Don’t let cost be a barrier

Washington University is committed to continuing to find new ways to provide students the resources they need to engage fully in academic and campus life.

Through its commitment to meet 100% of demonstrated need for all admitted full-time students and to replace loans with additional scholarship for students from families making $75,000 or less, WashU has made substantial progress in attracting and enrolling Pell-eligible students, growing the number from 6% in 2013 to 15% in 2019.

At the same time, the university has introduced a number of resources and programs to ensure these students succeed and have the full Washington University experience.

WashU Pledge

In October 2019, Chancellor Martin announced the WashU Pledge, a bold new financial aid program that will provide a free undergraduate education to incoming, full-time Missouri and southern Illinois students who fit within the financial criteria.

Who is eligible for the WashU Pledge?

First-year, full-time students admitted to WashU:

  • Reside in or attend high school in Missouri or are home-schooled in Missouri or
  • Reside in or attend high school in one of 53 defined counties in Illinois or home-schooled in one of these Illinois counties
  • Are Pell Grant-Eligible or come from a family with $75,000 or less in annual income
  • Are U.S. Citizens, permanent residents, DACA, or undocumented

Part-time students or students who are earning a degree from University College are not eligible.

What does the WashU Pledge include?

  • The WashU Pledge includes scholarships and grants covering the cost of tuition, fees, room and board (based on a modern/double room and the Silver meal plan), guaranteed for all four years
  • These students will also be eligible for our startup grants ($1,500 to be used toward the costs for materials necessary to beginning their college careers.)

What do I need to do to receive this funding?

WashU Pledge
Map of the areas covered under the WashU Pledge

Start-Up Grants

As part of our commitment to provide every student the true WashU experience, Chancellor Andrew D. Martin launched a series of grants to help first-year students from families with less than $75,000 in family income or who are receiving a Federal Pell Grant.

As part of the series, Start-Up Grants aid students in their transition to college and help to cover expenses associated with necessary school items including but not limited to school supplies, residential hall supplies, and winter clothing.

Washington University will also waive the $1,550 summer earnings expectation for entering low-income first-year students. The elimination of the earnings expectation will result in an overall increase in financial aid.

Common Questions for 2021-2022 academic year first-year grant recipients.

Technology Grant

First-year and Transfer Undergraduate Students Entering in Fall 2021

Students entering in Fall 2021 who are earning a degree through one of the undergraduate schools and are receiving need-based financial aid are eligible to receive a computer before or during their first semester. Students will be given a campus bookstore credit of $1,115 to be used for the purchase of a laptop computer that meets current undergraduate minimum requirements. Students may also use this credit toward a purchase of a more expensive computer that meets more than the minimum requirements.

For guidance and support regarding the university’s technology requirements and recommendations visit WashU Tech Den, a technology resource center available to all WashU students.

Click here for the full grant policy

Other initiatives

  • The Student Success Fund, which covers the cost of travel to interviews, academic fees, and medical and living expenses incurred during an unpaid internship.
  • Deneb STARS, a cohort program that provides community and support to Pell-eligible and first-generation students through academic and peer mentors.