Financial Aid for Graduate Study

There are two loan programs available for graduate study: The Federal Direct Unsubsidized and the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan.

All aid recipients must apply for financial aid each year by completing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and a Saint Michael's College Graduate Financial Aid Application.

Please Note:

  • Graduate students need to be accepted into a degree program in order to be offered aid. Conditional acceptances and acceptances to certificate programs do not meet the requirement.
  • In order to receive/retain federal loans, the graduate recipient must have at least a "B" average or its equivalent, or academic requirements consistent with the requirements for graduation, as determined by Federal Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards and Saint Michael’s College.
  • A graduate student must also be enrolled at least half-time per semester (six credits) to be considered for these aid programs.

Summer Session: For summer session, submit the Application for Summer Session Financial Aid (available in late March).

How do I find out if I qualify for a Federal Direct loan?

Your Federal Direct Loan eligibility will be included in the financial aid award authorization that is emailed to your Saint Michael's College email address once you have filed the FAFSA and completed the Graduate Application for Aid.

What are the terms of the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans?

  • The loan is issued to the student by the federal government.
  • You must file a FAFSA and meet eligibility criteria set by the federal government.
  • The student is responsible for all interest which accrues. 
  • Repayment of interest and principal begins 6 months after you graduate or fall below half-time status.
  • The fixed interest rate for Federal Direct Unsubsidized loans borrowed by graduate students  for the 2014-2015 school year is 6.21%.  The fixed interest rate for loans borrowed for the 2015-2016 school year will be set in June 2015.
  • An origination fee, currently 1.073% (subject to change for loans disbursed after September 30, 2015) is deducted from each disbursement by the federal government.

What are the terms of the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan?

  • The loan is issued to the student by the federal government.
  • You must file a FAFSA and meet eligibility criteria set by the federal government.
  • Your credit must be approved by the federal government, or you must have a credit-worthy endorser.
  • The student is responsible for all interest which accrues.
  • Repayment of interest and principal may be deferred until after you graduate or fall below half-time status.
  • The fixed interest rate for Federal Direct Graduate PLUS loans borrowed for the 2014-2015 school year is 7.21%.  The fixed interest rate for loans borrowed for the 2015-2016 school year will be set in June 2015.
  • An origination fee, currently 4.292% (subject to change for loans disbursed after September 30, 2015) is deducted from each disbursement by the federal government.

What do I need to do after I have accepted my loans?

Once a student loan has been accepted by a student there are still several steps that need to be completed before the loan will credit to a student’s account. First-time borrowers of the Federal Direct and the Graduate PLUS Loan programs at Saint Michael’s College will be required to sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN) and complete an online entrance counseling session for each loan program. The Master Promissory Note is valid for 10 years and once signed will be used for any Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan and/or Graduate PLUS Loans through this 10-year period. Entrance counseling is a short orientation to the rights and responsibilities of being a student loan borrower. Both of these steps must only be completed once for each student while they are attending Saint Michael’s. The Graduate PLUS loan requires a new application each year as the loan is subject to credit approval. You can complete the Entrance Counseling requirement as well as the MPN process online at studentloans.gov.

When can I get my loan funds?

Loans are disbursed by term. Once you have resolved all eligibility issues (including verification and satisfactory academic progress) your financial aid for the upcoming term will in most cases be disbursed on the first day of classes. Final adjustments due to changes in your credit hours will occur approximately two weeks after the start of the term.

What happens to excess funds on my student account?

If the amount of financial aid and other credits on your bill exceed tuition, fees, and other charges, you may receive a refund. You may use your refund for books, indirect expenses, or any other education expenses for the term. You will receive a check in your Saint Michael’s mail box or you can arrange to have it held in the Cashier’s Office. No funds will be released before the first day of classes.

Post 9/11 GI Bill Chapter 33 'Yellow Ribbon' Program

Saint Michael’s College is a "Yellow Ribbon" institution. Under the Post-9/11 GI Bill (known as the Yellow Ribbon Program), the Department of Veteran Affairs will cover tuition for graduate study at Saint Michael’s College in the graduate degree programs (up to 25 applicants; first-come, first-served basis). You must be enrolled in a graduate degree program at Saint Michael’s College. Please contact your Department of Veteran Affairs for application information and forms.

All forms and requests for loans should be sent to:

Office of Student Financial Services 
Saint Michael's College, Box 4
One Winooski Park
Colchester, Vermont 05439
E-mail: finaid@smcvt.edu
Tel: 802.654.3243
Fax: 802.654.2591

Please note: Most federal, state, and college aid for post-secondary education is available primarily to undergraduate students. Graduate students often need to look outside of traditional sources to foundations, special grants, employer education funds, etc., to find financial assistance. To do a scholarship search, visit fastweb.com.

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