Graduate Students

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All graduate students seeking financial assistance for the 2013-2014 academic year must file the 2013-2014 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), as well as the 2013-2014 Villanova Graduate Application.

Complete the following steps:

  • FAFSA school code 003388
  • Graduate Application - Entrance and MPN

Financial Aid Requirements

We recommend that graduate students applying for federal financial assistance submit their FAFSA and VU Graduate Application at least two months prior to the first day of classes to ensure the timely disbursement of Federal Direct Loans towards the payment of tuition and fee charges.  Financial Assistance for Graduate Students is reviewed and awarded throughout the academic year.

The Office of Financial Assistance reviews requests for financial assistance once a student is registered and all items have been received.

To receive financial aid, graduate students are required to meet the following criteria:

  • Must be matriculated/degree-seeking in a graduate-level program.  Non-matriculated students and certificate programs are not eligible for federal financial assistance.
  • Must be enrolled in at least a half-time status in graduate program (credits defining half-time status vary per program)
    • Graduate Business:  must be enrolled in a minimum of 3 credit hours in the summer, fall, or spring semester.
    • Graduate Arts and Sciences: must be enrolled in a minimum of 3 credit hours in the summer, fall, or spring semester.
    • Graduate Engineering:  must be enrolled in a minimum of 3 credit hours in the summer, fall, or spring semester.
    • Graduate Nursing:  must be enrolled in a minimum of 3 credit hours in the summer, fall or spring semester.
  • Must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress.  Beginning with the 2011-2012 academic year, satisfactory academic progress is defined as maintaining a 3.0 cumulative GPA and completing the total number of credit hours attempted in an academic year. SAP is reviewed at the end of each spring semester.

Financing Options

The Graduate Student Financing Guide explains in-depth the financing options available for our graduate students.

William D. Ford Direct Student Loan Program

Beginning with the 2012-2013 academic year, graduate students will no longer be eligible to borrow the Direct Subsidized Loan.  The Federal Direct Subsidized Loan for graduate students was eliminated in the new Budget Control Act signed on August 2, 2011. The annual limit for graduate and professional students remains unchanged at $20,500 and the total lifetime aggregate limit also remains unchanged at $138,500.  Maximum Direct Loan eligibility for a matriculated graduate student is now a $20,500 Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan.  The amount of the loan is awarded to you based on a number of factors such as enrollment status, other financial assistance (i.e. employer reimbursement) and cost of attendance.  Please note that the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan will disburse evenly between the semesters you are enrolled.

Academic Year Maximum
Fall 2013 $10,250 unsubsidized
Spring 2014 $10,250 unsubsidized

If you choose to take courses during the summer session and enroll in at least a half-time status, you are eligible to borrow the Direct Unsubsidized Loan during the summer, which is referred to as a Borrower Based Direct Loan.  The benefit of a Borrower Based Direct Unsubsidized Loan is that it allows graduate students to avoid borrowing a higher interest private loan or Direct Graduate PLUS loan.  You need to indicate on the Villanova University Graduate Institutional Financial Aid Application the amount you wish to borrow for each semester; however, please note that Federal Direct Loans are required to be certified with even disbursements for each semester.

Borrower Based Loan Maximum
Summer 2013/Fall 2014
(2013-2014 Academic Year)
$20,500 unsubsidized
Spring 2014
(2014-2015 Academic Year)

$10,250 unsubsidized*

*if the full amount fits within your cost of attendance

**Please note that if the full Borrower Based Direct Unsubsidized Loan is borrowed in the Spring semester, eligibility for the Summer semester would be exhausted.

While the maximum amount you can borrow is $20,500, we encourage you to borrow only the amount that you will need to finance your program. You will need to indicate the amount of Direct Unsubsidized Loan that you wish to borrow for each semester on the Villanova University Graduate Institutional Financial Aid Application, again noting that the Direct Loan must be certified in equal amounts for each semester.  Additionally, before the Direct Loans can disburse, you will need to complete loan entrance counseling and sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN) for the Direct Unsubsidized Loan at www.studentloans.gov.

Direct Graduate PLUS Loan

Graduate students can borrow through a William D. Ford Direct Loan Program - Graduate Direct PLUS. Direct Graduate PLUS Loans give a graduate student a viable alternative to private loans in situations where a student's Direct Unsubsidized Loan has not covered all costs. Some basic facts about the Graduate Direct PLUS Loan are:

  • Students can borrow up to "cost less aid"
  • Student is the borrower - no cosigner required
  • Unlimited in-school deferment
  • Variable-fixed interest rate, currently at 6.41%
  • Deferred payment while enrolled in school
  • No aggregate or annual loan limits
  • Based on simplified credit criteria regardless of income or employment status
  • Endorser option available
  • May reduce high-cost alternative borrowing
  • Able to consolidate through the Direct Consolidation Loan site.

To apply for the Direct Graduate PLUS loan, please follow these steps:

  1. Go to www.studentloans.gov to complete the Direct Graduate PLUS Loan application.
  2. Complete the MPN at www.studentloans.gov and sign the MPN. Upon approval of the Direct Graduate PLUS application and credit check, follow step 2.
  3. Complete the Villanova University Direct Graduate PLUS Loan Application (for graduate students) and return the completed form to Office of Financial Assistance.

*NOTE: Your loan is not complete and will not be certified by the Office of Financial Assistance until ALL three of the above steps have been completed.

Alternate Financing

Alternative Loans or Private Educational Loans are administered by private lenders. There are a variety of lending institutions that offer these loans. Typically one would first take advantage of the Direct Loan and then if additional funding is needed, apply for one of these loans. However, if a student is non-matriculated or in a certificate program, the private educational loans provide a viable financing option. Applications for these loans are made directly through the lending institution. As part of this process the Villanova University Office of Financial Assistance needs to certify that you are a student and provide certain other information. Please view the Private Educational Loan Programs.

For further questions about the status of your applications, go to the myNOVA site where you can access your financial assistance records online.

graduate financing