Financial Aid - Graduate
Applying for Financial Aid - Graduate
Sources of Aid
Federal Direct Stafford Student Loans
Federal Direct Stafford Loans are available to U.S citizens and permanent residents who are enrolled at least half-time (three credits/semester). Typically, Stafford Loans are included in your initial financial aid package and are available to all students, regardless of need. No cosigner or credit check is required. The student is the borrower and repayment begins six months following graduation, over a 10-year period.
Graduate students must meet the following criteria to be eligible:
- Matriculating graduate student (accepted into an eligible degree or certificate program) taking at least 3 credits/semester, regardless of financial need, can apply for a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan.
- Graduate students may be eligible to borrow up to $20,500 per year, depending upon their annual cost of attendance (Note: interest will accrue during the in-school and grace periods).
- The interest rate is variable-fixed: fixed for the life of the loan but reset July 1 for the upcoming school year. For the 2022-2023 academic year, the interest rate on the Federal Direct Stafford Student Loan for graduate students is 6.54%.
- There is a 1.057% origination fee deducted from the loan amount by the federal government.
To receive the Federal Direct Stafford Loan, first-time borrows at Saint Joseph's University must do the following:
- Complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) at http://studentaid.gov/
- Complete an Entrance Counseling Session at http://studentaid.gov/
Federal Direct GradPLUS Loans for Graduate Students
- Available to credit-worthy graduate students enrolled at least half-time (6 credits/semester) regardless of financial need, once your Stafford Loan eligibility for the year has been exhausted.
- Graduate students can borrow up to the cost of attendance minus other financial aid received on an annual basis.
- Repayment begins six months following graduation (or the last date of half-time enrollment) and repayment period is ten years.
- The interest rate is variable-fixed: fixed for the life of the loan but reset July 1 for the upcoming school year. For the 2022-2023 academic year, the interest rate on the Federal Direct GradPLUS loan is 7.54%.
- There is a 4.228% origination fee deducted from the loan amount by the federal government.
- Graduate students can apply for a GradPLUS Loan at http://studentaid.gov/. If approved, the student borrower must complete the PLUS MPN (Master Promissory Note) at http://studentaid.gov/ (good for 10 years except in the case of an endorsed loan).
Federal Health Professions Student Loan
The Federal Health Professions Loan is a low-interest (5% fixed rate) subsidized, federal loan for dependent Pharmacy students funded by HHS/HRSA. No interest or principal payments are due until one year after a student graduates or drops below half-time status. A promissory note must be completed each year by the student. This loan is awarded by the Financial Aid Office and eligibility is determined based on a combination of significant need as demonstrated on the FAFSA and the availability of funds. Students must complete a FAFSA each year so eligibility can be determined. Students are required to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress for this award.
Many of our graduate programs offer graduate assistantship opportunities. Through graduate assistantships, students work in a part-time capacity for the University and the stipend goes toward tuition. Check with the director of your program of interest to see if you are eligible.
If you indicated interest in financial aid on your application, you will be considered for any available funds when reviewed for admission by faculty. There is no separate application form to be considered for institutional aid. This is a highly competitive process with preference for institutional funds going to PhD students. Awards are made after March 15th for the fall semester and after October 15th for the spring semester. The University will notify students who receive institutional funds in the form of stipends and/or tuition scholarships.
Graduate Student Instructorships (GSIs)
The Departments of Biology, Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences may offer Graduate Student Instructorship (GSI) positions to full-time PhD students. For more information about GSI positions please contact your program director.
These departments hire highly qualified, matriculated, full-time PhD students to assist in teaching and grading. GSIs are expected to provide 17 hours per week of service to the University, usually as an instructor, plus other ancillary duties, such as proctoring, as needed. GSIs are assigned their teaching duties by either their Program Director or Department Chair. GSIs are required to participate in all teaching assistant training sessions sponsored by the Environmental Health and Radiation Safety, the Office of Graduate Education, and their department.
GSIs are awarded a stipend and a tuition scholarship on a semester-to-semester basis with the typical contract lasting a full academic year.
Most GSIs initially begin their studies during the fall semester and would usually receive an initial contract for the fall and spring semesters. New contracts are usually awarded during the new fiscal year, which would start with the summer session beginning in May. Stipends range from $21,500-$23,500. GSIs are also eligible for a reimbursement of the student health insurance plan premium throughout the year.
Students are eligible for GSI funding for a maximum of five years.
The tuition scholarship covers up to 9 credits per semester of courses directly related to the GSI’s PhD program. GSIs are financially responsible for the tuition for any courses that exceed the 9 credit maximum each semester or that are not directly related to their PhD program.
Graduate Research Assistantships (GRAs)
Full-time PhD students receiving a stipend from an extramural source to perform research may be appointed as Graduate Research Assistants (GRAs). GRAs may be eligible to receive a tuition scholarship depending on the amount of the stipend received relative to the current amount of a teaching stipend.
The tuition scholarship covers up to 9 credits per semester of courses directly related to the GRA’s PhD program. GRAs are financially responsible for the tuition for any courses that exceed the 9 credit maximum each semester or that are not directly related to their PhD program. For more information about GRA positions please contact your research advisor or program director.
Graduate Assistantships (GAs)
Graduate programs offer graduate assistant (GA) positions. GAs are awarded tuition waivers which require three hours of service to the University per week per credit waived. The maximum number of credits that can be waived per semester is three credits which requires that the student be registered for at least 9 credits that semester. A student enrolled in a master’s level degree track may only receive financial support in the form of a tuition waiver for five semesters while pursuing their degree. A student in a PhD degree track may only receive financial support in the form of a tuition waiver for ten semesters. PhD students receiving tuition waivers may not also receive GRA or GSI funding. Recommendations for the granting of tuition waivers are made by graduate program directors to the Office of Graduate Education.
Some graduate programs offer scholarships for incoming students. Check with the program director for more information.
Outside Scholarship Opportunities
You can apply for external scholarship opportunities to help with your Saint Joseph's tuition. If you receive a scholarship or tuition resource from an outside source, you should submit a copy of the award notification to the Financial Aid Office via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. This will ensure that when funds are received by the outside organization that they are appropriately credited to your account.
The Financial Aid Office regularly updates the following scholarship databases as we receive information on outside scholarships:
Some graduate programs, such as chemistry, pharmaceutics or pharmacology/toxicology, offer graduate awards. Check with the program director for more information.
Private or “alternative” student loans should typically be considered only after eligibility for all federal student loans have been determined. Although terms can vary depending upon the product, with most private, alternative loans:
- The student, who must be at least 18 years of age, is the primary borrower.
- The student can borrow on a yearly basis up to the “total cost of attendance” minus the other financial aid he/she is receiving.
- Are generally disbursed directly to the University via EFT after the drop/add period ends each semester.
- Can be deferred while the student is in school and for the first six months following completion of his/her program, but loans are “unsubsidized” (interest is accruing during this period).
- Offer both variable and fixed rate options.
- Are based on either the prime rate or LIBOR rate plus an add-on.
- Are zero origination fee loans (i.e.-no fee is deducted from the amount you borrow) but there are one or two exceptions to this.
- Interest rates vary depending upon the credit-worthiness of the student borrower and/or cosigner.
Preferred lender policy
It is not Saint Joseph’s University’s practice to recommend a specific lender. Each student has the right to select a lender of their choice; however, as a service to our students and families, Saint Joseph’s University provides a historical list of lenders our students have successfully borrowed with over the past several years. Visit elmselect.com to learn more about private education loans and to compare various loan products.
- Apply online for the full year amount needed at the individual lender’s website or go to elmselect.com to compare products and apply for one (it is not recommended to apply for multiple loans since a credit check is run on the student and the borrower).
- Once an application is processed and approved by the lender, Saint Joseph’s University receives electronic notification and will “certify” the loan with the lender directly. Once a loan is certified, it will appear on the Tuition & Aid tab of The Nest where the student’s other financial aid is listed.
- Funds will be disbursed to the University shortly after the drop/add period ends each semester.
Federal Truth in Lending regulations mandate all new private loan application will require additional certifications (Title X of the Higher Education Opportunity Act). This regulation mandates self-certification and a waiting period that may lengthen the process (the average processing time is 3-6 weeks). Once the loan is approved and a final self-certification is received by the lender, funds will be disbursed to the school after an 8 day waiting period, typically after the drop/add period ends each semester. Please contact Office of Financial Aid if you have questions.
You may be eligible for fellowships and traineeships awarded by organizations including but not limited to:
- National Science Foundation (NSF)
- National Institutes of Health (NIH)
- American Foundation for Pharmaceutical Education (AFPE)
If you are interested in these funding sources, you should consult with your research advisor and program director before applying for them.
Federal Financial Aid Eligibility
Effective Fall 2020 and forward, graduate/professional students only need to be enrolled in 3 credits per semester to be eligible for federal financial aid. Half-time enrollment status for graduate/professional students is 3 credits per semester.
Saint Joseph's is proud to offer affordable, high quality graduate programs and certificates. See if you might be eligible for one of our discount programs below:
Saint Joseph’s encourages alumni to pursue lifelong learning, that's why all Hawks (and effective fall 2022 all University of the Sciences alumni) are eligible for a 10% tuition discount for graduate master’s degree and graduate credit-bearing certificate programs, with the exception of the MS in Physician Assistant Studies and MOT (Masters in Occupational Therapy). Additionally, the tuition discount does not apply to doctoral-level programs.
If you have completed at least one year of full-time service in an established volunteer service organization, you are eligible for a 20% tuition discount, with no application fee, on all master’s level graduate degree and certificate programs.
Through partnerships with some companies, Saint Joseph's is able to offer a 10% discount on graduate programs. Check with your employer to see if they participate.
Email email@example.com to learn more about any of these discounts. Please note, individual discounts cannot be combined with other offers.
Important Dates and Deadlines
Please be aware of these important dates related to your financial aid award for the 2022-23 school year:
PRIORITY FAFSA FILING DEADLINE
New & Returning Graduate Students: March 1
FINANCIAL AID AWARD PACKAGE NOTIFICATION
Returning Graduate Students: April 15
FEDERAL AND STATE AID DISBURSED TO STUDENT ACCOUNTS
Account refunds are typically issued within two weeks of disbursement for students that have a credit.
Policies, Disbursements & Refunds and Forms
iGrad Financial Wellness
Saint Joseph’s Financial Aid Office is proud to offer iGrad to our community, a best-in-class online resource for your continued financial wellness journey. Part of our mission as an office is to help college students prepare for their financial futures. With your iGrad membership, you will be able to take advantage of features such as:
- Building and maintaining good credit
- Money management
- Simple budgeting tools
- Student loan and debt management
- Salary, debt-to-income, loan payroll and other calculators
Take advantage of this benefit and join us in our efforts to make sure every Hawk lives a financially healthy life during their time at Saint Joseph’s and beyond.
- Financial Aid Office | Tel:610-660-2500
- Office of Student Accounts | Tel:610-660-2400
- Admission & Financial Aid Counselor (freshmen/transfers only) | Tel: 610-660-1300
- Federal Direct Loan Servicing: 800-848-0979
- Federal Direct Plus Loan Applicant Services Dept.: 800-848-0979