GRADUATE STUDENTS FINANCIAL AID PROCESS

Graduate Students Working Together in Classroom

How to Apply

Learn how to apply for federal loans, eligibility criteria and financing options.

We recommend completing the financial aid process at least two months prior to the semester start date.

The Office of Financial Assistance reviews requests for financial assistance once a student is registered AND all financial aid applications have been submitted.

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

  • Must be accepted and matriculated into a degree-seeking program
  • Remain enrolled on at least a half-time basis
  • U.S. Citizen or Eligible Non-Citizen
  • Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress*

*Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) 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.  Please take the time to review the full SAP Policy for Graduate Students.

After you have successfully submitted the FAFSA, our office will determine and award your Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan eligibility for the year.  You will receive an email advising you to log onto your MyNova account to view your offered aid.  

You will need to accept, decline, or modify the loan amounts that have been offfered.  If you are offered loan funding for a semester in which you will not attend, please send an e-mail to Financial Aid verifying which semester(s) you will be attending and the number of credits you plan to take per semester, and the total amount of loan funding (not to exceed $20,500) of Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan funding you wish to accept. We will then be able to make the necessary adjustments and send you a revised aid notice.

Please read the Financial Aid Booklet for Graduate Students, carefully in its entirety for it contains important information regarding eligibility, financing options, etc.

If this is the first time you are receiving a Federal Direct Loan at Villanova University as a Graduate Student, you must complete Entrance Counseling and Sign the Master Promissory Note.

Please Note: Your Federal Direct Loan will NOT disburse to your account until BOTH of these requirements are complete.

Financing Options

The Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan is a federal loan borrowed directly from the US Department of Education that you can use for your educational expenses.

  • Award: $20,500 per academic year**
  • Disbursements: loan funds are disbursed equally among the semesters you attend to your student account at the beginning of each semester
  • Lender: US Department of Education
  • Interest rate:  Will be set prior to July 1
    • The interest rate, once established, will be a fixed rate for the life of the loan.
    • For All loans 1st disbursed between 7/1/23 through 6/30/24 the fixed interest rate is 7.05%.
    • The interest accrues once loan funds are disbursed, however principal and interest can be deferred while enrolled on at least a half-time basis in a degree-seeking program.   
  • Fees: An origination fee will be deducted from the gross amount of loan borrowed from each disbursement.
    • For loans first disbursed on or after 10/1/20 the fee is 1.057%
  • Aggregate Loan Limit: $138,500, which includes amounts borrowed as an undergraduate
  • Grace period: 6 months after you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time status
  • Repayment period: 10 to 25 years depending on one of the many repayment plans you can select
  • Estimated Repayment Calculator   

  **Borrower Based Loan

If you choose to take courses during the summer session and enroll in at least a half-time status, you may be eligible to borrow the Direct Unsubsidized Loan during the summer, which is referred to as a Borrower Based Direct Loan.

**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.  Students receive an e-mail from the Office of Financial Assistance's Loan Department to confirm their Spring request.

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. 

Borrower Based Loan Maximum
Summer 2023/Fall 2023 $20,500 
Spring 2024

$10,250*

*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.  Students receive an e-mail from the Office of Financial Assistance's Loan Department to confirm their Spring request.

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. 

Nelnet

For graduate students, the Villanova Tuition Payment Plan, offered through Nelnet, allows you to spread your semester's balance out over 2-3 months for a small fee. With this option, you have the freedom to use your money to earn your own interest or investment income while you pay in small installments.

For additional information, please visit My College Payment Plan.

Applications for the 2024-2025 Academic Year will not be available until after April 21, 2024, per the Department of Education.

The Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loans provide graduate students with 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
  • Fixed-interest rate, subject to change July 1 each year:
    • For all loans 1st disbursed between 7/1/23 through 6/30/24 the fixed interest rate is 8.05%.
  • Fees: An origination fee will be deducted from the gross amount of loan borrowed from each disbursement.
    • For all loans 1st disbursed after 10/1/20 the origination fee is 4.228%.
  • Deferred payment while enrolled at least half time in a degree seeking program
  • 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 2 Easy Steps:

  1. Go to https://studentaid.gov to complete the Direct Graduate PLUS Loan application.
  2. Complete and electronically sign the MPN at https://studentaid.gov. Upon approval of the Direct Graduate PLUS application and credit check, our office will be notified and will certify your loan.

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

Private Educational Loans are administered by private lenders and there are a variety of lending institutions that offer these.

The Office of Financial Assistance has selected a group of Preferred Lenders based on quality customer service, borrower benefits, and financing options. ELM Select is an external webpage where you will be able to review and compare Villanova University‚Äôs Preferred Lender information, and apply for private loans.  However, if you wish to use another lender that is not on this list, you may.  As a borrower, you have the right to select any lender you choose.  You may want to contact the bank, savings and loan, or credit union with whom you do business.

  1. Students will need to conduct research to find the best private educational loan that suits their needs.  Students apply directly through the lenders.
    • It is suggested that you start the application process at least four weeks prior to the start of the semester to ensure the funds are disbursed in a timely manner due to numerous disclosures now required by lending institutions.
  2. Once approved for an alternative loan, the Office of Financial Assistance will review the loan for school certification.  This process includes confirming enrollment, verifying the eligibility for the type of loan requested and the borrowing amount requested.
  3. Each aid applicant will receive a notice of eligibility from the Office of Financial Assistance.
  4. Loan funds will be disbursed in accordance with the disbursement schedule once all necessary paperwork has been completed.

The Office of Financial Assistance will continue to meet with lenders on a regular basis to examine new products, services, and benefits for our students to make sure we are providing the best options.

Notes: Due to the numerous disclosures required by the Department of Education, students need to remain in contact with their lender to ensure timely disbursement of funds. Applying for the loan late, or failure to complete required disclosures may delay your funds and possibly cause you to incur University late fees, if your bills are not paid on time.

Click here for more information on the Office of Financial Assistance Code of Conduct.

     

FAQs

Yes, you must submit the FAFSA in order to apply for and receive the Graduate PLUS Loan.

Yes, living expenses such as housing and food are items in the student's cost of attendance and therefore the student can receive loan funding to help cover the costs while enrolled in school.

Please contact us with any questions.

Office of Financial Assistance
Villanova University
800 Lancaster Ave
Technology Services Building (TSB), Second Floor
Villanova, PA 19085
Telephone: (610) 519-4010
Fax: (610) 519-7599
Email: finaid@villanova.edu