Steps to Apply

To help guide you through the financial aid process, follow these steps when applying for financial aid.

Step 1. Apply for Admission

We will accept your financial aid forms if you have applied for admission but have not been admitted. However, financial aid is only awarded to admitted students.

Step 2. Fill out the FAFSA

To apply for all need-based financial aid, including grants, scholarships, loans, and federal work-study funds, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by the priority date, March 15.   Our Title IV School Code is 003955.

Need help with the FAFSA? Watch the tutorial for completing the FAFSA. If you have already submitted the FAFSA but did not list UWF on your FAFSA, you can correct this online at

Step 3. Review your Student Aid Report (SAR)

A SAR is the result of your FAFSA application. If necessary, make changes or corrections and submit your SAR for reprocessing. Your complete, correct SAR will contain your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) - the number used to determine your federal student aid eligibility.

If your SAR was selected for verification, you are required to complete and return the UWF Institutional Verification Form (IVF). This information will automatically be sent to you.  You may also need to submit an IRS Tax Transcript.  The IRS Data Retrieval Tool should be used when completing the FAFSA. This will insure your tax information is populated directly into your FAFSA and will eliminate the need to submit an IRS Tax Transcript if selected for verification.

If you are required to submit the verification documents, we will still award your financial aid; however, all awards are tentative and subject to change until verification documents are received and reviewed by our office. No financial aid is disbursed until verification is complete. Failure to respond to our requests for information will result in your awards being cancelled.

Step 4. Calculate your Expected Family Contribution

The information you provide on the FAFSA calculates what is known as your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). UWF, along with most colleges, uses the EFC as the basis for awarding need-based financial aid. The EFC measures your family's ability to contribute to educational costs but is not necessarily what you are asked to pay. 

Cost of Attendance (COA) includes tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, personal expenses, and transportation. This total varies from student to student, depending on factors such as enrollment status or housing arrangement. 

After a student has been accepted for admission, the Financial Aid Office uses UWF’s "cost of attendance" and the EFC to determine your eligibility. 

Financial Aid Eligibility Formula 
  •    Cost of Attendance (COA)
  • -  Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
  • =   Financial Need

Step 5. Determine your Scholarship Eligibility

For new students, the process for awarding academic scholarships is directly linked to Admission. A number of academic scholarship programs are available to students who have demonstrated high academic achievement. The Financial Aid Office also awards a limited number of need/merit based scholarships. For more information, visit Scholarships.

The True Cost Calculator is designed to help you estimate your financial aid options for University of West Florida. The average time to complete a full estimate is between 3-5 minutes. When you need help feel free to speak to your Admissions counselor or contact the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at or (850) 474-2230.

Step 6. Review  Your Award Letter

Award letters are emailed beginning in March for the following academic year. You can also check your status through the MyUWF student portal to determine if you have been awarded. Your financial aid package may be a combination of scholarships, loans, grants, and Federal Work-Study funds. Find out how we determine your award.

Step 7. Sign your Master  Promissory Note

If you are a first-time borrower and  your award includes a Federal Direct Loan, you will  be required to sign a master promissory note and complete entrance loan counseling prior to disbursement of the loan.