As a student, what do I need to know about federal financial aid?

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2016-04-04 14:50

Using federal financial aid can often be a confusing process.  Many students using Webster’s financial aid program often have questions about what happens once they have an award in place, and what to expect as they move through the term regarding disbursements and refunds.  Here are the answers to a few questions we hear frequently from students who have already applied for and been awarded federal financial aid.


When is my financial aid applied to my student account?

  • Financial aid is received from the lender and disbursed, or applied, to your student account after the drop period concludes, at the start of the third week of the term.

When should I expect to receive my refund?

  • Refunds are processed within 10 business days after your disbursement is received.  How quickly you receive your refund depends upon the method you have selected (see below).  Typically, you can expect to receive your refund during the fourth week of the term.

How do I get my refund?

  • How you receive your refund depends upon which refund preference you select.  Refunds can be applied to your Webster University Higher One card, sent by electronic transfer to your bank account, or mailed to you as a paper check. Refunds to the Higher One card are typically received the fastest, while paper checks take longer to arrive.
  • If you are a new student, be sure to establish your refund preference when you receive your Higher One card in the mail, even if you do not plan to use the Higher One card.

What actions may impact my financial aid?

  • If you are a new student to Webster University, be sure we have your official, final transcripts on file.  Your financial aid award cannot be disbursed if we have not received your transcripts.
  • Dropping or withdrawing from a course may result in your aid being nullified, or cancelled, for subsequent terms.  Your award is based on the number of credit hours per term you indicated on your Webster University Financial Aid application for the year, so any change to that impacts your award.  Be sure to contact the Financial Aid office if you drop or withdraw, so that your award can be adjusted accordingly and remain in place for future terms.
  • You should also be aware of Satisfactory Academic Progress policies, if you have multiple “W” (Withdrawal) or “I” (Incomplete) grades. Read more…
Can I use my financial aid to purchase my textbooks?
  • If you are expecting a refund, yes!  In fact, you can get an “advance” on your refund before the term begins in the form of a book voucher through the Money for Textbooks program.  To find out more about this program, watch this short video (coming soon).

Do I need to reapply for financial aid every term?

  • If you filed your paperwork correctly and requested aid for each term/semester you expect to be enrolled, typically not.  You do, however, need to reapply each year – new financial aid years begin with the Summer term and include Summer, Fall and Spring semesters.
  • The easiest way to see if you have been awarded aid for every term you expect to have it would be to login to your Connections account, enter the Student Academic Services area, then view the Financial Aid folder from the menu on the left.  Remember the information there only shows one semester at a time, so be sure to look at Summer, Fall and Spring if you expect aid for all terms/semesters.

If you have other questions about financial aid, be sure to let us know so that we can add to this list.  Specific questions about your award should be directed to the Financial Aid office at or (800) 983-4623.

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