Financial Aid for Trinity Washington University Students

Financial aid refers to a variety of financial aid sources are available to help you pay for college or career school. It is money in the form of grants, scholarships, work-study, loans, or a benefit from completing community service or military service to help students pay for education after high school. Some aid is dependent on financial need.

Financial Aid

FAFSA: Free Application for Federal Student Aid

Apply for federal grants, work-study, and loans with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid form. Your FAFSA data is used to determine your federal aid eligibility.

Use the tabs on the left to familiarize yourself with the Financial Aid process at Trinity!

New changes to FAFSA make it easier than ever to file! Check out the new myStudentAid app for iOS and Android.

  • For spring 2023 and summer 2023 financial aid, complete your 2022-2023 FASFA
  • For your fall 2023 financial aid, complete your 2023-2024 FAFSA

Applying for Financial Aid

Step 1: Complete the FAFSA!

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid can help you get the support you need to pay for your education!

The FAFSA opens each year on October 1.

Things to Remember:

  • You will need your FSA ID to sign your FAFSA. This ID is required for signing all federal aid documents, so once you create your FSA ID, keep the information because you will need it as long as you are in school.
  • If you are dependent, your parents will also need to create an FSA ID to sign your FAFSA.
  • Trinity’s school code is 001460.

Step 2: Submit Additional Documents

If, while filling out the FAFSA, you are notified that you are missing documents, contact the Office of Enrollment Services and they will advise you on what you need to submit for packaging. This will not be required for every student.

Step 3: Accept your awards!

Accept your awards by signing your award letter.

Ways to Sign and Submit Your Award Letter:

  • Log in to my financial and accept through the My Financial Aid portal
  • Print the award letter, manually sign it (by hand, not electronic), and email a PDF of the signed award letter to
  • Visit the Office of Enrollment Services and sign the letter in person.

Step 4: Sign the Master Promissory Note

If you are a first time borrower, you will need to complete entrance counseling and sign the Master Promissory Note.

  • You will need your FSA ID and Trinity’s school code (001460) to complete entrance counseling and the master promissory note.
  • No loans will disburse until you have completed entrance counseling AND signed the master promissory note.

Did you know?

Students must complete a new financial aid application for each school year. You should complete your FAFSA early each spring for the school year that starts the following fall.  You can start your FAFSA as early as January 1.


Q. What is the difference between Federal Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans?

  • Subsidized:The federal government pays the interest on a subsidized loan as long as the student is in school at least half-time. After the student drops below half-time or leaves school, interest will begin to accrue.
  • Unsubsidized: Interest begins to accrue from the moment an unsubsidized loan is disbursed. 

Q. How does my parent apply for a parent PLUS loan?

Q. How do I know if I’m dependent or independent?

  • For each school year, the United States Department of Education determines you are independent of your parents if:
    • You are 24 years old or older;
    • You are an orphan;
    • Are ward of the court or were until age 18;
    • Area veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces;
    • Have legal dependents other than a spouse;
    • Will be enrolled in a graduate school;
    • Are married; or
    • Can prove to the school extremely unusual circumstances that would warrant a dependency override.

Q. Will I get more aid if I am independent from my parents? 

  • Not necessarily. Sometimes you’ll get less.

Q. Is aid available if I already have a bachelor’s degree?

  • Federal grants are not available once you obtain your first bachelor’s degree, but some loans are still available.

Q. Is there aid available for summer school? 

  • Yes, there is limited aid available for summer school, but you need to plan ahead. We typically offer your annual loan limits split evenly between fall and spring semesters. If you need loans for summer, you may want to borrow less for fall/spring.

Q. How do I accept my awards online?

1.) Log in to My Financial Aid through Trinity Self Service.2.) Select the menu drop down on the left-hand side of the page and select “Accept Awards.”


3.) Scroll down to the bottom of the page, and accept and/or decline awards as desired. Click submit.

Q. How do I get my Tax Return Transcript?

  • You can order a tax return transcript by completing the 4506-T form linked below.

Tax Return Transcript

Q. How do I set up a payment plan?

  • Students can set up a Nelnet Payment Plan by logging clicking on the shopping cart for Trinity Self-Service and selecting Payment Plans under My Finances.”

Q. How do I link my tax information to the FAFSA using the Data Retrieval Tool?

  • Select Link to IRS
  • Proceed to the IRS Site
  • Enter your information exactly as it appears on the tax return for the required year. Click submit.

Q. Should I work while I’m attending college?

  • Students who attempt to juggle full-time work and full-time studies may have difficulty completing their academic programs. However, students who choose to work a moderate amount often do better academically. You may find that working in campus jobs related to your career goals may be a good way to manage college costs, get experience and create new ties at Trinity.

Q. What do I do if I have accepted all of my financial aid and it is still not enough to pay for school?

  • If you do not have enough federal aid to cover all costs associated with attending Trinity, we recommend speaking with our Financial Aid Office.

Q. Who do I contact if I have questions about repaying my federal direct loan?

Note: You will need your FSA ID to log in.

For Students in the College of Arts and Sciences

Students who file their FAFSA are automatically considered for the following scholarships, no other application is required.

  • Trinity Leadership Award: Students enrolled in Trinity’s College of Arts and Sciences are considered for the Leadership scholarship at the time of admission based on their high school GPA. Awards range from $8,000 to $15,000 per academic year. Apply to Trinity now!
  • Conway Nursing Scholarship : Available by application to new students in the College of Arts and Sciences who are interested in the Nursing program. Awards are $10,000 per academic year.
  • Trinity Alumni Scholarship: Scholarship is awarded by admissions to students who are admitted to the College of Arts and Sciences who identify the name of their relative who is a previous Alumni on their admissions application. Award is a one-time $2000.
  • Girl Scouts and Troop Leaders Scholarship:
    1. Gold Award Scouts: $5,000
      Students who have completed the Gold Award in Girl Scouting and have been accepted into the College of Arts and Sciences, will receive an award of $5,000 annually.
    2. Silver Award Scouts: $4,000
      Students who have completed the Silver Award in Girl Scouting and have been accepted into the College of Arts and Sciences, will receive an award of $4,000 annually.
    3. Girl Scouts Scholarship: $3,000
      Active participants in Girl Scouting and those that have been accepted into the College of Arts and Sciences, will receive an award of $3,000 annually.

For Students in the School of Professional Studies

  • Early Childhood Education Scholarship – Complete this form if you work in a DC-based childcare center or school in early childhood and need help paying for school. The 2023-2024 application can be found here. Your employer must complete their portion of the application prior to submission to Trinity. Please include your supervisor or employer’s name and email address at the start of the application.
  • Girl Scout Troop Leader Scholarship: Scholarships for Girl Scout Troop Leaders taking undergraduate courses at Trinity in the School for Professional Studies. Awards are a one time, $1000. Be sure to tell your admissions recruiter if you are a troop leader to receive this scholarship

Students who file their FAFSA are automatically considered for the following scholarships, no other application is required.

  • American Association of University Women (AAUW) Scholarship: This scholarship is funded generously by the northern Virginia chapter of the American Association of University Women and is awarded to residents of northern Virginia and DC who have transferred credit to Trinity and have financial need.
  • Women in Housing Finance Scholarship: Funded annually by the Association of Women in Housing Finance to be awarded to a student majoring in Business with financial need, enrolled in the School of Professional Studies

Currently Available Outside Scholarships

Scholarship Tips:

  • Investigate scholarship opportunities early.
  • You don’t have to have a 4.0 GPA or be a star athlete to qualify for free money!
  • Scholarships are FREE, there should NEVER be a fee or charge to apply for any scholarships.

Scholarships are based on a variety of criteria and can be found on the Internet, in scholarship guides, and through sponsoring groups.

Stay organized during your scholarship search by keeping a list with deadlines and requirements. If you can’t apply online, be sure to leave enough time to request, complete, and mail a hard copy. Make your application look as professional as possible. If you choose to include a cover letter make it brief, but interesting.

Helpful Resources for Finding Scholarships

Outside Scholarships

A few of the many online scholarship opportunities are listed below:

For Residents of the District of Columbia:

For Residents of Maryland:

For Teens/Single Parents:

For International Students:

For Students in Healthcare:

For Veteran Students:

For Graduate Students:

For Occupational Therapy Students: 

Other Open Scholarship Opportunities:

Employee Tuition Discounts

These discounts are only available to new students employed with these organizations at the time of their acceptance to Trinity. Trinity will verify your employment information to confirm eligibility.

District of Columbia Employees are eligible for a 10% tuition discount for programs offered through Trinity’s School of Professional Studies.

Employees who have tuition benefits administered by Edcor are eligible for a 15% tuition discount on programs in Trinity’s professional schools.

Employees of Holy Cross Hospital are eligible for a 15% tuition discount on programs in Trinity’s professional schools

For additional information contact:

Loan Repayment Assistance through ECMC

We’ve teamed up with Solutions at ECMC to answer all of your student loan repayment questions. Solutions is a service of the non-profit organization ECMC and is dedicated to helping students manage educational loans. Their resources are available to you free of charge. To contact a Solutions Student Loan Repayment Advisor, email or web chat, or call them at 1-877-331-3262.


Have more questions? Visit the Registrar/Enrollment Services Office site for more information!

Financial Aid 101

Aid comes from various sources, with a majority of aid coming from the U.S. Department of Education. Aid also comes from states, including the District of Columbia. Trinity Washington also supports its student by providing opportunities to apply for Institutional Grants and Scholarships.

There are four main types of Aid:

  • Grants: Eligibility-based money gifted that doesn’t have to be repaid (under normal circumstances)
  • Scholarships: Need or association-based money that can be gifted by an institution
  • Tuition Discounts: Some institutions have tuition discount arrangements with a college
  • Loans: Private or government-backed money that can be borrowed, and must be paid back, generally with interest

Each source of aid will determine eligibility differently.

In addition, Federal work study, and various Veteran’s benefits may be available to some students.

Dive deeper: download our Financial Aid Information Booklet!

Financial need is determined by subtracting the expected family contribution from the expected cost of attendance from the institution. Your expected family contribution is calculated based on a formula developed by the United States Congress, based on the size of the family and the family’s income. The expected cost of attendance is calculated by adding up tuition, fees, room and board, books and supplies, transportation and other miscellaneous expenses.

Dive deeper: download our Financial Aid Information Booklet!

Generally, keep these things in mind in order to stay in good standing where your much of your aid is concerned:

  • You must maintain satisfactory academic progress
  • Most aid requires you only use money for educational expenses for a certain period of time
  • Withdrawls, incompletes, and leaves of absence will affect your aid and what you owe
  • Defaulting on your loans will result in negative consequences

Dive deeper: download our Financial Aid Information Booklet!

  • You have the right to know what financial aid is available to you, including all federal, state and institutional programs. In addition, you have the right to know the deadlines, selection criteria, terms, policies, procedures and regulations that apply to each of the programs.
  • You have the right to know how your financial need was determined.
  • You have the right to appeal your financial aid award if you feel there are special circumstances that were not originally taken into consideration
  • You have the right to know how Trinity determines whether you are making Satisfactory Academic Progress.
  • You have the right to know how and when your financial aid will be disbursed.
  • You have the right to know Trinity’s Refund Policies.
  • You have the right to expect that all information reported by you and/or your family will remain confidential and will not be released without your written consent according to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
  • If you have a loan, you have the right to know the terms of the loan, such as interest rate, the total amount that must be repaid, the length of time you have to repay, when you must start repayment, cancellation provisions, deferment and forbearance possibilities and any special consolidation or refinancing options.
  • You have the right to consolidate all your federal loans after graduation.

Dive deeper: download our Financial Aid Information Booklet!

  • You are responsible for providing accurate and timely information to the Financial Aid Office
  • You are responsible for reapplying for financial aid each and every year.
  • You are responsible for submitting documentation and information requested by the Financial Aid Office in a timely manner and keeping copies for your own records.
  • You are responsible for notifying Trinity of any name or address changes.
  • You are responsible for notifying the Financial Aid Office of any financial awards you receive from outside resources (including scholarships, grants, Veteran’s Benefits, tuition waivers, or other educational/tuition assistance) not already listed on your Financial Aid Award Letter.
  • If you borrow a student loan, you are responsible for completing loan master promissory note, entrance and exit counseling.
  • You are responsible for the repayment of all loans in accordance with the terms of your promissory note.
  • You are responsible for maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress.
  • You are responsible for the repayment of any over award of financial aid.

Dive deeper: download our Financial Aid Information Booklet!