How Do I Apply for Financial Aid as a Graduate Student?

What is the Financial Aid Application Process?

We use the FAFSA to collect financial and other information to determine your eligibility for federal, state, and institutional funds. It is the only application you will need to complete to apply for Federal Student Aid, however we may need additional information to clarify your eligibility. The steps in the application process, from creating your FSA ID to the disbursement of funds, is below.

  1. Apply for a Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID)
    • The FSA ID is a username and password used to log in the U. S. Department of Education online systems. It also functions as your legal signature for financial aid purposes.
    • You and each of your contributors will need an FSA ID.
  2. Submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
    • Submit the FAFSA at to be considered for all types of financial aid (grants, loans, and work-study). The MSUM Federal School Code is 002367.
    • Graduate students are independent for financial aid purposes and not required to provide parental data on the FAFSA.
  3. Review your FAFSA Submission Summary (FSS)
    • The FSS is a summary of the FAFSA data submitted on the application. Review it for accuracy.
    • The FSS will be emailed or if you did not provide an email address on the FAFSA, sent by mail.
  4. Additional Documentation
    • We will contact you by email to the email account assigned to all admitted students if additional information is needed to complete your financial aid application.
    • The email will direct you to review your Financial Aid Status Letter in eServices.
  5. Complete the MSUM Release of Student Information
  6. Financial Aid Offer
    • Notification that your Financial Aid Offer is ready will be sent by email to your account.
    • The email will direct you to view your offer on eServices to accept, reduce, or decline your federal student loans and your work-study (if offered).
    • A minimum of six credits per semester is required for federal student loan and work-study eligibility.
    • The work-study amount is the amount you can earn through a work-study position. All student employment opportunities are posted to the Career Development Center Job Search.
    • Additional scholarships or other sources of funding may change the amounts and types of aid you are eligible to receive.
  7. Entrance Loan Counseling and Master Promissory Note
    • First time borrowers must complete Entrance Loan Counseling and a Master Promissory Note at
  8. Apply for Private Loans (if necessary)
    • Review private loan options. Select ‘Private Loan’ and ‘List of Private Loan Programs.’
    • Calculate what you need to borrow for the full academic year. Half of the loan funds will apply to your fall semester balance and the other half to spring semester. If you will be enrolled at MSUM for only one semester, the loan period is the semester when you will be enrolled.
    • Submit your application to the lender at least one month prior to the start of the semester.
  9. Financial Aid Disbursement
    • MSUM will begin to apply financial aid (scholarships, grants and loans) to your semester balance after the fifth class day.
    • Complete the Direct Deposit setup in eServices for direct deposit of your financial aid overage funds.
    • MSUM Business Services will disburse the excess financial aid if funds remain after financial aid has been applied to your bill.
    • If you have a remaining balance, pay it by the payment-in-full date to avoid a late fee.
  10. Student Loan Deferment
    • If you are repaying a student loan and enrolled for six or more credits per semester, contact your lender(s) for an in-school deferment of your student loan payments. MSUM provides enrollment data to all guarantee agencies to enable lenders to confirm student loan deferment eligibility.
  11. Special or Unique Circumstances
    • Sometimes students or their FAFSA contributors have special or unique circumstances and their FAFSA does not accurately reflect their current circumstances. Financial aid administrators have the authority to make professional judgment decisions based on documented circumstances and adjust a student’s eligibility. Submit the Special Circumstances Appeal or contact our office if this applies to you.