Managing the Family Contribution

Managing the Family Contribution

The family contribution is the amount of money you and your family are expected to pay toward your college education. The amount is determined by subtracting the financial aid you received from the total cost of attendance. WAU understands that the contribution amount may exceed your family’s resources and encourages you to consider the following options:

WAU Monthly Payment Plan

The WAU monthly payment plan allows students and their parents to spread annual college costs across more manageable monthly installments. Please contact Student Accounts at 301.891.4210 for more information about the WAU tuition payment plan.

Federal Direct Loan Program

The U.S. Department of Education’s federal student loan program is the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program. Under this program, the U.S. Department of Education is your lender. It is important to understand that a federal loan is a legal obligation, and the borrower is responsible for repaying the amount with interest. To receive a Federal Direct Loan, you must be an accepted WAU student and must submit a completed FAFSA form. You can complete the FAFSA form by visiting WAU’s School Code is 002067.

The three types of Direct Loans available to borrowers include:

1. Direct Subsidized Loans

Available to undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need 

2. Direct Unsubsidized Loans  

Available to undergraduate and graduate students

Eligibility is not based on financial need

3. Direct PLUS Loans 

Available to parents of dependent undergraduate students and graduate students

  • An applicant can borrow up to the full cost of education less the amount of other financial aid you will receive
  • Helps pay for tuition, room and board, books and supplies, transportation, and living expenses, less the amount of other financial aid you will receive
  • Eligibility is based on creditworthiness
  • Requires a credit check is required
  • Does not have a minimum or maximum income requirement

Private Alternative Loans

Private alternative loans are non-federal, private credit-based loan products offered by various lending institutions. The loans are issued in the borrower’s name and require school certification of enrollment and eligibility information. We encourage students to exhaust all federal loans described on this page before considering private loans.

Student Employment

Many students choose to supplement their academic coursework and extracurricular activities with part-time work experience. WAU offers a few options and resources for students interested in part-time employment.

Federal Work-Study

The Federal Work-Study Program (FWS) is a federally funded need-based work program allowing students to receive an FWS award as part of their University financial aid package. The program helps students earn wages during college while working at pre-approved organizations. FWS positions are designed with students in mind. The jobs may include flexible hours, employment close to or directly on campus, and an expectation of approximately 10 hours of work per week.

Organizations offering FWS employment include the University itself, local nonprofit and community organizations, and government agencies. Renewal of the award is contingent upon completion of at least 12 credit hours of study each semester, maintenance of a 2.0 or better grade point average, reapplication by the published April deadline, and continued financial need.

Part-time Jobs

Living near a major metropolitan area, WAU students find there is no shortage of part-time employment opportunities. Students can work on campus, at nearby nonprofits and community service organizations, local restaurants, retail stores, and countless other agencies in downtown Washington and surrounding suburbs.


For more information about financial aid at WAU, email, or call 301.891.4005 or 1-800-835-4212 to speak to a Financial Aid Advisor.

Student Financial Aid Office
Washington Adventist University
7600 Flower Avenue, Suite 351
Takoma Park, MD 20912
Phone: 301-891-4005
Toll-Free: 800-835-4212
General Fax: 301.560.5364