2013-2014 Graduate Aid

College of Graduate Studies Financial Aid

Students must be degree-seeking to access Federal loan programs. Non-degree certificate program students may access non-federal loan programs only- see below.*

Federal Direct Loan Program

Graduate students are eligible for Title IV unsubsidized  Federal Direct loan funds only. The annual eligibility 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 number of credits taken and number of enrollment periods. The maximum annual Federal Direct loan amount available for a graduate student is $20,500 (effective July 1, 2007).  Limits may apply based on program.

You will be charged interest from the time the loan is disbursed until it is paid in full. If you allow the interest to accrue (accumulate) while you’re in school, or during other periods of nonpayment, it will be capitalized. This means the interest will be added to the principal amount of your loan at the time of repayment, and additional interest will be based on that higher amount.

DISBURSEMENTS: Graduate loan proceeds are disbursed by Student Account Services at the beginning of each enrollment period AFTER confirmation of course registration, number of credits and course start date.

Please note: For students enrolled in Fall and Spring courses that follow the same calendar as Undergraduate classes, Spring Disbursement can not be made until after March 1. Please plan accordingly.

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.  No more than $65,500 can be in subsidized loans (no longer available after 2011-2012).  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 this is a program which is 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/or for dependent students whose parents were ineligible for Federal Direct PLUS.  For dependent students whose parents were ineligible for PLUS, this maximum is $31,000.

ACCESS TO GRADUATE LOAN PROGRAMS BEGINS THE ENROLLMENT PERIOD AFTER A STUDENT’S ACCEPTANCE INTO THE COLLEGE OF GRADUATE STUDIES. The following Steps provide guidance for processes required to access financial aid programs.  Details for each step are provided below. Be sure to contact our 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

Step 1

Apply for a Personal Identification Number (PIN) from the Department of Education, unless you have previously obtained one from a prior year’s online filing.

The PIN will then 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.

Step 2

Beginning January 1, complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the upcoming academic year. PSU’s school code is 002591.

Read all instructions carefully and be sure your social security number, name (full names only), and birth date are correct. Print and save copies for your records. PSU draws in FAFSA data once a week.

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 FAFSA identifies an expected family contribution (EFC) based on Federal Methodology as established annually by the federal government.

Step 3

Paperless Process.  The aid year begins with the summer quarter and ends with the spring quarter 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 requirements requested by the Financial Aid Team (posted in myPlymouth) have been satisfied, your application will be considered complete. PSU is committed to a paperless process as our contribution to “Go Green”. Our applications are reviewed and financial aid awarded (packaged) on a weekly basis.

Step 4

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.

Step 5

All graduate students are required to complete a Graduate Student Enrollment Status Form annually stating the number of credit hours you plan to enroll during EACH enrollment period.  If your enrollment or program changes from what you originally indicate on the Graduate Student Enrollment Status Form any time during the year, you must provide written documentation of these changes to the Financial Aid Team so your Federal Direct Loan eligibility can be reviewed and adjusted, if necessary.  Failure to update this information may cause delays in delivery of loan funds or entire cancellation of loan disbursement.

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 (Tuition and Fees – College of Graduate Studies) and unbilled (books and personal living expenses) costs.


Enrollment for Academic Year 2012-2013 Non-Commuter (1) Commuter (2)
1 Term $8,150 $5,250
2 Terms $16,350 $10,450
3 Terms $24,500 $15,700
4 Terms $32,650 $20,900


Enrollment for Academic Year 2012-2013 Non-Commuter (1) Commuter (2)
1 Term $8,350 $5,400
2 Terms $16,700 $10,850
3 Terms $25,050 $16,250
4 Terms $33,400 $21,650

(1) A non-commuter does not live with parents, is not married or if married, is the sole wage earner in the family, and their spouse is not enrolled in college.

(2) A commuter lives with parents, is not the sole wage earner in the household or their spouse is also enrolled in an eligible college program.

Should 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.  The cost of attendance for students attending PSU includes expenses related to direct (billed by PSU) and indirect (living) costs for which students should budget. The figures used to determine the living expense for College of Graduate Studies is the national average obtained from College Board for Moderate Budgets.

Step 6

Financial aid awards are completed on a rolling basis beginning in May of each year. Financial Aid award information is only accessible online via myPlymouth.

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.

Step 7

First-time PSU Federal Direct loan borrowers must complete:

A.  Entrance Loan Counseling

B.  Master Promissory Note (MPN)

Step 8

Once federal aid is determined, if you still need additional funding and you are not at your cost of attendance, you may apply for a Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan.   Applicants are required to complete the FAFSA and must have applied for the maximum annual Federal Direct Loan eligibility before applying for a Graduate/Professional PLUS Loan. Students are eligible for “in-school” deferment.  This means, repayment of your loan will not begin until after graduation, less than half time enrollment or withdrawal from PSU.

After receiving notification of your Federal Direct Loan eligibility, if you are interested in applying for the Federal Direct PLUS, you will need to 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 can be done online and e-signed with the federal PIN which you used when you signed your online FAFSA.

C: Online Entrance Counseling: Please note – 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.

Step 9

Students are required by federal guidelines to notify the PSU Financial Aid Team of all scholarships and tuition assistance received.  Additional resources may, or may not, affect your current financial aid award.

Step 10

Reviews:  The Financial Aid Team reserves the right to review and possibly revise awards based upon conflicting or inaccurate information such as number of credits taken, change in program, or aid received from other sources.

Step 11

Please visit the College of Graduate Studies Web site for additional information on available scholarships, graduate assistantships, teaching fellowships and research assistantships available to students.

For information about other scholarships that may be available please see Outside Scholarships and Private Scholarships.

The Federal Student Aid Ombudsman of the Department of Education helps resolve disputes and solve other problems with federal student loans.

PSU in accordance with Federal and State laws and regulations, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age veteran’s status, sexual preference or handicap in admission or access to, treatment of or employment in its programs or activities. Inquiries regarding this policy should be made to the Vice President for Student Affairs, PSU, Plymouth NH 03264 or Office for Civil Rights, Washington DC 20201.


*Non-degree certificate programs: Students seeking loan funding may apply for Continuing Education student loans.