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Student Employment & Work Study

Many students choose to supplement their academic coursework and extracurricular activities with a part-time work experience. Part-time jobs not only provide a source of income, but many students believe that work experience adds structure to their weeks and empowers them with valuable skill sets. WAU provides a number of options and resources for students interested in part-time employment during their undergraduate tenure. These opportunities are available during the academic year as well as the summer months.

Federal Work Study (FWS)

The Federal Work-Study Program (FWS) is a federally funded need-based work program that allows students to receive a Federal Work-Study award as part of their University financial aid package to earn wages during college while working at pre-approved organizations.   Organizations that offer FWS employment include the University itself, local nonprofit organizations, government agencies and community service employers. 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.

There are a number of advantages to a federal work-study position. Because these positions are designed with students in mind, FWS jobs may include flexible hours, employment close to or directly on campus and an expectation of approximately 10 hours of work per week.

Part-time Jobs

Living near a major metropolitan area, WAU students find that 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 its suburbs.

Understanding Loans

Undergraduate Loans


Educational loans are often a necessary and, at times, a desirable way to help finance a college education. In addition to using family savings, scholarships, grants and student employment, many families may still need or want to take out loans as part of their college financing plan.  Educational loans can be obtained through the federal government or through private sources—or a combination of both. There are various types of loans for families seeking assistance in funding the family contribution toward college costs and for students for whom loans are part of the financial need-based package.  Loans are disbursed equally between the fall and spring semesters (if the student is enrolled in both semesters).  Loans can be disbursed for summer term if student was not enrolled for one of the fall or spring semesters.

WAU participates in several federal low-interest loan programs. Below are the various types of loans for families to consider. Some are need-based; others are not.

Federal Perkins Loan Program

The Federal Perkins Loan is awarded to students who demonstrate need. Award amounts depend upon the demonstrated need of the student and funding levels. To be considered for this loan, students must submit a completed FAFSA. If eligible, the financial aid award from WAU will include this loan, and WAU will be the lender. This loan has an interest rate of 5 percent, which begins to accrue nine months after graduation or when the student drops below half-time status. Repayment generally starts three months later and may continue for up to 10 years, excluding periods of deferment.

Federal Direct Loan Program

The Federal Direct Loan Program is funded by the U.S. Department of Education. To receive a Federal Direct Loan—whether subsidized or unsubsidized—applicants for admission to WAU must submit a completed FAFSA, an e-mpn and Entrance Counseling at The financial aid award may include one or both of the following Federal Direct Loans.

There are two types of Federal Direct Student Loans for Undergraduates Both loans require a student be enrolled at least half-time (at least 6 credits per semester):

Federal Direct Subsidized Loans: Direct Subsidized Student Loans are for students with financial need, as determined by federal regulations.  No interest is charged while you are in school at least half-time, and during a period of deferment (a postponement of loan payments).

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans:  Direct Unsubsidized Student Loans are not based on financial need; interest begins accruing on the date the loan is received. Applicants may choose to pay the interest only or allow it to accumulate and capitalize (added to the principal amount of the loan) until they graduate or leaving WAU.

For more complete information on the Direct Loan Program, visit the federal web site,

Direct Loan amounts increase each year as the student successfully matriculates. The interest rate on the Federal Direct Loan is a fixed rate. For the 2013-2014 academic year, the interest rate is 3.86 percent for first time disbursed subsidized and unsubsidized loans.

Grade Level

Maximum Subsidized

Maximum Unsubsidized


















An additional amount in Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan funding is made available to an independent undergraduate student or dependent student whose parent is ineligible for a Direct PLUS loan. Those limits are as follows.

Grade Level

Maximum Subsidized

Maximum Unsubsidized


















Federal Direct Plus Loan for Undergraduate Students

Federal Direct PLUS Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) loans funded by the U.S. Department of Education are available to credit-worthy parents. With a Direct PLUS loan, parents may borrow up to the full cost of a student's education, including tuition, room and board, books and supplies, transportation and living expenses, less any other financial aid. There are no maximum or minimum income guidelines for eligibility for the loan. Additional advantages include a 6.41% percent fixed interest rate. Interest may be tax deductible.

Private Alternative Loan Options

Private alternative loans are non-federal, private credit-based loan products offered by various lending institutions. The loans are credit dependent and may require a co-signer.  The loans generally require school certification of enrollment and eligibility information and are issued in the student's name. They can be used like a federal PLUS loan to borrow up to the cost of attendance less any financial aid. We encourage students to exhaust all federal loans described on this page before considering private loans.

Leaving school: graduating, withdrawing, or dropping below half-time

Once you are no longer enrolled at least half time in an eligible program, you'll receive a 6-month grace period (see below) on your Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans during which you are not required to make loan payments. You must begin repayment at the end of your grace period.  For more information visit Exiting Direct Loans.

National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS)

Loan Reporting

All federal student loans obtained by a student or parent are reported to and tracked on the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS).  NSLDS loan records are accessible to all authorized NSLDS users, including schools, student loan guaranty agencies, lenders, federal agencies, and other authorized users. 

Alternative and private education loan information is not reported to NSLDS.

Accessing NSLDS

Student and parent loan borrowers may view their federal loan information at NSLDS.  Borrowers access the system using their federal PIN.  Students can also access prior federal grant information at NSLDS


First Year Academic Scholarships
Academic Awards are based on a combination of cumulative high school GPA and SAT or ACT scores. Awards are renewable provided the student is enrolled full-time and remains in good academic standing.
Index ScoreAward NameAnnual Award4-year Total Award
80-100 Presidential $8,000 $32,000
80-100 CU Merit* $2,000 $8,000
70-79 Trustee $6,000 $24,000
60-69 Gateway $4,000 $16,000

Calculate Your Scholarship
You can use your Cumulative GPA and either your ACT Composite Score or your SAT Math and Critical Reading Combined score to calculate your index score.

Your Cumulative GPA x 12.5    
Your SAT Critical Reading and Math Combined x .03 OR
Your ACT Composite x 1.4
Your Scholarship =  

*Students are eligible for the CU Merit Award if they graduate from a Seventh-Day Adventist Academy located within the Columbia Union of Seventh-Day Adventists and meet the qualifications for the Presidential Award.

ACT/SAT Scholarships**

ACT Composite ScoreSAT Score (Crit. Reading + Math)Award
29-31 or 95th Percentile 1410-1510 or 95th Percentile 50% tuition for four years
32-36 or 99th Percentile 1520-1600 or 99th Percentile 75% tuition for four years
National Merit Finalist** Full Tuition for 4 Years
National Merit Semi-Finalist** 75% Tuition for 4 Years

**To document your eligibility have your scores or certificate sent to Washington Adventist University Admissions Office.

Transfer Academic Scholarships
Awards are renewable provided the student is enrolled full-time and remains in good academic standing.

GPAAward NameAnnual Award
3.20 & above Dean's Scholarship $3,000
2.75 - 3.19 Founder's Scholarship $1,500

Leadership Scholarships
Washington Adventist University is pleased to offer Gateway Leadership Scholarships to first-time WAU students in the schools of Arts and Social Sciences and Health Professions, Science and Wellness. These scholarships are for the student’s first year only and are not renewable. Students are eligible based on elected or appointed offices held during their Junior and/or Senior years of high school. If a student has held more than one office, only one scholarship can be awarded and will be given for the highest office held. In order for any scholarship to be awarded, a verification letter must be received from the high school, church, or community organization stating the office held and the period of time the office was held..

Student Association President $2,000
Senior Class President $2,000
Student Association Vice President $1,500
Senior Class Vice President $1,500
Junior Class President $1,500
Junior Class Vice President $1,250
Other SA or Class Office $1,000
School Publication Editor (Yearbook, Newspaper) $1,000
Church, Community Organization Leader $750*

*Students wishing to receive Church or Community Organization Leadership scholarships must meet the following criteria:

1. Student must hold and elected or appointed office which duties include, but are not limited to, planning, leading or creating events and activities, coordinating use of resources including people and funds;

2. Participation in such activities a minimum of once a week.

The same process for verification for the School Leadership scholarships must be followed for Church and Community Organization Leadership Scholarships.

Athletic Scholarship: NAIA
Recipients must try out, be selected, and participate in one of the following NAIA sports:

  • Basketball - Men/Women
  • Cross Country - Men/Women
  • Soccer - Men/Women
  • Volleyball - Women's
  • Acro Airs

Music Scholarship

Recipients must audition, be selected, and participate in one or more of the following groups:

  • Pro Musica (Chamber/Honors Choir)
  • New England Youth Ensemble at Washington Adventist University (Orchestra)
  • Washington Concert Winds (Concert Band)

Keyboard performers earn their scholarship by being selected to perform with the orchestra and as an accompanist in the department. The amount of the scholarship varies. The scholarship is renewable based on eligibility. Contact the Department of Music at 301-891-4025 for more information or e-mail .

Acro-Airs: WAU's Gymnastics Team

The amount of the scholarship varies. The scholarship is renewable based on eligibility. Acro-Air Scholarship recipients must maintain their academic eligibility including GPA and academic progress requirements. Contact the WAU Athletic Department at 301-891-4195 for more information or e-mail .

Washington Adventist University Need Grant

Grants are based on your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) number, generated by the completion of your FAFSA. Recipients must apply for federal financial aid (FAFSA) in order for the Student Financial Services office to determine eligibility. This grant is availiable only to U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

Literature Evangelist Scholarship

Recipients must work during the summer as a student literature evangelist in the Seventh-Day Adventist Church Literatre Evangelism Program. The amount of the scholarship is equal to 50% of the first $3,000 of sales commissions received by WAU from the employer, 100% of sales commissions from $3,001 to $4,000, and 12% of sales commissions over $4,000. WAU does not match any bonuses received. Contact the Review and Herald Publishing Association at 301-791-7000 for more information on this program. An exception applies for students who receive SDA employment subsidy.

Youth Camp/Summer Ministries Scholarship

Recipients must work as a youth camp or summer ministries employee at one of the Adventist youth camps or organizations. WAU matches 100% of the net cash the college receives from the conference up to $1,500 per academic year, disbursed one-half each semester.

Three-Way Scholarship

The Three-Way scholarship can be applied for by contacting your local Seventh-Day Adventist Church to see if they participate in the program. If the church approves up to $500 from church funds, they then send the funds to the conference for matching funds. The Conference sends all the funds to Washington Adventist University and then WAU matched the conference portion up to $500. If the Conference does not participate, your church can send $500 directly to WAU & then WAU will contribute up to $250 to your student account.

Other Scholarship Sources

The Fine Print

  • Institutional Scholarships will not be awarded in excess of tuition.
  • Scholarships and discounts are divided and distributed equally over the fall and spring semesters. Scholarships are not applicable for summer sessions.
  • Scholarships are availiable to full-time students taking 12 or more hours each semester.
  • Washington Adventist University reserves the right to change or amend any of the scholarship policies at any time.

Federal Grants

Federal Pell Grant

Pell Grants are considered the foundation of federal financial aid to which aid from other federal and non-federal sources might be added. The Federal Pell Grant is awarded only to undergraduate students who have not previously earned a bachelor's or professional degree. The amount awarded depends not only on financial need, but also on costs to attend school, status as a full-time or part-time student and plans to attend school for a full academic year or less.

Funds may be used for tuition, fees, books, room, board or other educational expenses. For the 2013-2014 academic year, the maximum award amount is $5,645. Renewal is contingent on maintaining a 2.0 or better grade point average, reapplication of the FAFSA and continued financial need.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) awards offered at WAU range from $200 to $1,000. In accordance with federal regulations, FSEOG is awarded to students with exceptional financial need, and priority is given to students with Federal Pell Grant eligibility. Renewal of the FSEOG is contingent upon maintaining a 2.0 or better grade point average, reapplication by the published April deadline, continued financial need and Federal Pell Grant eligibility. Funds may be used for tuition, fees, books, room, board and other educational expenses.

Cost of Attendance Strategies for Financing Your Education

With the rising costs of tuition combined with the current economic situation confronting families, there are many questions that you may have about the affordability of attending WAU.  We offer the following advice:

1. Plan early.

2. Do research to find out what federal, university, state, private, activity and academic help is out there, as well as what independent scholarships, funding and awards are available.

3. Never self-select out of financial aid. Apply even if you don’t think you have need.

4. Follow deadlines in order to avail yourself of all opportunities and options.

5. Have family conversations about affordability and how much of a financial commitment your family is willing to assume.

6. Talk to a financial aid counselor for help in understanding what you may be eligible for.