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 the Class of 2024 (entering in fall 2020) who:

  • 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, guaranteed for all four years.
  • The financial assistance packages for these students will include no loans
  • These students will also be eligible for our startup grants ($2,000 to be used toward the cost of a computer and other 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 an ongoing effort to provide every student the true WashU experience, Chancellor Andrew D. Martin launched two new grants to help low-income first-year students transition to college.

The one-time grants are:

  • a $500 grant to cover or offset the cost of a computer; and
  • a $1,500 startup grant to cover necessities such as books, winter clothing and housing supplies.

The grants are for first-year students from families with less than $75,000 in family income or who are receiving a federal Pell Grant.

In addition to the pilot grants, Washington University will 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.

Start-Up Grant Webinar

Webinar recorded March 28, 2019. Please refer to our website for updated information and deadlines.

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.