Your CWI Financial Aid Award Notification


Your Award Notification

Each year, after you apply for financial aid, CWI will determine your eligibility for grants, scholarships, student work programs, and student loans and put together a "package" that includes awards from all of the financial aid programs you qualify for. This package of financial aid awards will be communicated to you in an annual "award notification."

Your initial award notification will inform you about the various types of aid offered, the amounts, and possible sources of other aid. CWI makes every attempt to maximize the number and size of any grant, scholarship, or work program (aid you don't have to repay assuming you earn the awards by successfully completing your coursework) while at the same time attempting to keep student loans (aid you do have to repay, with interest) as small as possible.

Important Features of Your Award Notification

  • Your CWI award notification is an estimate of both the costs you may have as well as the financial aid available to pay for those costs as a full-time student.  Most new CWI students enroll full-time (12+ credits per semester) and we want you to know the maximum amount of grant and scholarship aid that could be available to you.  If you will be attending as a part-time student, that is OK too.  Most part-time students are still eligible for financial aid, although for lesser amounts.  If you enroll part-time, your financial aid will be adjusted according to your part-time enrollment and costs.
  • The financial aid you are offered is most often divided between fall semester and spring semester for students attending the "traditional" school year.   Please note that most students who do not enroll in a "traditional" fall/spring pattern or are enrolled in shorter programs are still eligible for financial aid although aid amounts and disbursement dates may be different than in traditional semesters.
  • Please also note that the award amounts listed in your award notification can change.  If, for example, you receive additional financial aid, either from CWI or a non-CWI source, we may need to make adjustments to what you have been offered.  If we adjust your financial aid award you will be notified via email to check your award amounts in myCWI.  If you know you are going to receive a grant or scholarship that doesn’t appear on the award letter, you should notify us.
  • To accept the aid you have been offered, you need to log into myCWI.

How to Accept, Reject, or Reduce your Financial Aid Awards in myCWI

After you receive your award notification email, log into myCWI and review your award notification (My Toolkit > Financial Aid > Award Notification).  Once you are familiar with your financial aid awards as well as the financial aid terms and conditions, you need to officially accept any student loans or work-study awards you wish to use to help pay for your college costs (grants and scholarships are automatically accepted for all students).

Accept or Reject your Financial Awards

  1. Select "Accept or reject my financial aid awards" (My Toolkit > Financial Aid > Accept or reject my financial aid awards)
  2. Select the appropriate academic year.
    • NOTE: the awards you see in this area are annual amounts. If you would like to see your awards broken down by semester, go to “Financial aid status by semester” (this menu option will not allow you to accept or reject).
  3. Accept or reject all of your awards using the “Action to Take on All” drop down menu, OR accept or reject your awards individually near the bottom where each award is listed separately.

Reduce your Student Loan Amount

  1. Select "Change my requested loan amount" (My Toolkit > Financial Aid > Change my requested loan amount)
  2. Select the appropriate academic year. 
  3. Enter the new, lower amount you would like to borrow in the “New Amount" box.
    • NOTE: Entering a new amount will reduce your total loan amount for the year which will then be disbursed in two equal payments (Example: a $1000 loan will be disbursed in two $500 payments, Fall and Spring)
  4. Click “Submit” to reduce the amount you are borrowing.

Increase your Student Loan Amount

CWI encourages you to consider borrowing carefully and avoid student loan debt whenever possible. Your initial CWI Award Notification ONLY includes student loan amounts that CWI recommends for meeting the costs of your education. In many cases, the amount CWI recommends is less than the amount you are allowed to borrow according to the federal borrowing limits.  Also, CWI is committed to giving you the resources you need to make smart decisions about debt.  Before deciding to borrow additional student loans, please visit the Student and Parent Loans page (Debt & Repayment tab) and make a plan to keep your total debt low and  protect your financial future.

To request student loan funds in addition to the amounts offered on your award notification, please complete an Federal Student Loan Change Form (2016-17) and submit it to any CWI One Stop Student Services location.

NOTE: There are limits on the maximum amount in federal student loans you may receive each academic year (annual loan limits) and in your academic career (total loan limits). Annually, student loan amounts cannot exceed your total Cost of Attendance (COA) budget minus total grant, scholarship, work, and other non-loan financial assistance available to you, or the annual loan limits - whichever is less. (

Student loans are only available to students who attend at least half-time (6+ credits each semester), are making satisfactory academic progress, are not in default on other education loans, have borrowed less than the total loan limit and have completed other requirements such as Entrance Counseling and a Master Promissory Note (MPN).

Your Award Notification Explained

You will receive an official award notification email from CWI each school year shortly after you complete your FAFSA application and submit any documentation requested. Your official award notification email will be sent to your CWI student email address if you are a newly admitted or continuing student, or to the email address you provided on your FAFSA if you have not yet been admitted as a degree seeking student. Your official award notification email will direct you to myCWI where you will be able to view your award notification and accept, reject, or reduce your financial aid awards.

If you do not have an email account and/or your are unable to view/print your award notification, please contact us to request a paper copy.

To the right is a sample award notification from CWI. When you receive your official award notification email, please log in to myCWI (My Toolkit > Financial Aid > Award Notification), review your award notification and the financial aid terms and conditions.  Be sure to read and understand this information, especially the circumstances or conditions under which your financial aid awards may change (i.e. part-time enrollment, unreported outside scholarships, etc.)

Highlights of your CWI Financial Aid Award Notification include:

1 - Estimated Cost of Attendance

This is an estimate of the expenses you are likely to encounter during the course of a typical school year.  Most of these expenses are not paid to CWI directly.  Instead, they are estimates of what an "average" student at CWI is likely to spend in each category.  Your cost of attendances is based on several factors such as your housing plans, enrollment status, and state residency. 

IMPORTANT NOTE:  All initial CWI award notifications include full-time cost of attendance and award figures.  Both cost of attendance and award amounts are pro-rated for students who enroll part-time.

  • Tuition and fees - This is an estimate of the tuition and fees that will be charged to your student account for the school year, based on current CWI tuition and fee rates.  
  • Housing and meals - This is an estimate of the amount of assistance you may need for housing and meals while you are in school, based on analysis of U.S. Census and U.S. Department of Agriculture data.
  • Books and supplies - This is an estimate of the cost of your books and other required supplies for the school year, based on average CWI bookstore charges.
  • Transportation - This is an estimate of the amount of assistance you may need for transportation to and from school, based on average distances between CWI locations and federal mileage reimbursement rates.
  • Other education costs - This is an estimate of the amount of assistance you may need for other miscellaneous costs while you are in school such as personal items (based on the Consumer Price Index), loan origination fees, dependent care, etc.

The following is an example of an estimated Cost of Attendance for full-time attendance during the 2016-17 Academic Year (Fall 2016, Spring 2017).

Dependent -- Full-Time Tuition & Fees Books & Supplies Room & Board Other Total
Off-Campus, In-State $3,264 $768 $6,168 $3,638 $13,838
With Parents, In-State $3,264 $768 $3,096 $2,582 $9,710
Off-Campus, Out-of-State $7,200 $768 $6,168 $3,638 $17,774
With Parents, Out-of-State $7,200 $768 $3,096 $2,582 $13,646


Independent -- Full-Time Tuition & Fees Books & Supplies Room & Board Other Total
Off-Campus, In-State $3,264 $768 $6,168 $3,638 $13,838
With Parents, In-State $3,264 $768 $6,168 $3,638 $13,838
Off-Campus, Out-of-State $7,200 $768 $6,168 $3,638 $17,774
With Parents, Out-of-State $7,200 $768 $6,168 $3,638 $17,774


2 - Total Grants and Scholarships

Grants and scholarships are funds you do NOT have to repay (assuming you earn the award by successfully completing your coursework).  This is an estimate of the total amount of grants and scholarships you can use to pay for the estimated costs you are likely to encounter during the course of a typical school year.

IMPORTANT NOTE:  All initial CWI award notifications include full-time cost of attendance and award figures.  Both cost of attendance and award amounts are pro-rated for students who enroll part-time.

  • Grants and Scholarships from CWI -This category includes grants and scholarships awarded to you by CWI, and the CWI Foundation.
  • Federal Pell Grant - This federal grant program helps students with financial need.  Your eligibility for the Pell Grant is based on the information you provided on your FAFSA.  For more Pell Grant information, please visit
  • Grants from your state - This category includes grants and scholarships from the State of Idaho or, if you are an out-of-state resident attending CWI, any scholarships from your home state.  For more Idaho scholarship information, please visit
  • Other scholarships you can use - This category includes all other grants, scholarships, and other non-loan and non-work financial assistance including "outside" scholarships and grants.  If you expect to receive an additional grant, scholarship, or other form of assistance that you do not see listed on your award notification, you must report the award to CWI.

3 - Net Costs

Net Costs are an estimate of how much it may cost you to attend CWI in the current school year.  Your net costs are equal to your estimated cost of attendance minus your total grants and scholarships.  Your net costs represent your "out-of-pocket" costs before considering other forms of financial aid that may be available such as work-study and student loans.

  • Please note that your net costs are a product of your ESTIMATED cost of attendance which represents what an average CWI student can expect to spend for the school year.
  • Your ACTUAL expenses may be somewhat different and your Net Costs may be more or less depending on your actual expenses.

4 - Options to pay net costs

4a - Work Options

  • Work-Study - Whether or not you are offered work-study funding, you have the option to seek employment while you are attending school.  Learn more about CWI student employment opportunities by visiting the Work-Study and Jobs webpage.

4b - Loan Options

Loans are funds that must be repaid with interest.  All federal student loans allow you to defer repayment until after you either graduate or cease to be enrolled at least half-time (6+credits per semester).  Learn more about student loan options by visiting the Student and Parent Loans webpage.

  • Federal Perkins Loan - CWI does not participate in the Federal Perkins Loan program - this loan option is not available to CWI students.
  • Federal Direct Subsidized Loan -  Also known as a subsidized "Stafford" loan, this loan is interest free while you remain enrolled at least half-time at any college that offers federal financial aid and you complete your degree program of choice within 150% of the time it normally takes to complete the program.
  • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan - Also known as an unsubsidized "Stafford" loan, you are charged interest on the amount you borrow while you are enrolled at least half-time at any college that offers federal financial aid.  Payment of the interest can be deferred until after you graduate or cease to be enrolled at least half-time.

4c - Other Options

  • Family Contribution (EFC) - This amount is calculated based on the information you submitted on your financial aid application and takes into account things such as income, assets, the number of persons in the household and the number attending college for the award year. The EFC amount is not an actual amount that you (or your parents) have to pay, but it is an approximation of how much your family should reasonably be able to contribute towards your educational expenses during the academic year.
  • Payment Plan offered by CWI - CWI offers flexible payment plans that will allow you to settle your student account over time. A payment plan is a good option can help you avoid student loan debt. Learn more about CWI payment plans by visiting the Tuition and Fees webpage.
  • Parent PLUS Loan - A Parent PLUS Loan can be used by a parent of a dependent student to cover all of the educational costs that have not been covered with grants, scholarships, work-study, or student loans.  If your parent is interested in borrowing a plus loan, please visit the Student and Parent Loans webpage and apply online at
  • Military and/or National Service benefits - Students serving in the military, or who are veterans, may be eligible for benefits that will pay all or part of their expenses. Additionally, the children of veterans may be eligible for benefits from the Veteran's Administration. AmeriCorps is a civilian national service program which rewards participants with grants to pay for college. If you have questions or need help with your military benefits for college, CWI has professional advisors who specialize in military benefits ready to help!
  • Non-Federal private education loan - There are private lenders who are willing to lend to students. We encourage you to fully utilize the federal student loan programs before you borrow from a private lender. If you decide you need to borrow from a private lender please consider your options carefully.  CWI cannot recommend one private lender over another. The most common private lenders CWI students use (approximately 1% of CWI students) are Wells Fargo and Sallie Mae.

5 - Important Notes

This section contains helpful reminders about important items related your CWI Award Notification.  Be sure to read these notes carefully and, when necessary, complete any additional steps mentioned.

6 - Comparison Metrics

On the right side of the CWI Award Notification there are some statistics that you will find useful in comparing colleges.  The statistics are the most useful when you are comparing similar schools.  For example, a community college is going to be different than a four year college. These statistics on the CWI Award Notification represent undergraduate students at CWI in comparison with other students at similar 2-year schools nationwide.

7 - Contact Us

CWI has a team of student services professionals, including professional financial aid counselors who can help you with any questions you have regarding the financial aid process.  Our contact information, including phone numbers and campus locations is available on our Contact Us webpage.