Financial Aid for Graduate Students


The Bottom Line. Sometimes, it all boils down to one question: How much does it cost? When considering graduate school, you have a lot of options. We believe our costs are competitive, and know you’ll receive an outstanding education. The estimated cost of attendance is our best approximation of what each student at St. Mary’s will need to cover direct and indirect expenses. A standard student budget is assigned to every enrolled student.

Learn More About Estimated Graduate CostsLearn More About Tuition and Fees


Graduate Financial Aid Options

Various forms of financial assistance exist to help support St. Mary’s University graduate students, including educational loans, scholarships and graduate assistantships. 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.

Graduate assistantships offer incoming and returning students the opportunity to work under supervision of faculty or staff member in return for a stipend. Some graduate assistantships also include tuition benefits. Various academic and administrative departments across campus offer graduate assistantships. Contact your program director for opportunities in your department or click here for current openings.

Scholarships may be awarded to incoming and returning students based upon academic merit and/or financial need and apply towards charges payable to St. Mary’s. Contact your program director for departmental scholarships. Other scholarship awards include:

PPOHA Fellowship awards, funded by the Title V PPOHA Program grant, are awarded to students with demonstrated financial need and a 3.5+ GPA. All eligible students will automatically be considered, pending funds available.

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, 2015, the interest rate is a fixed 5.84 percent with an interest rate cap of 9.5 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 online 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, 2015, this federal loan is offered at a fixed interest rate of 6.84 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
1-800-472-5543

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

During the fall and spring, a graduate student’s cost of attendance is based on full-time enrollment (9 credit hours per semester). To be considered for federal financial assistance, you must be considered half-time, which is a minimum of 4 credit hours during the fall and spring semesters. If your actual enrollment is different than this enrollment hours, please notify our office for review of your eligibility.



  • How to Appeal

    If you fail to meet the minimum Satisfactory Academic Progress standards (SAP), you will be placed on Suspension.

    You can appeal this suspension by writing a letter to the Appeals Committee after receiving the official notification. Please include the reason why you did not meet the minimum academic standards and state why financial aid should not be terminated. You may also include supporting documentation regarding your plan of action. Appeals must be submitted prior to established deadlines.

    The Appeals Committee will review your appeal and determine whether the suspension is justified. You will be notified in writing of the final decision. If your appeal is granted, the status will be updated to Probation and you will be eligible for financial aid for the next semester. If your appeal is not approved, you may become eligible again by meeting the standards for Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).


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