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Graduate or Professional Student

Funding a graduate or professional education is a challenge for many students. The financial aid office does not award scholarships or fellowships for graduate students. The primary source of information for these opportunities is the academic department or professional school in which you are enrolled or plan to enroll.

Additional Aid Information by Graduate School
Graduate Student Loan Options

Graduate students must determine how much to borrow based on their personal resources, the length of their program and their ultimate career plans. If you believe you will require assistance beyond scholarships, grants or fellowships, the financial aid office offers student loans that will be helpful. Graduate students cannot borrow loans for more than the total cost of their program, which includes certain cost of living allowances. In order to qualify for Title IV federal aid (Direct Unsubsidized and Direct Grad PLUS Loans), you must meet all eligibility requirements and file the FAFSA.

Loan Debt

You should consider your loan debt (current and projected) and examine your budget to minimize expenses and avoid the temptation to borrow too much. Consult the loan repayment calculator to get an idea of what monthly payments would be when your loan enters repayment. This will also help determine how much loan money to borrow by projecting out potential debt. 

Federal Direct Loan Instructions

If you are interested in loans through the federal Direct Loan Program (Unsubsidized Loan and Graduate PLUS Loan), follow the instructions below.

  1. File the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  2. Check your W&M email account for your electronic award notification that will be produced after the financial aid office receives your FAFSA. 
  3. Follow the Loan Application Instructions. Be sure to sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN) for each loan type that you accept. Entrance counseling must be completed for all loans borrowed at the graduate level.
  4. After all loan requirements have been satisfied, the loans that you have accepted will appear on your student account in Banner self-service via as “authorized aid” against your tuition charges.
Additional Loan Information
Deferred Loan Payments

Federal loans will be automatically deferred while you are enrolled at least half-time (4 credits per session). You can opt to make payments on the accruing interest while you are in school if you can afford to do so. Please contact your assigned loan servicer for more information.

Cost of Attendance & Loan Eligibility

Your loan eligibility will be based on the total cost of attendance for the period of at least half-time enrollment. The cost of attendance includes tuition per credit hour plus allowances for housing, food and books/supplies. You may also request to include the cost to purchase a laptop and for required student health insurance coverage.

Funds Disbursement & Refunds

Disbursement of loan funds will take place after classes begin for each semester or session in which you are enrolled. In some cases, the disbursement will be held until after the drop/add period is closed or you have four enrolled credits for the semester. If you are due a refund of excess loan funds, refunds will be processed according to the institution’s refund policy.

Withdrawal Aid Adjustment

Adjustments to financial aid may be required if you withdraw. Federal loans are subject to the federal refund calculation.