Financing Your Education

Most students will finance their education using several forms of financial aid including savings, loans, scholarships, grants, and part-time work.

Educational Loans

Most students will qualify for $20,500 through the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Student Loan program. Additionally, students may borrow up to the cost of attendance (minus Federal Direct Loans and scholarships) though the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS LoanPrivate education loans through commercial entities may be used as an alternative to federal loans.  It is recommended to utilize Federal Loans first because they typically offer lower interest rates and more repayment options than alternative loans.

Federal Educational Loan Programs

Students must complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) to apply for federal loans. These loans are not based on financial need; interest starts accruing once the loan disburses. Students may elect to pay the interest as it accrues or defer it until they enter repayment. Saint Mary’s College’s federal school code is 001836.

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans

Eligibility

  • Submit the FAFSA for each academic year
  • Be a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen
  • Be enrolled at least half-time as a graduate student
  • May not be in default or owe a repayment on any federal aid
  • Complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN)
  • Complete entrance counseling
  • Meet Saint Mary's Financial Aid Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress

Terms for loans borrowed during the 2016-17 academic year

  • The 2016-17 interest rate, which is fixed for the life of the loan, will be 5.31%.
  • Loans disbursed by September 30, 2016 will have a 1.068% loan fee.  Loans first disbursed October 1, 2016 or later will have a 1.069% loan fee.

Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loans

Eligibility

  • Submit the FAFSA for each academic year
  • Be a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen
  • Be enrolled at least half time as a graduate student
  • May not be in default or owe a repayment on any federal aid
  • May not have adverse credit history
  • Complete the Graduate PLUS Application
  • Complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN)
  • Complete entrance counseling
  • Meet Saint Mary's Financial Aid Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress

Terms of the loan

  • The 2016-17interest rate, which is fixed for the life of the loan, will be 6.31%.
  • Loans disbursed by September 30, 2016 will have a 4.272% loan fee.  Loans first disbursed October 1, 2016 or later will have a 4.276% loan fee.

Graduate Enrollment Requirements for Federal Loan Eligibility

 

Fall or Spring Semester

Summer Semester

Full-time

8 + credit hours

6 + credit hours

Half-time

4 – 7.5 credit hours

3 – 5.5 credit hours

Less than half-time

1 – 3.5 credit hours

1 – 2.5 credit hours

Alternative Educational Loans

Alternative, or private student loans, are funded by lenders such as banks and credit unions. Interest rates, terms, and repayment options vary greatly among alternative loans and are often not as favorable as federal loans.  While federal loans are usually a better option, students who have exhausted that option can turn to the private sector for additional loans. These loans are made to the student, based on credit approval and other factors.

Applying for a 2016-17 Alternative Loan:

1.  Select a lender and complete the application process with that lender. You may use any participating lender that offers alternative loans; however, we have a Preferred Lender List with six suggested lenders.  Please visit FASTChoice for information on all six lenders.  

2.  Complete your alternative loan application and Master Promissory Note (MPN) directly with your lender. Most lenders allow you to e-sign an MPN online, although you may request that a paper MPN be mailed to you.  We strongly recommend completing the application and MPN online when possible to expedite loan processing.

3.  Your lender should provide you with a "Self Certification" form. You will be asked to provide your cost of attendance and your estimated financial aid for the 2016-17 academic year.  Both of these figures may be located by checking PRISM.  This form must be completed and returned to your lender before your loan funds can be disbursed.

Scholarships

Scholarships and grants are awarded based on criteria specific to that scholarship or grant. You do not need to repay the money received. Many private organizations offer scholarships for graduate studies and research. Scholarship application deadlines vary. 

After College Scholarships
Discover Nursing Scholarships
American Association of College of Nursing
American Nurse Practitioner Foundation
Speech Pathology Grants and Scholarships
Additional External Scholarships