Hey guys! This week we asked the Financial Aid Office if they wouldn’t mind being a guest contributor to our blog and they happily obliged! Below is a quick question and answer section for students unfamiliar with receiving financial aid at the graduate level. Hope you enjoy!
“Financial Aid can be a confusing subject to even the brightest of students. When you are an undergraduate you are often lucky enough to have your parents help you, but as you make the decision to attend graduate school you quickly come to the realization that you can no longer rely on your parents for the answers! Many Graduate students have the same questions when it comes to applying for financial aid. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions to assist you with the application process:
Q: How do I apply for financial aid?
The first step to applying for financial aid is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You may do this online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. The next step is to complete the Graduate Financial Aid Application. This form is available on the USJ website at www.usj.edu/finaidgrad.
Q: Do I need to re-apply for financial aid every year?
Yes, every year you must complete a new FAFSA and Graduate Financial Aid Application.
Q: How many credits do I need to take to be eligible for federal aid?
You must attend at least half time (6 credits) per semester in order to be eligible for federal loans.
Q: I have federal loans from my undergraduate degree program. What happens to them if I borrow again for graduate school?
As long as you are enrolled in a degree seeking program and take at least 6 credits per semester, your federal (subsidized and unsubsidized) student loans can be deferred. Once you complete your Master’s degree or attend less than half time repayment will begin again.
Q: Can I consolidate my undergraduate federal loans with graduate loans?
Yes, you can consolidate your new federal loans with previous federal loans. The time to start this process is once you have completed your degree requirements. Visit http://www.loanconsolidation.ed.gov/ for more information.
If you have further questions the Financial Aid office is happy to help! We can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 860.231.5223.”