For those students who need assistance in meeting the expenses of a Gonzaga graduate education, the University strives to provide as much financial aid as possible on an equitable basis.
Applying for Admission
A student must be admitted to a graduate program before financial aid can be offered; however, a student may apply for admission and financial aid concurrently in order to expedite the process.
Financial Aid Application
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the application for most financial aid programs. Students are encouraged to file their FAFSA on the World Wide Web at www.fafsa.ed.gov. The completed forms are evaluated by the U.S. Department of Education and are forwarded to the university with the student’s expected contribution. The Financial Aid Office then compares the expected contribution to the cost of attendance to determine the amount of need-based financial aid for which the student is eligible.
There is no established financial aid deadline for graduate students; however, it is recommended that a student submit the forms to the federal processor between January 1st and March 1st each year for the following fall semester.
Early application ensures that the funds will be available for fall registration. A student must reapply each year.
The Financial Aid Package
Once financial need has been established and the student is unconditionally accepted for admission, the Financial Aid Office makes an award offer to the student. This offer generally includes loans and any scholarships or graduate assistantships of which the Financial Aid Office has been notified. It is important to return a signed copy of the award notice in order to initiate the loan application process.
Federal Direct Stafford Subsidized Student Loans: The Stafford subsidized loan is a need-based loan funded by the federal government. The interest rate is fixed at 6.8%. The maximum loan is $8,500 per year, but may be a lesser amount depending on total financial need and other financial aid. Repayment of the Stafford Loan begins six months after the student ceases to be enrolled at least half-time. The FAFSA and a separate promissory note are required.
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Student Loans: The Unsubsidized Stafford Loan has provisions similar to the Subsidized Stafford Loan, except that the student is responsible for all interest payments. The interest may be capitalized by adding it to the principal at the borrower’s request. The maximum loan is $12,000 per year, but may be adjusted due to receiving a subsidized Stafford Loan, other financial aid, or by the student’s total cost of attendance. The FAFSA and a separate promissory note are required.
Graduate Direct PLUS Loan: A federal loan available to graduate students who show an absence of a negative credit history. The maximum amount of a Graduate PLUS is the total cost of attendance less any other aid received for the academic year. The Graduate PLUS loan accrues interest from the date of disbursement at a rate of 7.9%. Monthly payments may be deferred while the student borrower is enrolled as at least a half-time student. Students must first borrow from the Federal Stafford Loan program before applying for a Graduate PLUS loan.
Federal Nursing Loans: These loans are available to graduate nursing students with financial need. The Federal Nursing loan carries a fixed interest rate of five percent, with no accrual of interest while enrolled at least half-time. Students have a nine month grace period after their enrollment drops below less than half-time before monthly payments are required. Minimum monthly payments of at least $40 per month and interest begin after the grace period.
Alternative Loans: There are several non-need-based private loan programs for graduate students. These loan programs offer a choice of variable interest rates and repayment plans tailored to meet the student’s needs. Approval is subject to lender credit criteria. Approval of the private loans by the lender is based upon the creditworthiness of the student. For a list of lenders that have helped Gonzaga students in the past, please see our website.
The Student Employment Office maintains listings of off-campus jobs and can assist students in finding employment while in school. These are regular job openings available in the community for appropriately qualified students.
Graduate Assistantship Awards
Graduate assistantships are offered in several departments and schools. Each department or school determines if the assistantship is paid as a scholarship (which reduces tuition charges), or as a work award (that is paid as wages). Students receiving their assistantship as wages may elect to have their salary directly transferred to their student account by arranging this transfer through the Payroll Office. Applications for assistantships should be directed to the school or department in which a student enrolls.
Residence Hall Assistantships are also available to qualified graduate students through the Office of the Vice President of Student Life. Assistantships pay board, room, and in certain cases, a monthly stipend. Please contact the Student Life Office.
Satisfactory Academic Progress
The Higher Education Amendments of 1992, and the Washington State Higher Education Coordinating Board, require that a student receiving federal and/or state assistance must demonstrate satisfactory academic progress (SAP). In general, SAP is defined as “proceeding toward successful completion of degree within a specified period.” The policies and procedures governing SAP and its relationship to financial aid are available from the Financial Aid Office, College Hall Room 129. Students with additional questions regarding this policy are invited to inquire at the Financial Aid Office. For more about SAP please refer to these policies.