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Graduate students have unique financial needs and as such, have unique financial aid options which differ from undergraduate aid. At the graduate level, all students are considered independent of their parents and complete the FAFSA with only student data. In addition, borrowing limits on federal loans are much higher than at the undergraduate level. Students must be registered for graduate level coursework (courses numbering 600 and above) and be enrolled in a Graduate program. Graduate students are not eligible for federal or state grants, or subsidized loans.

Types of Aid for Graduate Students:

William D. Ford Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan Program:

  • Also known as Federal Direct Stafford Loan.
  • Requires repayment over time (with interest) which begins when a student drops below half-time enrollment.
  • Accrue interest throughout the life of the loan for which the student/borrower is responsible. The interest accumulates and is later added to the principal balance of the loan.

Interest Rate for the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan:
2013-2014 Academic Year: 5.41% fixed
2014-2015 Academic Year: 6.21% fixed

Origination fees are 1.072% on all unsubsidized loans disbursed between July 1, 2013 and September 30, 2014. Effective October 1, 2014 origination fees are 1.073% , which is deducted by the federal government prior to disbursement.

William D. Ford Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan Program Eligibility Requirements:

  • Students must be fully admitted into a Graduate program seeking a degree or certificate offered at Metropolitan State.
  • Students must be registered at least half time: 4 credits of Graduate level coursework. Graduate students enrolled in undergraduate coursework are not eligible (more on this subject below). 
  • Students must be enrolled in courses required for the degree being sought.
  • Students must not have previously reached or exceeded any of the federal borrowing limits.
  • Students must not have previous federal student loans in default status.
  • Students must be making Satisfactory Academic Progress.

Additional information about the William D. Ford Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan Program can be found here.

How to apply for the William D. Ford Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan Program:


As with all federal student aid, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  Once a FAFSA is completed, the school will receive it within 3-5 business days. The federal school code for Metropolitan State University is: 010374.

Once the FAFSA is received, the student�s financial aid will be processed within 4 to 6 weeks, depending on whether or not the Financial Aid Office will require additional information from the student in order to process.  After the determination of eligibility is complete, the student is sent an email explaining how to view the Financial Aid Award Letter which will likely include student loans.  The Financial Aid Award Letter contains instructions on how to accept Federal Direct Loans. All questions about online loan acceptance can be directed to Gateway Student Services Center: 651-793-1300.

Accepting Your Loans:
Loan acceptance or loan requests are done online via student e-services. Students can make an online loan request by following the below instructions:

  • Visit Student e-Services and log in. 
  • On the left, click on "Financial Aid" and then "Loans".
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to submit the loan acceptance.
  • Wait 1-3 Business Days.
  • In 1-3 business days, the student�s loan status will be updated to "Certified" status.  Loan funds will be applied to the student�s account on the scheduled disbursement date.

Federal Direct PLUS Loans for Graduate Students

Also known and the GradPLUS Loan. This loan program is available to graduate students that need funding beyond their Federal Direct Unsubsidized loans. A student must have applied for their annual loan maximum eligibility under the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan Program before applying for a Direct Federal Graduate/Professional PLUS loan. This loan will also require a credit check. Repayment on the Federal Direct Graduate/Professional PLUS Loan begins 60 days after the loan is fully disbursed.

Interest Rate for the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan:
2013-2014 Academic Year: 6.41% fixed
2014-2015 Academic Year: 7.21% fixed

Origination fees are 4.288% on all PLUS loans disbursed between July December 1, 2013 and September 30, 2014. Effective October 1, 2014 origination fees are 4.292% , which is deducted by the federal government prior to disbursement.

Federal Direct GradPLUS Loan Eligibility Requirements:

Students must meet all requirements listed above for the William D. Ford Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan Program eligibility requirements, in addition to:

  • Student must pass a credit check.
  • Student must be a graduate student.
  • Student must have already requested their maximum eligibility under the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan Program.

How to apply for the Federal Direct GradPLUS Loan:

  • Complete Graduate PLUS Loan MPN on StudentLoans.gov
    Visit www.StudentLoans.gov and complete the Graduate PLUS Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) and online application. The student will need to sign in to the site using their Federal PIN number. This is the same PIN used to sign the student's FAFSA. 

Additional information about the Federal Direct GradPLUS Loan can be found here.  

Graduate Students Enrolled in Undergraduate Courses
Graduate students must be registered for graduate level coursework in order to be eligible for federal student aid with few exceptions. If a graduate student enrolls in undergraduate coursework, that student will not be eligible for federal financial aid during that term and will need to consider alternative methods of paying for the tuition. It is the Graduate student�s responsibility to ensure that their course registration meets this requirement. It is highly recommended that any graduate student, before registering for undergraduate courses, consult with their academic advisor, and the Financial Aid Office to determine the eligibility of the courses for aid.

Private Educational Loans

Many banks and credit unions provide educational loan options, commonly referred to as private or alternative loans. These loans may have higher interest rates than federal loans and should only be considered as a borrowing option after all federal loan eligibility has been exhausted.

Selecting a lender is the sole right of the student.We provide FASTChoice as a way for you to compare loan options for a number of common lenders and choose the loan that best fits your needs. Metropolitan State University does not endorse any one lender; you may choose any lender you wish that currently offers an educational loan product.The lenders listed on the FASTChoice website are lenders who have most commonly provided private loans to Metropolitan State University students over the past three years. The lender list is updated each spring with the most current information.

Under the Truth in Lending Act rules, private education loans are subject to self certification, three consumer disclosures at specific times in the application process, and a three day delay in disbursement. Due to the number of steps involved in the private loan application process, applicants should allow a minimum of 3 weeks for processing.


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