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 (six 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 6 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 2019-2020 academic year, the interest rate on the Federal Direct Stafford Student Loan for graduate students is 6.079%.
- There is a 1.059% 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 studentloans.gov
- Complete an Entrance Counseling Session at studentloans.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 2019-2020 academic year, the interest rate on the Federal Direct GradPLUS Loan is 7.079%.
- There is a 4.236% origination fee deducted from the loan amount by the federal government.
- Graduate students can apply for a GradPLUS Loan at studentloans.gov. If approved, the student borrower must complete the PLUS MPN (Master Promissory Note) at studentloans.gov (good for 10 years except in the case of an endorsed loan).
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.
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 Office of Financial Aid regularly updates the following scholarship databases as we receive information on outside scholarships:
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.
Important Dates and Deadlines
Please be aware of these important dates related to your financial aid award for the 2020-21 school year:
PRIORITY FAFSA FILING DEADLINE
New & Returning Graduate Students: April 1
FINANCIAL AID AWARD PACKAGE NOTIFICATION
Returning Graduate Students: June 25
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
Graduate Program Scholarships
Some graduate programs offer scholarships for incoming students. Visit your program's site or check with the program director for more information.
- 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