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Graduate Student Policy

Enrollment Requirements

Graduate students are awarded based on part-time enrollment (4-8 hours in fall/spring, 3-5 hours in summer).  If you are enrolled in full-time graduate hours (9 hours or more/ 5000 or higher level courses), please complete and submit an Enrollment Change Form to Enrollment Services to be reevaluated for additional Direct Stafford loan eligibility. 

Graduate Students Enrolled in Undergraduate Courses

Graduate students must be enrolled in at least part-time graduate courses (4 hours of 5000 or higher level courses in fall/spring, 3 hours in summer) to be eligible for Federal Financial aid.  If enrolled in a combination of graduate and undergraduate courses, at least 4 hours (3 hours for summer) must be graduate level courses in order to receive financial aid.

Example 1: If enrolled in 6 hours of graduate courses and 3 hours of undergraduate course which is a total of 9 hours, you will only be awarded based on the graduate hours enrolled. Therefore in this scenario, you would be considered enrolled as a part-time graduate student.  

Example 2: If enrolled in 3 hours of graduate courses and 3 hours of undergraduate course which is a total of 6 hours, you will not be eligible for financial aid because you are not enrolled in at least 4 hours of graduate level courses (5000 or higher level courses).  Even if you received a financial aid award letter, keep in mind we are awarding you at the time assuming you will be enrolled in at least the minimum graduate hours. 

Any graduate or undergraduate courses dropped before census date which decreases enrollment hours to less than 4 credits for fall or spring (3 credits for summer) will require the Financial Aid office to place the student in a less-than-half-time budget for that semester, often resulting in decreased aid eligibility.

Special Graduate Student Status

Students taking classes as prerequisites for enrollment in graduate school, who have been approved by the Graduate Admissions Office as a Special Graduate student (not fully admitted to the program), may only receive financial aid as a Special Graduate for one academic year. The Special Graduate student will need to provide documentation from the Graduate School to our office indicating their status.  Special Graduate students cannot receive graduate level grants, but can receive a Federal Direct Stafford Unsubsidized loan at the senior undergraduate level.  Undergraduate aggregate limits for Direct Stafford loans apply in this situation. 

Aid and Certificate Programs

Any graduate student enrolled in a certificate program cannot receive financial aid unless also enrolled in a degree program at the graduate level.  The only exception is K-12 teaching certification, which is an approved program for financial aid.  Certification programs such as principal certification, urban and regional planning, higher education, etc. are not approved programs for financial aid.  

Any graduate student wishing to receive funding for teacher certification courses taken at the undergraduate level cannot count those courses toward graduate student enrollment (see the examples listed above in the section Graduate Students Enrolled in Undergraduate Courses).

If you have any questions about these policies, please visit Student Financial Aid and Enrollment Services at either campus or call 1-800-669-0919.