• Graduate Financial Aid & Scholarships

Graduate Studies

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  • Financial Aid & Scholarships for Graduate Students

    Students who continue their education beyond the first undergraduate degree must assume more financial responsibility than is expected of undergraduates. Financial aid for MSUM graduate students is usually a form of self-help, such as graduate assistantships, employment or loans.

    To be considered for state or federal aid, graduate students must do the following:

    • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or the Renewal Application.
    • Be admitted to a graduate program or be a continuing graduate student in good standing.
    • Submit additional documentation such as tax forms and W-2's when requested.

    Graduate financial aid awards assume full-time enrollment of eight credits and award budgets are reduced if enrollment is for fewer than eight credits. Undergraduate courses are not included for financial aid payments. A minimum of six graduate credits is required for campus work or loans.

    FAFSA on the Web offers students the opportunity to apply for aid electronically.   In preparation, students should complete a pre-application worksheet available from the FAFSA website.

    Financial aid applications must be submitted annually. Additional information is available in the Financial Aid Aware Guide and by contacting the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office.

    If you have unusual circumstances or if your financial situation changes, notify the Office of Scholarship and Financial Aid and request a review of your file. An appeal form is available for submitting additional information.

    Graduate financial aid awards assume full-time enrollment of eight graduate credits. Award budgets ae reduced if enrollment is for less than eight credits. Undergraduate courses do not count for financial aid enrollment. A minimum of six graduate credits is required for campus work-study or loans.

    All graduate students must maintain satisfactory academic progress in order to continue to receive financial aid. Students who are already repaying a student loan should check with their lender(s) regarding "in-school" deferment of loan payments. MSUM automatically provides enrollment data to all guarantee agencies to enable lenders to determine deferment eligibility.

    Graduate student awards may include funding in the following programs:

    Graduate Work Internships

    Eligibility is based on demonstrating financial need and completing the financial aid application. Awards are prorated for less than full-time enrollment (six or seven credits). Application deadline is July 31; early applications receive priority. Departments refer nominations to the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office for review.

    Graduate Assistantships

    Academic departments and the Graduate Studies Office award assistantships in two categories:

    1. Federal or state work assistantships require students to meet financial eligibility guidelines, including the July 31 deadline.
    2. Institutional assistantships are awarded without regard to financial qualifications.

    Assistantships generally require 10 to 12 hours of work each week and provide an opportunity to gain experience in the field of major interest, working with faculty in the discipline. Application materials are available from the Graduate Studies Office, the Graduate Program Coordinators, and online. Nominations are made by the graduate programs to the Graduate Studies Office. Graduate Assistantships do not include a waiver of tuition. Graduate Assistantships are entitled to in-state tuition.

    Federal Student Loans

    Federal Subsidized and Unsubsidized Direct Loans are available (up to a maximum of $8,500 per year) for students enrolled in graduate degree programs. Additional borrowing is available in the Expanded Unsubsidized Direct Loan program. Enrollment for six or more graduates credits is required. Entrance Loan Counseling must be completed prior to receiving the first loan disbursement at Minnesota State University Moorhead. In-person sessions are available (contact the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office for schedule) and it may be done online.

    SELF Loan

    SELF is a low-interest loan available from the State of Minnesota which allows annual borrowing up to $9,000 (minimum loan $500).  A co-signer, enrollment for six or more credits, and Entrance Loan Counseling is required.

    Alternate Educational Loans are offered by many lending institutions. They typically are interest bearing from the point of disbursement and rates are usually variable. A co-signer may be required. Alternative loans cannot be combined (or consolidated) with federal loans for repayment.

    Private Fellowships/Scholarships

    Funds may be available through private agencies. Inquire at the Counseling Center or your department for information.

    Satisfactory Academic Progress

    Federal and state regulations require that all students make satisfactory academic progress toward completion of degree or certificate requirements to receive student financial aid. All prior terms of attempted graduate enrollment, including summer, are considered in determining satisfactory progress regardless of whether aid was awarded for the term. Students must complete and pass a minimum of 67% of attempted graduate credits. The GPA requirement for continuation in good standing in graduate programs is found on page 10 of the Graduate Bulletin 2004-06. Failure to meet satisfactory progress standards results in ineligibility for state and federal aid programs (including all loans, the campus Work Program, Vocational Rehabilitation, Indian Scholarships, and University Scholarships). Standards are published yearly. The university reserves the right to withdraw aid if it becomes readily apparent that a student has not maintained satisfactory academic progress.
    A complete policy statement on Satisfactory Academic Progress may be obtained from the Office of Scholarship and Financial Aid, 107 Owens Hall.

    International Students

    International students are required to show evidence of their ability to finance their graduate work and living costs in the United States to obtain the I-20 visa to enter the country. There are no guarantees of financial support or scholarships available through the University. After successful completion of at least one semester’s graduate study, students are eligible for consideration in the Graduate Assistantship program. GA work-study, student loans, and the other financial aid described here are, by regulation, not available to international students. Students are expected to be able to support their study through the sources of income indicated in the financial statement on their admission application. International students may apply for the SELF loan with a credit worthy co-signer who is a U.S. citizen.
    More information about International Student admission is outlined in the International Admissions.