Spring 2022 Financial Aid

If you are registered for the spring semester, tuition (and housing if you are living on campus) charges should already be reflected on your PAWS account. Until that time, pay attention to the fact that you may have anticipated aid for Spring 2022—but no charges yet. Soon you’ll be able to see a future balance due, and you’ll likely have some questions. Here are some of our FAQs!

What do I owe?

You will be sent an email and a bill from the Bursar Office with details on spring payment.  Please read these carefully. Billing statements for spring will also be viewable on PAWS for all registered students.

It is very important that you select “View Billing Statement” (shown below) which takes into account anticipated financial aid. DO NOT SIMPLY LOOK AT THE ACCOUNT SUMMARY.

*Pop-ups must be enabled/allowed.*

Watch this video if you’d like a more detailed walkthrough of how to read your billing statement.

  • If the amount of anticipated aid is LESS than the amount owed, you will have a balance due the university.  As long as you have anticipated aid of at least $100, or made a minimum payment of $100 or more, any balance due after January 24 will then be moved to the Installment Payment Plan.  Once the balance is moved to the Installment Plan, you will have two new due dates— half of the balance will be due February 17 and and the other half March 17.  That will happen (approximately) January 27.
  • If you will have a credit balance (i.e. you owe less than your anticipated aid), you do not need to make a payment; just confirm all of your aid disburses. Financial aid disbursement begins January 15. Sign up for direct deposit (ACH) refunds at: https://uwm.edu/onestop/refunds/

In some instances, you may appear to have a credit balance, but this may not be the case. Sometimes, not all charges appear at once. Once all charges are posted (tuition, housing, and meals if applicable) you may owe the university.  Any amount owed can be paid using the Installment Payment Plan. Billing/payment plan questions should be directed to the Bursar Office:  (414) 229-4915, bursar@uwm.edu, Mitchell Hall Room 285.

What if I don't have enough to pay my entire bill?

All students are required to sign the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Educational Services Credit Agreement before registering for classes, so you have already done that if you are registered for classes; there’s no need to sign up. Eligible amounts still due after the due date will be put on the Installment Payment Plan. There is a $30 Installment Payment Plan administrative fee assessed after the second week of classes. Please visit the links in this section for details on how the installment plan works as well as how to make a payment.

If you have already been offered financial aid but need additional funds, please visit Additional Financial Aid Options.

What if I don't have any anticipated aid showing?

You should read the Financial Aid PAWS Tutorial for help reviewing your PAWS account including ‘To Do Items and Accepting Aid.”  If you haven’t applied for aid, it isn’t too late. Apply online at www.fafsa.gov.  If you don’t have any anticipated aid, you will want to make the $100 minimum payment in order to participate in the installment plan and avoid possible late fees.

When will my aid disburse?

Financial aid disbursement begins Saturday, January 15, ten days before classes begin.   You should be able to see disbursed aid posted on your PAWS account that afternoon.  Our office will send you an email the following week either confirming your aid has disbursed or explaining why it has not.  We will also send emails prior to January 15 to those who may experience a delay in their disbursement.

Beginning the week before the first disbursement, call volume in our office is extremely high. You may experience difficulty in speaking with a financial aid representative.  The easiest way to verify your funds have disbursed is by checking your PAWS account and reading any email sent to your UWM account.  If you do not see any To Do items in your PAWS account, and do not fall under one of the categories below, you should assume your aid will disburse on time.

The easiest way to verify your funds have been disbursed is by checking your PAWS account after January 15 and read any email sent to your UWM account.

If your aid is more than your charges, the excess will be sent to you to use for your other educational expenses. Sign up for Direct Deposit of your Refund in order to receive your excess funds as quickly as possible. If you do not sign up for direct deposit, the extra (excess cash check) is sent to your PAWS mailing address from the Bursar Office in the form of a check. If you are expecting a check, please make sure that your mailing address on PAWS is correct. The Bursar Office will begin mailing these on Tuesday, January 18. They are unable to hold checks for pickup. If you have questions on your excess cash check, after allowing for postal delivery times, any questions should be directed to the Bursar Office.

What could prevent my aid from disbursing?

Even when disbursement runs smoothly, some students experience delays in receiving their funds.  The most common problems are listed below:


  • Enrollment level and Financial Aid Budgets must match in order for funds to disburse. Original financial aid offers are based on the assumption of full-time enrollment. If you are an undergraduate student enrolled in less than 12 credits, you must tell us how many credits you will take. Our office will review your aid for possible revisions and make sure these match which then allows your aid to disburse. In most cases, a minimum of six undergraduate credits is required to receive any amount of financial aid. If you have not previously provided our office with this information, please do so now. The most efficient way to inform us is via our online contact form. Please provide the number of credits you will take (fall and spring if known). Include ENROLLMENT or CREDIT LEVEL in the subject line and also make sure you include your STUDENT ID # in the body of your email.) Failure to notify our department by August 10 may result in a delay in the disbursement of your aid.
  • Graduate students enrolled in less than 8 credits no longer need to tell us. We will adjust our records to match your enrollment in mid-January. Enrollment in a minimum of 4 four graduate credits is required to receive Federal Loan funding.


  • A one-time MASTER PROMISSORY NOTE (MPN) and ENTRANCE LOAN COUNSELING must be completed in order for Federal Direct and Grad PLUS loans to disburse. If this is your first time borrowing one of these loans, you will need to complete both of these requirements online at studentaid.gov. Select Step 4 Sign Loan agreement to complete the loan application and Step 5 Complete Entrance Counseling if you are borrowing for the first time. If you need to do either of these, you should see it reflected as a “To Do Item” on your PAWS account. Watch a tutorial for help.
  • NURSING LOANS – A new promissory note is needed each year. You should see it as a “To Do Item” in your PAWS account if one is needed.


  • If you are on an academic plan, financial aid warning, or probation, we need to confirm that you are meeting the SAP requirements to remain eligible for aid. This review is generally not completed until closer to the start of the semester.
What else do I need to know?

If you change your enrollment level after your aid disburses, an adjustment to your award may be required.  For details, please refer to the “Census Date” section of the online version of the Financial Aid Handbook (for Undergraduates; for Graduates). Now would be a good time to review the entire handbook for important and timely information.

Pounce the Chatbot allows you to ask your questions 24/7 and most questions will be answered immediately. You can also contact a representative by phone or email. Advisors are available to assist with more complex issues via appointment. You can schedule an appointment online. You can select your preferred way of meeting.

You can get all your questions answered remotely and submit most documents via e-mail or fax.

The office will be closed January 17 for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Find all of our contact information on our website here.