Financial Aid Programs for Graduate Students
Fairfield University understands that the decision to begin a graduate education can be a significant investment for any student, especially financially. Please find detailed information on our financial aid web pages, which we created specifically for graduate students. We hope this information will assist you in making the best decisions regarding the various federal, state, institutional and private financing options as you embark on your new academic endeavor.
|Programs||Eligibility Requirements||Annual Award Limits||How to Apply|
|Federal Direct Loan
(Subsidized or Unsubsidized)
|Subsidized: EFFECTIVE July 1, 2012 SUBSIDIZED Stafford loans will no longer be available to graduate and professional students.
Available for students without financial need who are enrolled at least half-time (6 credits or more)
|$20,500 or up to Cost of Attendance (varies by program)||Submit your FAFSA
Complete required loan forms
|Federal Direct Graduate/
Professional PLUS Loan
|Additional loans for graduate students
(in addition the Federal Direct Stafford Loan borrowing limits)
|Cost of Attendance - (minus)
financial aid assistance
|Submit your FAFSA
What are Federal Direct Stafford Loans?
Federal Direct Stafford loans for graduate students are unsubsidized and processed through the U.S. Government. You can receive an unsubsidized loan for a specified period of enrollment period. Repayment begins six months after graduation or six months after your enrollment status is less than half time (five or less credits).
- An unsubsidized loan is non need-based. You will be charged interest from the time the loan is disbursed until it is paid off. If you allow the interest to accrue while you are in school or during other periods of non-payment, it will be capitalized. The interest will be added to the principal amount of your loan and additional interest will be based on that higher amount.
Loan Repayment Calculator: Estimate monthly loan payments
How do I apply?
Fairfield requires that all graduate students interested in their Federal Direct Stafford Loan eligibility, submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Once you submit the FAFSA, the Office of Financial Aid will provide you with an award notification, which will indicate your offer of a Federal Direct Stafford loan. Should you choose to accept the loan, you will be required to complete both Entrance Counseling and the Master Promissory Note (MPN). You can complete these loan requirements here: www.studentloans.gov. Note - you will need your FAFSA PIN# to log in and complete these forms.
What are the Federal Direct Stafford Loan interest rates?
The interest rate is a fixed interest rate of 6.8%.
What are Federal Direct Graduate/Professional PLUS Loans?
Graduate and professional degree students are now eligible to borrow under the Federal Direct Graduate/Professional PLUS Loan Program. Applicants for these loans are also required to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to apply for their annual loan maximum eligibility under the Federal Direct Stafford Loan Program before applying for a Federal Direct Graduate/Profressional PLUS Loan.
How do I apply?
You can apply on-line to complete the credit check and the Direct Graduate Plus Master Promissory Note (MPN). Be sure to have your FAFSA PIN number handy to complete this process. You will be prompted to complete a credit check before you complete the Graduate Plus Master Promissory Note (MPN). Just being approved for a Graduate Plus loan is half of the process. You must complete the Graduate Plus MPN in order to have your loan certified by the University and the loan proceeds disbursed by the Department of Education. Please use links below to complete these loan requirements:
What are the Federal Direct Graduate/Professional PLUS Loan interest rates?
The interest rate is a fixed interest rate of 7.9%.
Loan Repayment Calculator: Estimate monthly loan payments
It is strongly recommended that students borrow the maximum in Federal Direct Stafford Loans before considering an alternative student loan. Federal Direct Stafford loans tend to be less expensive with fixed interest rates and provide various options for repayment. The Office of Financial Aid will certify any alternative loan at the request of any borrower, provided they are approved and provided the amount does not exceed their eligibility for the year. However, it is the responsibility of the borrower to determine which alternative loan best fits their borrowing needs.
What are alternative student loans?
Alternative student loans are available to assist students cover any financial gap that may exist between their educational costs (cost of attendance) and the amount of financial aid they are receiving. There are many types of alternative student loans and each are calculated with different interest rates and repayment terms, which varies, depending on the borrower and/or the cosigner's credit-worthiness. Students should review their finances to determine which financing option best fits their borrowing needs.
How do I select the right alternative student loan?
Fairfield University does not have a preferred lender list for alternative student loans, nor can we recommend specific lenders, However, ELM Select, a service provided by ELM Resources, can assist you with what is likely one of the most important tasks in the financial aid process. ELM Select is an online lender comparison resource that provides free and extensive loan options. This service has several features that will help you make the financing decision that best fits your financial needs. It also provides a wealth of information regarding borrower rights, responsibilities, and loan repayment.
Note: This loan application process can sometimes take at least three to four weeks to complete. Please apply early to allow for this processing time.
Please contact the Office of Financial Aid if you have any questions about any information on this.
Fairfield University participates in the Federal Direct Loan program and does not have any preferred lenders. Fairfield University abides by all principles outlined in the CT Code of Conduct.
Through the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007, Congress created the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program. This grant provides up to $4000 per year to students who intend to teach in a public or private elementary or secondary school that serves students from low-income families.
Please read the information on the TEACH grant program carefully. There are very specific conditions that are attached to receiving this grant. If you fail to meet all the conditions of receiving this grant, the grant will be converted to a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan that will become payable with accrued interest from the date the grant was disbursed.
What are the conditions for receiving the TEACH Grant?
In exchange for receiving a TEACH grant, you must agree to:
- Serve as a highly-qualified, full time teacher in a high-need field in a public or private elementary or secondary school that serves low-income students and
- Teach for four academic years within eight calendar years of completing the program as a student for which you received a TEACH grant.
* Important Notice: Failure to complete this service obligation will results in all TEACH grants you received to be converted into a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan, including all interest charged from the date the grant(s) was disbursed.
How do I qualify for a TEACH grant?
- Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
- Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen.
- Be enrolled as a junior or senior undergraduate education minor and be enrolled in the coursework necessary to begin a career in teaching and meeting the requirements that will allow a student to fulfill the conditions of the TEACH grant program successfully or
- Be enrolled as a graduate student in the Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions in a graduate program that will lead toward the completion of a degree which will allow a student to fulfill the required conditions of the TEACH grant program successfully
- Meet certain academic achievement requirements which is a cumulative GPA of at least 3.25 which will be determined prior to each disbursement of the TEACH grant
- Sign a TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve (see below)
What is the definition of high-need fields?
- Bilingual Education and English Language Acquisition
- Foreign Language
- Reading Specialist
- Special Education
- Other identified teacher shortage areas as of the time you begin teaching in that field. These are teacher subject shortage areas (not geographic areas) that are listed in the Department of Education's Annual Teacher Shortage Area Nationwide Listing. To access the listing, please go to http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/pol/tsa.pdf.
What is the definition of a school that serves low-income students?
Schools serving low-income students include any elementary or secondary school that are listed in the Department of Education's Annual Directory of Designated Low-Income Schools for Teacher Cancellation Benefits. To access the directory, please go to http://www.tcli.ed.gov/ and click the SEARCH button.
What is the TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve?
Each year you receive a TEACH Grant, you must sign a TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve that is available electronically on the Department of Education website. Download to complete this form.
The TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve specifies the conditions under which the grant will be awarded, the teaching service requirements, and includes an acknowledgment by you that you understand that if you do not meet the teaching service requirements, you must repay the grant as a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan, with interest accrued from the date the grant funds were disbursed. Specifically, the TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve will require the following:
- For each TEACH Grant-eligible program for which you received TEACH Grant funds, you must serve as a full-time teacher for a total of at least four academic years within eight calendar years after you completed or withdrew from the academic program for which you received the TEACH Grant.
- You must perform the teaching service as a highly-qualified teacher at a low-income school. The term highly-qualified teacher is defined in section 9101(23) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 or in section 602(10) of the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act.
- Your teaching service must be in a high-need field.
- You must comply with any other requirements that the Department of Education determines to be necessary.
- If you do not complete the required teaching service obligation, TEACH Grant funds you received will be converted to a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan that you must repay, with interest charged from the date of each TEACH Grant disbursement.
TEACH Grant Counseling Requirements
- TEACH Grant Entrance Counseling is required for all students that are awarded the Federal TEACH grant.
- Additionally, it is required that all students receiving multiple TEACH grants receive subsequent entrance counseling and sign the Agreement to Serve each year that they receive a TEACH grant.
- TEACH Grant Exit Counseling is required once it is determined you will not be the recipient of any further TEACH grant awards. Further instruction on the TEACH grant exit counseling session will follow when a student completes their education.