Types of Assistance

How you pay for graduate school is completely up to you. We can provide you with as much information as possible, so you can make an informed decision. You have a few options to consider.

As a graduate student, you can apply for an assistantship when you apply for admission to an academic program. Contact the appropriate graduate program for detailed information.

You may rely on funding from the Federal Direct Stafford Loan to finance your education. Don’t worry most graduate and professional students do! In order to be eligible for this aid, you must be enrolled at least half time (four or more credit hours per semester).  Effective July 1, 2012, Federal Stafford Loans at the graduate level are unsubsidized (interest accrues while you are in school).

Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans are non-need based and may be offered up to a maximum of $20,500 per academic year.  Effective July 1, 2013, the interest rate is a fixed 5.41 percent with an interest rate cap of 9.50 percent.  Students must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), meet federal eligibility requirements, and enroll at least half time in a degree-seeking program.

The maximum aggregate for Stafford loans is $138,500, of which no more than $65,500 may be subsidized.
All first-time students at St. Mary’s accepting the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan are required to complete the Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Entrance Counseling Session on-line at www.studentloans.gov.

Students are encouraged to pursue all possibilities for scholarships, grants, and federal loan programs before borrowing from an alternative loan program. If additional educational loans are needed, make arrangements early to apply. Below are additional federal sponsored, state and private educational loans borrowed by St. Mary’s students. We encourage all students to research and evaluate the information provided with any loan program.

Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan is available to creditworthy graduate/professional students who want to borrow a portion or all of the annual cost of education minus other aid offered. Repayment is generally set at small payments on a 10-year plan and begins when the student graduates or falls below half-time status.  Effective July 1, 2013, this federal loan is offered at a fixed interest rate of 6.41 percent with an interest rate cap of 10.50 percent. To begin the Direct Graduate PLUS loan application, complete and return the Graduate-PLUS Application to the Office of Financial Assistance.

State Loan Program

Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board College Access Loan (CAL)
1-800-242-3062

Private Loan Programs

Discover Financial Services Certified Private Student Loan
1-877-728-3030

Sallie Mae Smart Option Student Loan
1-888-272-4665

Wells Fargo Collegiate Student Loan
1-800-658-3567