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FAQ for Graduate Students

Are graduate students eligible for financial aid?

Yes. Although graduate student funding tends to be fairly limited, it is still available. Graduate students may be eligible for Santa Clara University scholarships, grants or fellowships as well as Federal Direct Loans. To be considered for federal student loans, you will need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). For more information regarding scholarships, grants and fellowships, you will need to contact your graduate school.

Can I complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) if I have not filed my taxes?

Yes. It is recommended that you complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as possible each year after October 1 for the upcoming academic year, which runs from July 1 to June 30. In order to do so, you may estimate income information. You can then update this information after your taxes have been completed.

How do I apply for federal student loans?

You complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine your eligibility for federal student loans. Santa Clara University school code is 001326.

How do I receive a Federal Gradate PLUS Loan?

To apply for a Federal Graduate PLUS Loan, you will need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and apply for the Federal Graduate PLUS Loan at

What is Loan Counseling? Master Promissory Note?

Loan Counseling, specifically Entrance Counseling, explains the rights and responsibilities you have as a student loan borrower. The Master Promissory Note (MPN) is a binding contact signed by you when you obtain a student loan.

NOTE: If you do not complete both the Entrance Counseling and the Master Promissory Note (MPN), your aid will not be disbursed to your student account.

How will my financial aid be affected if I withdraw? Or drop below three-quarter time?

Withdrawing may result in a reassessment of your financial aid under the process called Return to Title IV Funds. The exact consequences to you depend on a number of factors, including the type of aid you have and the official date on which you withdrew.

Dropping below three-quarter enrollment may result in a re-calculation of your financial aid. To be eligible for federal loans you must be enrolled at least half-time. We suggest you contact your graduate school for the effect of enrollment regarding your scholarship, grant or fellowship − any adjustment to your financial aid offer may result in you owing additional money to Santa Clara University.

How do I defer my loans?

If you are enrolled at least half-time in a degree seeking program or eligible certificate program, your enrollment information will be sent through a clearinghouse to all lending parties.

Does Santa Clara University have a payment plan that I can make monthly installments to pay my bill?

Yes. Santa Clara University offers a monthly payment plan through CashNet/HigherOne. An alternative to a large payment each quarter, this plan allows you to make three monthly installments. There is no interest charge for this service, and the enrollment fee is $40.

Do I have to apply for financial aid each year?

Yes. You have to re-apply for financial aid every year. 

Graduate students should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) once you have been admitted in order to be considered for all federal student aid programs.

  • Santa Clara University FAFSA School Code is 001326

NOTE: The Financial Aid Office does not determine graduate school scholarships, fellowships or grants. You should contact your graduate school for information about how to apply for your graduate school’s scholarships, fellowships and grants.

My question is not addressed here. How can I get an answer?

Contact us:

Telephone 1-408-551-1000
Visit us at the Enrollment Service Center (One Stop)