Frequently Asked Questions

1 . How do I apply for financial aid at Gonzaga?^

If you have been admitted to the university, have completed a FAFSA for the academic year, and are eligible for aid, you will receive a financial aid offer. February 1st is our priority funding deadline. If you have high financial need, you should apply before this deadline. Other schools may require separate financial aid applications, so make sure you are aware of requirements at every school at which you will apply.

2 . How much does it cost to go to Gonzaga?^

An estimated cost breakdown can be found by visiting the Estimated Costs section of the Admissions website. 

3 . How are financial aid awards constructed?^

Before a student's financial aid can be constructed, the first two key requirements to have completed are a completed application to Gonzaga University as well as a completed Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the correct year of admission.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) provides our office with information necessary to establish your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Once this EFC has been determined, a financial aid administrator will review your information and prepare an award package for you. This award is made for fall and spring semesters and takes into account any scholarships for which you are eligible based on academic merit.

The Financial Aid Award package is put together in the following manner:
  • Eligibility for a Federal Pell Grant and Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG) is determined first. Washington residents may qualify for a Washington State Need Grant, which is also determined at this point.
  • If you have been selected for a merit scholarship, such as the Dean's or Regent's scholarship, it will be added next to your package.
  • If, on the basis of your overall academic merit and your financial need, you are eligible for further Gonzaga grant funds or scholarships, these will be added to your package.
  • Next, your eligibility for a Federal or State Work Study award is evaluated and determined. If you are eligible, you will be offered Work Study.
  • Finally, loan assistance is determined and added to your package. The programs and amounts are determined by your year in school and your financial need.
  • Watch your Gonzaga email account for notices regarding your Financial Aid Award. An electronic version of your award is available through your Zagweb account.

4 . What does the February 1st priority funding deadline mean?^

Each year colleges and universities are given a financial aid budget for institutional, state, and federal funds. Financial aid is awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis. Those whose FAFSA's are received before the priority funding deadline will be awarded limited funds first. If the budget for a fund is exhausted, those who have filed a FAFSA after the deadline may not be awarded a fund he or she would have otherwise been eligible to receive. When you are looking at prospective schools, it is important to note that each university has a different priority funding deadline. Make sure you are aware of all deadlines, and keep in mind that the FAFSA deadline and the deadline to apply to a school may not be the same.

5 . What happens if I (or my parents) do not file a tax return by the February 1st deadline?^

For those students (or parents) who will not file a tax return by the February 1st FAFSA priority deadline, pay stubs, W2's, and the previous year's FAFSA information may be used as an estimate in order to complete the paperwork on time. Once taxes have been filed and you have an accurate 1040, you may log back into your FAFSA and update the information. Do not delay in filing your FAFSA, as you may miss out on many funding opportunities; and do not forget to update your estimated information to receive the best award possible.

6 . When will I receive my financial aid award?^

Students who have applied on time, and who have filed their FAFSAs by the February 1st priority filing deadline, will have financial aid awards mailed to them in April. For students who file a FAFSA after the priority deadline, financial aid awards are completed and mailed on a weekly basis as the FAFSAs are received.

7 . How long do I have to decide whether or not I will accept my financial aid award?^

You generally have 30 days from when you receive your Award Notice to accept or decline your financial aid offer. It is important to return your award offer as soon as possible. If our office does not hear from you, we will award your funds to another student in need. If this happens, you may not be able to get these funds back.

8 . What happens to my financial aid if I need to withdraw?^

Information about withdrawing from the University can be found reading information here provided by the Registrar, as well as here from the Student Accounts Office. Further questions can be directed to members of these offices, or by contacting your Financial Aid Counselor. 

9 . Can my financial aid award change?^

Yes. Your initial financial aid award offer is based on the FAFSA information we have at the time the award is created. After that time, we complete the verification process by checking your FAFSA information against tax documents and other information, like family size, number in college, etc. Any discrepancies may cause a change to your financial aid award. Therefore, it is to your advantage to make sure the information on your FAFSA is as accurate as possible. Additionally, if you filed your FAFSA based on estimated income tax information, it is important to make corrections to your FAFSA as soon as you file your tax return.

10 . What happens to my financial aid if I receive an outside scholarship?^

Gonzaga University believes that you deserve to be recognized for your work in obtaining outside scholarships, and that you deserve the financial reward that comes with it. Therefore, we will not reduce your Gonzaga scholarships or grants unless the combination of your Gonzaga scholarships/grants and your outside scholarships exceed the cost of attendance. According to federal regulations, your total financial aid package cannot exceed the cost of attendance. Do be aware that outside scholarships can affect some loan or work study eligibility.

11 . What is Gonzaga Grant?^

Through the generosity of many alumni, friends, and benefactors, we award in excess of $3 million annually in endowed scholarships, many of which have particular criteria (for example, specific majors). Some scholarships and grants are awarded by particular departments and are contingent upon specific criteria. These institutional scholarships and grants are awarded both on the basis of financial need and academic promise. Most admitted students received some amount of their aid from institutional scholarships and/or grants.

12 . What if my financial aid exceeds the amount of my tuition and expenses?^

Financial aid is designed to help fund all your educational expenses. Depending on your expected family contribution (EFC) determined from the FAFSA, your financial aid award may exceed what you are charged for tuition, fees, and room and board. If your financial aid package exceeds the amount charged to your student account for tuition, fees, and room and board, you will receive a refund check through the Student Accounts Office. The remaining funds in this refund check may be used to for books, personal expenses, travel expenses, and any other costs necessary to attend college.

13 . What if my family is experiencing unusual financial circumstances?^

Unfortunately, there are times when a parent loses a job, there is a death or divorce in the family, your house is damaged by an earthquake, or some other out-of-the-ordinary event occurs. Gonzaga University believes there are some circumstances that warrant further investigation and review. If you have unusual family circumstances, please feel free to contact the Financial Aid Office to determine what kind of documentation we will need to assess your situation. You might also check the Special Conditions Appeal Form to see if this tool fits your needs.

14 . What is the verification process, and how do I know if I need to complete it?^

The verification process is a federal requirement which mandates financial aid offices to confirm the information provided on your FAFSA. We ask for documentation, such as income tax returns and verification of items you claimed on your FAFSA, such as family size, number of people in your family attending college, asset information, income exclusions, etc. We match this information with that on the FAFSA and revise financial aid awards if necessary. Approximately 30% of all financial aid applicants are randomly chosen for this review process. Gonzaga University will notify you of any documents we will need from you. In order to finalize your financial aid award, you do need to return those documents to us in a timely manner. Remember, until the verification process has been completed, your financial aid award can change. The more accurate your initial FAFSA information is, the fewer adjustments we will need to make to your award later.

For those students (or parents) who do not file a tax return by the time classes begin in the Fall, your aid can be held up. If you receive any Federal aid, such as a Stafford loan, Pell grant, etc., your funds will not be released to your account until verification is complete.

15 . What is the average student loan debt for a Gonzaga University graduate?^

For students who graduated in 2009, the average loan debt of those who borrowed loans while at Gonzaga was $24,883. (A lot less than a new mid-size vehicle!) Gonzaga’s current Stafford Loan cohort default rate is 1.1 percent and the Perkins Loan cohort default rate is 1.77 percent. (National average is 5.6 percent.) We are pleased to be among the lowest default rates in the country.

16 . Why am I being asked to write a thank you note for my scholarship?^

There are times that receipt of a scholarship requires a thank you letter to be written to the donor. It goes without saying that these donors make a tremendous impact on our students by their generous donations of scholarship funds, particularly in such financial challenging times.To completely receive your scholarship simply follow the steps below.

Here are the steps to find out where to send your letter:

  1. Log in to ZagWeb
  2. Click Student & Financial Aid
  3. Click Financial Aid
  4. Click My Award Information
  5. Click Award by Year
  6. Select the current year
  7. Click the Award Overview tab
  8. Click the name of the Scholarship
  9. Follow the instructions to send the thank you note, making sure to bring a copy to Financial Aid. You may also e-mail your copy to financial aid if you choose to do so. (