadline for the fall semester is August 1; the deadline for spring is Nov. 1. Use the WCTC portal to access the online WCTC Foundation scholarship application. Learn more about scholarships.