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. 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. EXCEPTION: Students enrolled in graduate programs for Meteorology, Biology, Athletic Training, and Environmental Science and Policy are on the Undergraduate calendar; therefore, disbursements are based on the Undergraduate disbursement calendar.
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 TERM FOR WHICH YOU ARE FIRST ACCEPTED INTO A GRADUATE PROGRAM.
** 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.