Graduate & Professional Student Loans
As a graduate student there are several types of financial aid that may be available to assist you with funding your graduate/professional education. To be eligible for federal loans and some private loans, you must be enrolled at least half-time each term. Below is a summary of the financial aid available to graduate students. To find out more information on each, click on the links provided.
Please note, if courses are dropped after your term begins, or your enrollment status changes, funds may be required to be returned. Visit Return of Federal Funds to learn more.
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans
Your eligibility for a direct unsubsidized loan will be determined from your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The maximum unsubsidized loan eligibility for an academic year is $20,500. The total amount of the loan awarded and accepted will be divided over the number of terms in the academic year for your program and disbursed at the start of each term. Also, the total amount of aid you receive in any term is capped at the cost of attendance for that specific term.
You'll need to complete a master promissory note and entrance loan counseling before your first amount can be disbursed. Instructions for completing these steps will be provided to you when your FAFSA is received and the loan is offered.
Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loans
Direct Graduate PLUS Loans can also help pay for education expenses up to the cost of attendance minus all other financial assistance. These loans are unsubsidized and interest begins accruing from the date disbursed. These loans require the FAFSA to be completed, a credit check, and offer the option for a co-signer. There is not an annual loan limit amount, however, the total amount of financial aid you receive in any term is capped at the cost of attendance for that specific term.
PLUS Loan Calculator
Federal student loans have loan origination fees that are a percentage of the total loan amount. The loan fee is deducted from each loan disbursement you receive while enrolled in school. This means the money you receive will be less than the amount you actually borrow. You're responsible for repaying the entire amount you borrowed and not just the amount you received.
After completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and receiving your direct loan eligibility you may find that you still need some additional assistance. There are a number of private loan options you may pursue. We recommend that you review the preferred lender list on our website, as well as information you gather from other lenders to determine the best choice for your needs. These loans are based on credit worthiness and offer the option for a co-signer. The maximum amount you may borrow in an private loan is the cost of attendance less any other aid offered to you. While you may apply for private loans each term, we recommend that you determine the amount needed for the entire academic year and apply for the total amount. Funds will be disbursed equally at the start of each term.
College Access Loan Update
The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board has adopted new loan limits for College Access Loans, effective Sept. 1, 2023. If you plan to apply for a CAL, we encourage you to apply as soon as possible and cover the total amount needed for the 2023-2024 year.