Graduate Financial Aid

Graduate Financial Aid

Get support for your graduate studies with graduate financial aid.

Student Financial Services, located in Mercy Hall, helps graduate students identify sources of financial assistance to help meet the cost of graduate education. Our regular office hours are Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., and special arrangements can be made for appointments outside of the regular hours.

All graduate students must complete the FAFSA to be considered for aid.

If you are an Off-Campus Master's Degree student in the Education Cohort program, please visit the Off-Campus Master's Degree Financial Aid page.

Financial Aid Opportunities

  • Federal Student Loans
    A long-term federal student loan program that provides a 10-year repayment period. See below for application details.
  • Graduate Assistantships
    The opportunity to work eight to 16 hours a week in professional offices and academic departments on campus in lieu of tuition for one or two courses per semester. A limited number are available. Applications are located in the Graduate Office.
  • Tuition Reimbursement
    Many companies will offer to pay a portion of your tuition for course work in a related field of study. Consult your employer's Human Resources department for availability and eligibility.
  • Academic Scholarships
    Limited scholarship opportunities may be available from USJ's academic departments. Inquire with your department chair.
  • Yellow Ribbon Program and Veterans Services
    Veterans who received benefits under the new GI Bill are eligible for a tuition discount. USJ will also review a veteran's service experience in awarding college credit. For more information, visit USJ's Office of the Registrar's Veterans Services.

Applying for Federal Direct Loans

USJ graduate students who have been accepted and matriculated into a graduate degree program or into the Teacher Certification program may apply for Federal Direct Loans by completing the following steps:

  1. Complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Before you begin, you will need your FSA ID. You can create an FSA ID when logging into certain U.S. Department of Education (ED) websites, including Your FSA ID identifies you as someone who has the right to access your own personal information on ED websites such as the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You will also need the University of Saint Joseph school code: 001409.
  2. Follow the instructions for completing the Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Entrance Counseling under the Federal Student Loan section of our website.

Please keep in mind:

You must be enrolled in at least 6 credit hours in each of the semesters for which you wish to receive financial assistance.

Acceptance or matriculation into your program and your application for financial aid must be complete and in place by August 15 for the fall semester and December 15 for the spring semester.

Students who become matriculated or are accepted into the Teacher Certification program after these days will be processed by Financial Aid as quickly as possible, but without guarantee of completion for the upcoming semester.

Satisfactory Academic Progress: To remain eligible for financial aid, you must be making satisfactory academic progress toward your degree as outlined by your academic program/major.

University of Saint Joseph students who received their undergraduate degree prior to completing their student teaching will be considered Teacher Certification students as outlined in column B (below) during their semester of student teaching.

Students who have applied to a graduate program but will not be matriculated prior to the mid-point of the semester are not eligible for the Federal Direct Loan. You may, however, apply for an Alternative Education Loan. Please visit our Alternative Loans page.

Loan Programs and Limits

Direct Subsidized Loan

  • Accepted to a Graduate Degree Program: No longer eligible*
  • Teacher Certification Only (not accepted in a graduate degree program, but accepted into the Teacher Certification program): $5,500

Direct Unsubsidized Loan

  • Accepted to a Graduate Degree Program: 20,500
  • Teacher Certification Only (not accepted in a graduate degree program, but accepted into the Teacher Certification program): $7,000

Note: The loan amounts presented below are the annual program maximums. The actual amount you may borrow will depend on your financial aid need and actual cost of attendance. You should contact Financial Aid for additional information on application requirements and procedures.
*Beginning with the 2012/13 Award Year, Graduate Students are no longer eligible for Federal Direct Subsidized Loans.

Borrow Wisely

  • Your graduate debt limit includes loans for undergraduate study.
  • If you reach your Federal (Subsidized and/or Unsubsidized) aggregate loan limit, you cannot receive more of that type of loan. If you exceed your limit, aid already disbursed will be billed back. You will have to find alternative ways to finance your education. Therefore it is to your advantage to borrow only what you need for educational expenses, and to keep track of your cumulative debt.
  • The Financial Aid staff is happy to work with you to find ways to minimize your borrowing.
  • Lifetime limits – Graduate/Professional $138,500 (maximum $65,500 subsidized)

Additional Funding Sources

The TEACH Grant

The Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program provides up to $4,000 a year in grant assistance to students who are completing coursework toward certain high-need fields. In order to be eligible for a grant, a student must submit a FAFSA form and sign an Agreement to Serve as a full-time teacher at certain low-income schools and within certain high-need fields for at least four academic years within eight years after completing (or ceasing enrollment in) the course of study for which the candidate received a grant. The U.S. Department of Education will determine your eligibility for this program. The TEACH Grant converts to an Unsubsidized Direct Loan if the student fails to complete any part of the obligation. The loan, plus interest, must be repaid. Find out more information and sign the Agreement to Serve (ATS) to get started. If you are interested in applying for the TEACH Grant, please submit the USJ Teach Grant Application after completing the Agreement to Serve (ATS).

The Grad PLUS Loan

Once a graduate student has exhausted the Stafford Loan option, the Grad PLUS Loan may be available if additional funds are needed. This federal student loan has a higher interest rate than the Stafford Loan and requires the borrower to have an adequate credit history. Students are eligible to borrow up to the cost of attendance minus any other aid. Find out more.

Alternative Loans

Also known as Private Education Loans, alternative loan products are not backed by the federal government. They usually have variable interest rates based on Prime or LIBOR and rely on a credit review to calculate the initial rate of interest. Typically the student is the borrower and often a co-borrower is required to pass credit or receive a favorable interest rate. Interest accrues from disbursement. These loans may not be included in a federal consolidation. Find out more.

Credit Union Student Loan Program

If you have been unable to get funding through traditional student loan programs, you may be eligible for a loan through a Connecticut Credit Union through a program created by Governor Jodi Rell. Visit the Credit Union League of CT for participating credit unions.