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Loans for Graduate Students

The Mount offers advanced degrees that provide an exceptional education and a bright future. Graduate education is an important step in your career, and those who have completed our highly sought-after programs find the experience was essential to furthering their careers and supporting their dreams.

An important component of graduate education is managing and financing the cost. The College is committed to guiding you through the process with access to our knowledgeable and dedicated staff.

What types of Federal Student Loans are available?

Federal Loans
Students considering federal loans must be enrolled in a minimum of six credits per semester to be eligible. The Office of Financial Aid determines your loan eligibility upon reviewing FAFSA data and your anticipated enrollment. Your loan eligibility will be included in your financial aid package. An overview of loans for which you may be eligible is below, and more detailed information is available by contacting the Office of Financial Aid.

Direct Unsubsidized Loans
The Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan allows eligible students to borrow up to $20,500 minus any subsidized Stafford Loan received. The interest rate is 6.8 percent. The loans may be offered in full to a student who does not demonstrate financial need or as a supplement to any subsidized Stafford amount up to the maximum amount of $20,500. The federal government does not pay the loan interest while you are in school. Instead, interest is accrued and added to the principal of the loan. Loan repayment begins six months after you graduate or drop below half-time enrollment (six credits in a given semester). Borrowers have the option of paying the interest while in school. Learn more about Direct Unsubsidized Loans.

Direct Graduate PLUS Loans
The Federal Direct PLUS Loan allows eligible students to borrow up to the total cost of attendance minus any other financial aid received. The interest rate is 7.9 percent. Interest accrues and is added to the principal of the loan. Borrowers have the option of paying the interest while in school. Learn more about PLUS Loans.

Private Loans
Private loans may be borrowed for up to the total cost of attendance minus any other financial aid received. Students should apply for all eligible federal assistance available by submitting the FAFSA before considering a private, alternative loan. Most private loans are more expensive than federal loans to repay and terms, conditions, and eligibility requirements vary. For more information about federal and private loans, contact the Office of Financial Aid.

For information on the most popular lenders at the Mount, please visit FastChoice.

If you are a domestic or international student interested in receiving a private loan, please submit an application directly to the lender of your choice. You may apply for a semester-only loan or a fall/spring loan combined.

How much money are graduate students allowed to borrow?

Up to $20,500 each year in Direct Unsubsidized Loans.

The remainder of your college costs not covered by other financial aid in Direct PLUS Loans.

Please note: A credit check is required for a PLUS loan.

The Federal Perkins Loan Program expired on September 30, 2017, and no new disbursements were permitted after June 30, 2018. For repayment information regarding Perkins loans go to

Savings and Loan Calculators

Below are links to financial calculators that will help you to estimate how much school will cost, how much you will need to save, and how much aid you will need to complete your study.

Please note: the information presented by such services is not verified or endorsed by the University of Mount Saint Vincent.

What are the interest rates on federal student loans?

Please visit for the most current interest rate information.

How is interest calculated?
The amount of interest that accrues (accumulates) on your loan from month to month is determined by a simple daily interest formula. This formula consists of multiplying your loan balance by the number of days since the last payment times the interest rate factor.

Simple daily interest formula:

Outstanding principal balance
x number of days since last payment
x interest rate factor
= interest amount

What are origination fees for Federal Student Loans?
Origination fees means that the money you will receive is less than the amount that you borrow because a fee is deducted from the loan.

Please visit for the most current Origination Fee information.

  1. Complete the most recent FAFSA online as soon as you file your tax return. This application is used to determine federal student loan eligibility for the summer, fall, and spring semesters. It is done once per academic year and is available only to U.S. citizens and permanent residents.
  2. Receive a financial aid award notice prior to the start of the semester.
  • All students are automatically packaged for the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan ($10,250/semester) so long as they take at least 6 credits per semester. If you will be taking an increased credit load and/or you need additional aid for living expenses, you may submit a Graduate PLUS Loan Request Form at any time.
  1. Accept your Fall/Spring federal student loans for which you have applied and been approved.
  2. Sign in at to secure your loans. You must complete the:
  • Entrance Counseling Session: This is done once and does not need to be repeated in future semesters.
  • Master Promissory Note(s): The MPN is valid for ten years. Thus, if you have already completed the MPN in a previous semester, there is no need to repeat this step.
  1. The lender sends the loan disbursement to the Bursar 10 days prior to the start of the semester. As long as your loans are approved before that date, the Bursar will credit the amount to your account.
  2. If you have loans in excess of your tuition and fees, you will be cut a refund check for the excess amount. To request a refund please contact the Office of Financial Aid.

Please note: the estimated time for processing is approximately five weeks. It is important that you respond in a timely manner to all requests for information and complete all necessary documents.