Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loan Program
Graduate students are only eligible for Title IV Unsubsidized Federal Direct loan funds. The annual eligibility for a graduate student is based on the average cost of attendance and the actual number of enrollment periods a student plans to attend for that year. The cost of attendance is based on the average number of credits taken and number of enrollment periods. The maximum annual Federal Unsubsidized Direct loan amount available for a graduate student is $20,500 and the interest rate for the 2014-2015 academic year is 6.21%. Limits may apply based on program.
Graduate loans are disbursed by Student Account Services at the beginning of each enrollment period based upon the following three criteria:
- The academic year must have started. The official first day of the academic year is 7/1/xx.
- The term must have started. Official term start dates are as follows – Summer 7/1, Fall 9/1, Winter 12/1, Spring 3/1.
- Courses totaling at least 3 credits must have officially begun. Each class has an official start date that may differ from the term start date. If your class start date is AFTER the official term start date, funding will not be disbursed until after the class has officially begun.
Federal aid guidelines require you to be in attendance at least 60% of your course time in order to have “earned” the entire amount of your federal financial aid. If students are not in attendance for the entire term, unearned aid will be returned. Students who are not completing their courses will be in jeopardy of losing access to federal student loans if they are not meeting Standards of Satisfatory Progress (see Step 4)
More information on registration, cost per credit, refunds and billing may be found at the College of Graduate Studies webpage.
Graduate aggregate maximum Direct Loan limit is $138,500. The graduate debt limit ALSO includes federal student loans received for undergraduate study.
For students who are enrolled in eligible Certification Programs coordinated by College of Graduate Studies both Undergraduate Annual Loan Limits ($12,500 per academic year) and Undergraduate Aggregate Loan Limits apply. Federal guidelines will not allow schools to award loans at graduate levels since these programs are offered at the undergraduate level. When identifying loan eligibility for certification programs, all previously borrowed undergraduate loans must be counted and cannot exceed an aggregate total of $57,500 for undergraduate independent students and $31,000 for dependent students.
* ACCESS TO GRADUATE LOAN PROGRAMS BEGINS THE ENROLLMENT PERIOD AFTER A STUDENT’S ACCEPTANCE INTO THE COLLEGE OF GRADUATE STUDIES.
** FINANCIAL AID CAN ONLY BE USED FOR COURSES REQUIRED FOR YOUR DEGREE AND CANNOT BE USED ONCE YOU HAVE MET YOUR DEGREE REQUIREMENTS.
Graduate Financial Aid Process
The following steps provide guidance for the processes required to access financial aid programs. Be sure to contact the Financial Aid Team should you have questions.
Please note: PSU does not enter into Consortium Agreements with other institutions for purposes of accessing federal financial aid programs.
The PIN will be used as an electronic signature on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Please retain your PIN in a secure place as this same number will be used throughout the remainder of your education for purposes of electronic signatures and identification.
NOTE: The FAFSA can be completed using estimated tax information, and updated with actual financial information once tax forms are completed. After your FAFSA has been submitted, you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) that will provide you with a copy of your FAFSA data.
The aid year begins with the summer term and ends with the spring term of the following year. Please note that the award notification process will begin in May prior to the start of the academic year. Once all requested requirements have been satisfied, your application will be considered complete. Complete applications are reviewed and awarded once a week.
In order to be eligible for Federal Financial Aid, you must be making Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). SAP for graduate students is defined as having successfully COMPLETED 75 percent of all graduate credits ATTEMPTED. Students not meeting these requirements will be notified with guidance provided on possible appeals.
Federal financial aid will not be awarded to pay for any repeat courses.
Cost of Attendance (COA) – Your Federal Direct Loan eligibility is based on an average Cost of Attendance (COA), using an average of 4.0 credits per enrollment period. Please see the table below for an estimate of costs per term. The Cost of Attendance includes billed costs (tuition and fees) and unbilled costs (books and personal living expenses).
|Enrollment for Academic Year 2014-2015||NH RESIDENT||NON-RESIDENT|
Should your enrollment or the Cost of Attendance change, your Federal Direct Loan eligibility may increase or decrease accordingly. Information on actual per credit hour tuition charges are available through the College of Graduate Studies.
All financial aid awards will be considered accepted unless the student otherwise notifies the PSU Financial Aid Team of his or her wish to decline the entire award or a portion of the award.
PSU will be notified once you have completed and submitted these requirements. Federal loan funds will not be credited to your PSU bill with Student Account Services until these items are completed.
If you are interested in applying for the Federal Direct PLUS after receiving notification of your Federal Direct Loan eligibility, please complete the following three steps:
A: Graduate PLUS Loan Request Form: Be sure all boxes are completed on this form before submitting it.
B: Master Promissory Note (MPN): This is different than the MPN which wass needed for your Federal Direct Unsubsidized loan. At StudentLoans.gov Select “Complete Master Promissory Note” and then choose “Graduate PLUS” as the type. Do not click on the link that says “Request a Direct PLUS Loan.”
C: Online Entrance Counseling: If you have already completed the Online Entrance Counseling for your Federal Direct student loans, you do not need to complete this additional counseling session. There is only one counseling session for graduate students and it satisfies both the Federal Direct Student loans and the Graduate PLUS loan.
For information about private scholarships that may be available please see Scholarship Searches and Private Scholarships.